Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Hamas wins Palestinian Authority election; chaos to ensue

BBC, CNN

Well, this is a lovely state of affairs. Known and acknowledged terrorists who hold as their primary principle that Israel should be pushed into the sea and not dealt with as a sovereign nation are now in charge of the Palestinian territories. Hamas, the organization best known in the West for blowing the hell out of Israeli civilians, has won parliamentary elections in the Palestinian Authority, exceeding all expectations (including their own, I gather) and gaining a majority government instead of the expected strong minority and coalition government. (For those not familiar with proportional representation in parliamentary systems, and hence the concept of coalition government, click here.)

To be fair to the Palestinian voters, Hamas is also known within the Palestinian territories as a provider of several social services, and the votes of many were influenced more by opposition to the corruption of the former ruling party, Fatah, than for any particular support for Hamas, but they are still a terrorist organization that Israel (rightly) will not negotiate with until they fundamentally change their charter and methods, and hence the election results will destroy any attempt to move the peace process forward. In fact, this puts Hamas in the interesting position of being a ruling government engaged in multiple acts of war against Israel; if Hamas' armed wing continues terrorist operations after the Hamas-led government takes power (as I have very little doubt they will), then Israel would have every right to consider such activities as acts of war and respond accordingly. "Accordingly" involves declaring war on the Palestinian Authority, with all of the actions that such a declaration entails. In short, the West Bank and Gaza would be completely occupied again in a remarkable hurry should the most likely scenario play out.

Some pundits, reporters, and world leaders have expressed the possibility, even the expectation that Hamas might change it's ways now that it has gained legitimate power. And pigs might sprout wings and fly tomorrow. Hamas leaders have stated that they will not alter their positions one whit from their extremist stance that precludes negotiation with, or even the existence of, Israel; nor will they renounce terror tactics.

I wish the very best for all involved in this, but I cannot help but think that the Middle East is in for yet another war.

1 comment:

Wired Grenadier said...

Well, how do they say? The Palestinians never miss the opportunity to miss an opportunity.

Even under a socialist Israelis government, Israel is unlikely to cave in to them.