|Hamas supporters take part in a rally celebrating the results of the Palestinian parliamentary elections.|
In one of the most free and fair elections in the Arab world, and with a remarkably high turnout, Palestinian voters altered the political map of the Middle East. The result of their democratic undertaking is that Hamas will soon begin the task of forming a new Palestinian government. This political earthquake, while no less stunning, has been a long time in the making. For years, there has been growing discontent among Palestinians with Fatah's corrupt and ineffective governance. In going to the polls, many voters were expressing their frustration with the ruling party's failure to deliver peace, implement reforms, improve living conditions or free the Palestinians from their shackles of poverty and unemployment. By casting votes for Hamas, many voters were hitting back at Fatah for its failures, rather than expressing their support for the Islamist party.
Hamas came to power largely because it was able to capitalize on the weaknesses of Fatah. Ironically, many of these weaknesses were the result of Israel's efforts to undermine the authority of former President Yasser Arafat. Israel's campaign to isolate and marginalize Arafat and empower then-Prime Minister Ahmad Qorei served to weaken the Palestinian Authority and the office of the presidency. The efforts to render Arafat politically impotent contributed to the rise of a powerful alternative party, which now, with a weakened presidency, will have even greater authority in government.
Many analysts are expressing fears that Hamas' victory will deal a fatal blow to the peace process. But while Hamas has a history of rocket attacks and suicide bombings, it is not an organization of raving madmen. Overtaking a huge machine like Fatah on the narrow political roads and alleyways of Gaza and the West Bank required adventurism, and like many political adventurers, Hamas turned to brinkmanship. But this does not mean that the party is confined to this role. In fact, during the past year the militant arm of the party has demonstrated considerable pragmatism and self-restraint. And despite provocation, Hamas has remained committed to a cease-fire with Israel since last February.
It is impossible to predict how Hamas will behave in the future. Now that they are in a position of authority, rather than opponents of the ruling regime, their behavior is likely to change. Hamas will be forced to respond to its constituents, the majority of whom want peace and prosperity. For the past few years, Hamas officials have done well at governing at the municipal level, and have earned a reputation for honesty and integrity in governance. But running a municipality is worlds away from operating at the national level, where Hamas will have to deal with Israel, which still holds the keys to improving Palestinians' living conditions.
The elections mark a new beginning, one in which Hamas will take another step in its transformation from a popular liberation movement into a legitimate political party. It is a fresh start - both for the party and for the Palestinians - and marks the beginning of a new reality on the ground. The sooner Israelis, Americans and Europeans accept this reality, the sooner we can move toward resolving differences, and avoiding further conflagration.
government and it is up to the people, by
voting to choose there kind of political party. In
this case in Palestine they chose Hamas, and
good for them. If they wanted Hamas to lead
them in a majority vote no one or country
should stop them or have a conflict with them.
Isn't democracy to chose your represenatives
to lead you?
Yasser Arafat&PLO started with a different agenda.A national struggle when your odds of being noticed are minimal are usually bloody. PLO was shaped after the Syrian and especially the Iraqi Ba'ath party which most notorious character is presently on trial,Saddam Hussein. The agenda of these people is a form of secular socialism.A sort of Stalinism without the denial of God. However their members are not believers. It's just a political strategy.Those that believe can identify themselves with the Ba'ath or PLO because these organizations allow the belief in God.I don't need to explain to you where does a leadership with such anagenda lead to. Just look at former Iraq and Syria. Both were(Syria still is) autocratic dictatorships and a military threat to their neighbours. If you looked for a form of governace friendly to Israel you will not find it in ME, unless Turkey.
Hamas on the other hand, irregardless of their rhetorics and suicide missions is a revolution. I don't recall any revolution in history not to be bloody. The formation of modern France, Italy, Germany, Britain, USA and even Israel, all required bloodshed and their freedom fighters were viewed at a time as terrorists. As they took in office, things changed, so with IRA and Sin Fein. I am hopeful that hamas will pass through fundamental changes and will establish a reasonable political platform. There is a difference between aspiring and being achieved. I count on the Islamic aspect of hamas that would call for clearvoyance and legality in their actions as leaders. Islamic values are not different than the Judeo-Christian ones. However, the world is mainly secular and those values might be antagonistic Hamas. But I believe in the learning process.There are a lot of young Hamas very educated and who acquired their education in the west,I hope that they will use their life&academic experiences to forge a meaningful political aparatus.PLO on the other hand is decadent and corrupt.
What are the similarities and the differences. I would appreciate answers on these questions. Thank-you.
Its time to let those who truly love their country and know whats best; to govern it.
God Bless Palistien and its beautiful people and best of luck to the new and better govt to come.
World....watch out....this is democracy at its best and u will see Hamas in a differnt light, and see the oppressors (isreal) for who they are.
I am glad to see GW Bush plans derailed, however temporarily it is. What a laughing stock he is !! LOL
I am also glad that things are not going right for world's number one terrorist, GW Bush.