A New Palestinian Legislature

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"The latest surveys show HAMAS, which obtained major success in the local elections against the group, al-Fatah, lead by President Mahmoud Abbas, will get more than one third of the votes in this election and become an important political power.

According to the latest public survey conducted by Ramallah-based Palestine Politics and Research Center, 42 percent of voters intend to vote for the Fatah and 35 percent for HAMAS.

It is also claimed the Islamic Resistance Movement emerge victorious in the elections.

Authorities said the election is like a test that forces the Movement, a body that has previously supported the use of force against Israel, to make a choice between "politics and weapons." Zaman Online

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"Something Wicked This Way Comes" was the title of an earlier post on the rise to political power of Islamist groups across the Middle East.  Tomorrow we will see another instance of this coming to pass.  Hizballah in Lebanon was said to be in a "state of transition" from armed struggle to political participation…  Well, they have effectively walked away from their role in Lebanon’s government rather than even discuss seriously the idea of giving up their weapons.  They stand on the  sidelines of the US "Greater Middle East" project ensuring that Syria and Iran know that they have friends and allies in south Lebanon backing up their decisions.

Tomorrow the Palestinians will elect a legislature.  There will be a large role in that body for HAMAS.  Will Israel deal directly with HAMAS cabinet ministers?  They say no, they will not.  Will HAMAS government officials deal sirectly with Israeli government officials?  They say no, but they might communicate with them through intermediaries.

Not very promising. 

Pat Lang

http://www.zaman.com/?bl=international&alt=&trh=20060124&hn=28987

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamas

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3 Responses to A New Palestinian Legislature

  1. John Howley says:

    It seems to me that the United States and Israel have been campaigning quite actively for Hamas votes by loudly denouncing Hamas and by funding the PA incumbents. If they (we) were really worried about Hamas winning too many votes, we would have kept our mouths shut. After all, the majority of Palestinians believe that Israel and the U.S. are the main cause of the misery their families enjoy (I know I would if I were a Palestinian). If Washington and Tel Aviv insist that Hamas is dangerous, then they must be doing something right (in addition to providing services where the corrupt Fatah has failed). What am I missing here, Col.?

  2. W. Patrick Lang says:

    John
    We are not as smart as you give us credit for. pl

  3. Rider says:

    Uri Avnery made this point in an article yesterday about Hamas and the elections:
    “Hamas’ presence in the next Palestinian government is not a reason to reject peace negotiations. On the contrary, it is a compelling reason for starting them at long last. It would mean that we negotiate with the entire Palestinian spectrum (excluding only the small Islamic Jihad organization). If Hamas joins the government on the basis of Mahmoud Abbas’ peace policy, it is manifestly ripe for negotiations, with or without arms, based on a hudnah (truce).”
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0601/S00178.htm

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