Something else to worry me.
January 26, 2006
In the Jerusalem Post today, Binyamin Netanyahu described the Hamas win in the Palestinian elections the establishment of a Hamastan. I don’t think that the disaster here is that a terrorist organization has achieved a majority position in the Palestinian government; Arafat’s PLO had its roots in Black September and Arafat advocated the destruction of Israel through 1988… and a new intifada in 2000. The real disaster here is that a terrorist group was democratically elected. Bush has maintained the position that free people will elect leaders friendly to the Western world that don’t like blowing things up. Unfortunately, that assumption is incorrect in this situation. In fact, some of the news reports that I have heard today suggest that even Hamas did not expect to win a majority. My gut feeling is that a say in government will cause Hamas to be somewhat more pragmatic, but it’s going to be a real-time experiment. It may be harder for Hamas to be rebellious now that they are an authority figure with responsibility for real people who elected them. If they kill Israelis, they can expect a full scale war from the neighboring Israeli government. I’m still suspicious that the Gaza withdrawal was a huge concession to allow an excuse for a crushing, definitive strike on Palestine if bombings resume. But I’m more worried about a potential nuclear exchange between Israel and Iran. Unlike Iran, I don’t think we will have to worry about Hamas seeking WMDs to let loose in their own backyard. After all, Hamastan is at stake now. I’ll be in Jerusalem in March, so I’ll let y’all know what I hear from the folks there.
This post is now linked to Mudville Gazette via their Open Post.