Friday, January 27, 2006

Hamas Wins in Landslide

OK, it’s late, and it’s really way past time to crash. But all day, I’ve been thinking about the Hamas victory, what it means, and what my perspective is on the whole election. So, I figure I should share my thoughts on the subject before hitting the sack. If they piss you off, my deepest apologies, but you’ll be screaming at my pillow for the time being, but I promise I’ll respond in the morning.

First off, yesterday was really interesting the way the whole election unfolded. First, exist polls were saying that Fatah had a clear victory in the election, though not a majority. After a few hours, Fatah still had a victory, but a narrow victory. Then we had the first indications that Hamas had pulled of the narrow victory, hours before we found out that Hamas had actually won in a landslide, taking 76 of 132 seats, a clear majority which means there is no need or a coalition.

Does it seem like the world was trying to make a last ditch effort to give the election to Fatah? It seemed like the news was geared to increase confidence in Fatah, but it backfired, pushing Palestinians to the polls in record numbers as they thought their votes were needed to bring a party into power that would negotiate an equitable deal for the Palestinian people.

I do believe that Hamas is in power to negotiate for the Palestinian people, and that Hamas will represent the Palestinian will better than Fatah, who’s lack of authority and representation of the general will was reflected in the chaos in Gaza over the past couple months. But I also think that Hamas will be willing to use terror, either directly or indirectly, as a bargaining chip, and that will make it difficult for the US and Israel to negotiate with the Palestinian government.

But it is imperative that all parties do negotiate with Hamas. We are now negotiating with an organization that really has the power to both speak for the Palestinian people and to curb (or increase) terror. I’m sure that Palestine will experience some negative consequences for choosing a terrorist government, and maybe that will influence future elections. But this is the government that Palestine wants to speak for them, and we need to respect their will and speak with their chosen representatives.

Posted by Scottage at 2:18 AM / | |