It’s been a while since I’ve written about politics, but today’s New York Times carries a really disturbing editorial. The Times argues against Israel’s position to bar East Jerusalem Arabs fom voting in the PA elections in which Hamas is on the ballot. For the Times, such an action violates the fundamental principles of democracy:
- The messy thing about democracy is that people tend to vote for the candidates they want – a point that seemed lost on Israel…Israel is concerned about a strong showing by Hamas. That’s understandable, but democracy doesn’t work this way.
Of course, the Times conveniently forgets that Hamas is not just a political party, but an officially designated terrorist organization. For the Times, Hamas achieving power democratically “is the lesser evil because any movement, once in power, is compelled to supplement its bluster with deeds.” Considering that one of their “blusters” is that “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it,” are we to assume that the Times then is advocating the destruction of Israel?
The issue here is not merely on the rights of democracy, but of responsibility. Thomas Jefferson famously declared “the price of freedom is eternal vigilance,”and legitimizing a terrorist organization as a policital party hardly demonstrates vigilance.
Hitler also rose to power through the democracy of the Weimar Republic, and we see how well that worked.