Hamas wins

Hamas wins in the PA election.

Predictions? Comments?

My WAG is that it is bad. But it leaves Israel a clear path. Finish that fence quickly and seal the PA out as well as you can as quickly as you can.

This is a time for the international community to pull together and demand disarmament and renunciation of violence.

However, my worry is that the US will refuse to deal, while the EU will accept some compromises, leading to further transatlantic strain.

The US conservatives of course will take a polarised view: see, this proves that the Palestinians as a people are not worthy of consideration in any treaties.

Israel will clam right up, with just cause. And according to the radio here, Israel can withold tax revenues that it collects on behalf of the PA (didn’t know that!). Hamas taking power => PA meltdown.

Very bad result indeed, and it’s going to make people wish for the days of Arafat…

The message of the Northern Irish peace process comes through clearly: eventually you have to negotiate with the actual terrorists themselves. (Martin McGuinness became minister for education in the devolved government).

Without negotiation (at the very least on the path of any separation wall), the bombs, rockets and atrocities will not stop no matter how appalling we all say they are.

Beat me to it. By negotiating, (which does not mean ‘surrender’ and there is no way HAMAS can win militarily) you attempt to, in the long haul split your opponent and isolate the hard core from those who are belatedly forced to accept they cannot gain anything by military means. At the same time you try and not create more radicals by your own actions, no matter how tempting the short term gains if they go against your long-term interest.

That’s how the UK dealt with the IRA.

I predict tight discipline amongst Zionists, referring to the concrete, barbed wire and stanchions barrier as a ‘fence.’

I also agree with SentientMeat. You don’t have to make peace with your friends.

The Palestinian people as a whole have spoken, and their endorsement or acceptance for the destruction of Israel rings loud and clear. This is the biggest disaster for the world that I have ever witnessed and for the first time I see little hope for the future of the world whatsoever.

This people have endured decades of violent strife and insecurity, yet their hatred of Israel runs so deep they are willing to give up any chance for prosperity and peace.

Watch for the Likud to make a comeback. Watch for Israel completely unrestrained to retaliate devastatingly for every attack. Watch for Israel to complete that fence.

And as the violence increases and the non-Islamic world community remains powerless to influence Hamas, watch for an explosive unrelenting increase in Islamic terrorism, and the fall of moderate governments in the Islamic world.

Armageddon is coming.

I didn’t forsee this election result. Earlier I mentioned that I had little hope for the future of the world. My only hope is that I’m wrong.

See! I win already.

In other news, I trust the people on the ground to make the best assessment of who can work for their best interests.

Prone to overstatements and wild exaggerations, are you?

The Palestinian election of Hamas had more to do with the endemic corruption of Fatah and that party’s infighting in the weeks leading up to the election. Hamas has a reputation for honesty and for actually getting things done that improve the lives of the people - building schools, providing humanitarian aid, building hospitals, etc. The Israelis didn’t help with their ham-handed attempts to hinder Hamas’ election, either.

That’s silly. It’s not like Fatah was bringing them prosperity.

Because, of course, Israel wasn’t going to complete the fence if Fatah won and they had shown so much restraint in the past.

Don’t be ridiculous. Hamas’ election will likely result in moderating their actions, although possibly not their words. The Palestinians do not want Israeli retaliatory strikes and popular support for Hamas will quickly erode if they attempt to a) implement a strict Sharia code of law or b) use their election to step up attacks against Israel that derails the progress made so far.

I really don’t think this pessimism is justified. Yes, the headline result is a shock, but really it’s not a surprise at all. Fatah have been singularly incompetent at delivering basic governance to ordinary Palestinians, and it’s on this issue as much as anything else that Hamas’s political wing appear to have won this election. From the Economist’s recent article (bolding mine):

So, rather than seeing this as a radicalisation of Palestinian politics, it’s quite plausible to see it as a radical change (if you will) of Hamas’s position. They haven’t campaigned on a terror ballot (and remember that Fatah has its own militant wing), they’ve campaigned on domestic issues, as one would expect any real, successful political party to do.

Undoubtedly, their sudden leap into the mainstream makes accepting them as a political rather than terrorist entity that much more difficult; Sinn Fein’s transition has by contrast been much more gradual, and unlike in this case, they always maintained at least a cursory fiction that they were separate from the IRA. However, this is how terrorism is stopped; by allowing people on the terrorists’ own side to draw them away from violence, into the political process. It certainly remains to be seen whether Hamas are willing to renounce violence to enable political legitimacy, but if the international community refuse to talk to them, it would seem to guarantee that they won’t.

