Friday, January 27, 2006

Friday Intern Topic of the Day III: Hamas Wins Palestinian Elections

I had to do a doubletake but it is really true. After years of oppression the Palestinians finally get a taste of freedom and democracy. And as their first chosen leadership they choose a terrorist organization hell bent on the total destruction of Israel through whatever means necessary. Including, but not limited to, convincing young men and women to commit suicide for the sole purpose of murdering other innocent lives.

This was clearly a choice. Through a democratic process. Which means that it is the MAJORITY of Palestenians who prefer this as their way of life.

Pajama Media has a blog roundup:

Laurence Simon: "This is what happens when a Bush goes back on his word."

Powerpundit: "Complicate is an understatement, as this now presents a major roadblock to peace in the Middle East. Hamas is responsible for many, many Israeli civilian deaths, and if it has a major role in Palestinian government then it is highly unlikely that Israel will be able to bring itself to trust such a government enough to make any meaningful moves that will lead to the hope of a lasting peace."

Jay Lapidus notes what he sees the one good thing about the Hamas victory.

Israellycool: "[D]espite what many would have you believe, a majority of neo palestinians do not favor a two-state solution. Nor do a majority of neo palestinian people oppose terrorism."

Daimnation: "Considering the years of incitement and propaganda to which the Palestinians have been subjected, not to mention to corruption, incomptence and authoritarianism of Fatah, I can't say this result was unexpected. If the Palestinians believe they're better off with genocidal Islamofascists running their government, so be it. It's their choice, and they'll find out the hard way what it's like living under a Hamas government."

Clive Davis: "Hamas's new media consultant is already hard at work on that 'image problem'"

Truthdig: "A terrorist group will now be setting the Palestinian agenda. And with right-wing pretenders lingering over Sharon’s death bed, have prospects for peace in the Mideast ever looked more distant?"

Treppenwitz: "There can no longer remain the fiction of the the Palestinian majority who silently wish for coexistence with The Jewish State... if only Israel will allow them to fulfill their dream of self-determination. What these election results declare loud and clear is that the Palestinians intend to make their national dream Israel's worst nightmare. [...]
This victory doesn't now mean that every Palestinian is a Hamas terrorist any more than a Likud victory meant that every Israeli was in favor of Ariel Sharon's vision for Israel's future. In fact, we've all seen how people can vote for one thing and get quite another. However voting for a particular leadership places an electorate in the position of accepting the future actions of those leaders. That's democracy at work. So when the majority of Palestinians tell me with their words and deeds that they have committed their future to Hamas' vision of Israel's destruction... then I have no choice but to take them at their word."

Secular Blasphemy: "Will it be a disaster, or draw Hamas in a democratic direction? If Hamas is already calling the shots in the areas, they can just as well get control of the 'democratic' institutions there."

Jihad Watch: "The Tiny Minority of Extremists has won the Palestinian elections, which in itself is not actually a demonstration that the jihad ideology enjoys broader support among Muslims than most analysts would like to admit, since Fatah itself was not exactly an epitome of opposition to that ideology."

Roger Simon notes the reports that Hamas supporters have stormed into the Palestinian parliament amid clashes with Fatah loyalists, and writes: "Actually, on ten minutes reflection (it's pretty early here in LA), I am glad Hamas won. Elections should reflect the will of the people and this one reflects the will of the Palestinians. Now we know."

Austin Bay: "Hamas Wins– The Slow Civil War Takes A Twist."

As with nearly everything the future will depend on the money. Most of the foreign aid to the Palestenian Authority (Nearly 80%) comes from the European Union. My instinct is that the initial reaction will be strong but that it will quickly taper as this news leaves the spotlight.

Once again, when we have to depend on Europe we are all in big trouble.


Blogger Kim said...


2:31 PM  
Anonymous mchebert said...

Two thoughts:

First, I was shocked to discover that anyone is giving foreign aid money to the Palestinians. I have some sympathy for their plight, but why would Europe give money to people who have done nothing but wage endless war for the last 60 years?

Second, I guess this is the ultimate neocon test. I am neither a conservative nor a neocon, but I have real respect for conservatives. Neocons, on the other hand, are crazy. Bush and friends believe that democracy is some kind of a blessed state of being, and that every nation that is fairly elected will be virtuous and peaceful. Personally, I think that viewpoint is malarkey, but Bush is trying it out in Iraq. Now he will have his ultimate test in Palestine.

If a democratic government naturally tends towards peace, then the Hamas will mellow under the yoke of democratic power. As I said, I think that is malarkey, but here we have the ultimate test of the neocon doctrine!

10:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sure i'm guilty of ignorantly lumping different peoples together, such as assuming that those living in the Canadian Maritimes think the same as American Indians in Arizona, but here goes.

I've had one experience in the Middle East, at a 400-bed combat hospital 200 miles west of Daharan, Saudi Arabia along the pipeline road during Gulf War I. We interacted with Arabic tribes and Bedouin.

Every man had a moustache, a knife, a gun, and a place in his tribe owed to family status and patronage.

Democracy for the middle East? Get real. Hamas? What did we expect after the incompetence and corruption of Fatah and Arafat? What were the alternatives for the Palestinians? What's needed is a pragmatic Mussolini.

12:37 AM  
Anonymous Health Blog said...

What these election results declare loud and clear
is that the Palestinians intend to make their
national dream Israel's worst nightmare.

12:19 AM  

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