Hamas and the Barbary pirates

Hamas is pushing hard for international recognition of the Palestinian government that it heads. Yet their behavior is not that of a responsible party (much less a nation) but rather resembles that of the Barbary pirates:

[Hamas leader Khaled] Mashaal said that kidnapped Israeli soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit will not be released until Israel yields to Palestinian demands. “If the enemy insists on continuing to refuse to free our prisoners, I am saying here that we have every capability to do again what we have done before…”– YNet

There are indeed similarities between the Palestinians and the Barbary pirates. For example, does this not sound like present-day Gaza?

The payment of blackmail, disguised as presents or ransoms, did not always secure safety. The most powerful states in Europe condescended to make payments to them and to tolerate their insults. Religious orders—the Redemptionists and Lazarists — were engaged in working for the redemption of captives and large legacies were left for that purpose in many countries. — Wikipedia

And consider the response from a representative of Tripoli when asked in 1786 why his agents preyed on American ships:

That it was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman [Muslim] who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise.

Nothing’s changed in 221 years.

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