There are two questions: are they willing to stop being terrorists, and equally importantly, are we willing to let them? Initial words from the USA and UK are as they should be; now must be the moment for Hamas to renounce violence. The fact that they have not put a commitment to violence in their manifesto must be considered at least slightly encouraging. Don’t give up hope just yet…

Melodramatic or what? I remember a big Newsweek (or time) article from the time of the first Infitada about how Israel was promoting a little known group called HAMAS to undermine the PLO and how some analysts were worried that encouraging any fundamentalist organisation might bite them in the ass one day.

Wiki on Hamas

It has been said of the Palestinian people that they never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. They’ve done it again. Had they elected a moderate government that was interested in building an actual state with a functioning economy, they could have had billions in economic aid and the help of everyone including Israel to lift themselves out of their despair. Instead, they endorsed violence and the destruction of Israel.

The IRA analogy isn’t a good one. The IRA could be negotiated with because in the end, they had reasonable demands and were fully willing to re-enter society if those demands were met. Hamas? Not so much. How do you negotiate with Hamas? What can you possibly offer them that would lead to a peaceful future?

You class the uniting of Ireland into one socialist state by force a ‘reasonable’ demand do you?

The advantage to all this is that Hamas now has a formal mailing address. Any further terrorist acts should be viewed as an act of war and dealt with accordingly.

Yeah, I do wonder with those that look back and claim the IRA had reasonable demands while Islamic terrorists don’t. Hell, the whole ‘uniting of Ireland’ even by negotiation wasn’t going to happen.

Palestinians chose the group that would make the most progress in the domestic sphere. I don’t think foriegn policy was even an issue here.

The problem is the US’s “plan”. By pushing democracy in Palestine, this result should have been considered. The US pushed democracy and then said if the other party wins we’ll take our aid and go home. We set this up and if things go in the shitter, it’ll be because we are so focused on democratizing the ME no matter what, IMO.

You show a fundamental lack of understanding of the situation over there. You should read the articles in various foreign policy magazines. I would also recomment the articles that The Economist has run on the elections as well. The Palestinians essentially had a choice between a fundamentally corrupt party (Fatah) that had shown itself time and again to be unable to govern effectively either domestically or with regards to foreign policy. This party was also prone to in-fighting and constant power plays - usually to the detriment of the regular people.

On the other hand, they had a party that has shown itself capable of getting things done, like building good schools and hospitals, providing assistance to people who need it, etc. This party also has a reputation for cohesiveness and thorough honesty. Not only that, but they ran on a platform that had plans on how to build infrastructure and actually addressed the concerns of the average voter. Note that they did not run on a platform that advocated the complete destruction of Israel.

I don’t see how Hamas’ demands are that much more unreasonable than the IRA’s. The IRA demanded nothing short of Northern Ireland being unified with the rest of the island. I have little doubt that if Israel offered a completely independent West Bank and Gaza, along with a highway/railway connecting the two, plus independent control of their borders (a true two-state solution) along the Green Line, they would take it.

It is my understanding that the total destruction of Israel is explicitly stated as a goal in Hamas’ charter. Running terribly late so I can’t find a cite right now, but I wanted to put that out there. I fear the deeply rooted rascism and hatred of Jews and Israel inherent in the organization, which is something that can’t be resolved with political negotiations.

With regard to the IRA anology, keep in mind that the IRA never sought to expel the protestants.

If any one thinks that there is still a possiblity for peace consider this. Do you think the insurgents in Iraq or the Taliban in Afghanistan will quit as long as the US is in their countries? Israeli citizens and their protecting army are foreign occupiers in Arab land. The US can get out, but there is no escape for Israeli citizens.

Hamas has a reputation for honesty because they didn’t have much of a budget.

Overall I think the irony of ME Democracy blowing up on the US’s face is quite hard to resist. I feel the US will make itself a villain if they do not at least in part recognize the results of the election. Basically admitting that Democracy is only a effect word they don’t really care about.

I kind of agree with Sam Stone that the palestinians always miss a chance… but then they aren’t given many chances. So they chose Hamas.

To the pessimists I say this… either Hamas will get its act together… or it will crumble. There is nothing like being in power to corrupt, create internal strife and to lose popularity. Naturally some of the more extreme elements will leave to create more explosive sects and factions.

Re-read this.