Landslide Victory for Hamas
Hamas celebrates (AFP photo via L'Orient-Le Jour)
The lack of either leadership or statesmanship from the Bush Admininstration in this hour of setback is embarrasing. Other nations, perhaps not as free or wealthy as the United States, are lucky enough have one or both.
Hamid Karzai: "If the Palestinian people have expressed their will in electing Hamas, then we must give Hamas a chance."
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov: "Russia will respect, as always, the democratic choice of the Palestinian people. It is important to us that all those who participated in the Palestinian democratic process remain faithful to peaceful national aspirations of the Palestinian people."
Pervez Musharraf: "We shall leave the door open, including to Hamas. I don't believe we should shut the door on relations. I think we should base our actions in reality. If Hamas has won, then we cannot go into denial."
Amos Luzzatto, Chief Rabbi of the Italian Jewish Community: "Let us hope that the victory pushes Hamas in a different direction from that which it has followed in the past. Hamas has won and everyone must respect the verdit of the ballot box."
And last, the Muslim Brotherhood. "The victory at the polls by Hamas shows the desire of the Arab nation to turn towards Islam." [At least the statement doesn't make me want to strangle them].
Well, what did Washington expect? Look at this year of headlines. What kind of people in their right mind were going to vote for Fatah?
25 January 2006: The Palestinian Authority is bankrupt.
6 January 2006. Rivalry among Fatah factions causes the Palestinian Authority to disintegrate.
22 December 2005: The Road Map is hopelessly mired down.
11 November 2005: After Arafat, Year One. Mission impossible.
30 September 2005: Hamas earned its popularity during the Second Intifada while Fatah was discredited by ineffectiveness and corruption.
16 September 2005: George Bush and Ariel Sharon agree to freeze the Road Map after the evacuation from Gaza [That's the best reason to vote Hamas right there--Nur]
8 September 2005: Mussa Arafat, former Security Chief, assassinated.
29 August 2005: 8500 settlers abandon the Gaza Strip; 12,000 illegally settle on the West Bank.
06 May 2005: Washington’s insistence on disarming Hamas actually serves the cause of the militants. Meanwhile, Fatah’s bad image will cost them most of their seats in the legislative elections.
But the worst of demagoguery and fear-mongering was a claim by Israeli Ambassador Dore Gold, President of The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs: Hamas will now link up with al-Qaeda.