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Friday, January 27, 2006

Palestinians have spoken

What's amazing about this article is that the writer is a known leftist....

Palestinians have spoken

The Palestinian people have spoken and their voice has been heard. No, the results did not surprise me; I have been speaking about a 55 percent Hamas victory for several weeks. The handwriting was on the walls, but the pollsters and the analysts failed to see it. The majority of Palestinians chose Hamas not only as a protest vote against the corruption of Fatah and the PA, as many Palestinians will tell us.

The people also voted for Hamas because of its political agenda, and the Hamas won because most Palestinians share the belief that the negotiated process based on Oslo was not only bad for Israel, it was perhaps, even worse for Palestinians.

The al-Aqsa intifada received wide public support at its outset from a public that was deeply influenced by the unilateral Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon. In the eyes of Palestinians, 2000 Hizbullah guerillas forced the great and mighty army of Israel to run from southern Lebanon with its tail between its legs. [This is the first time I can recall hearing a leftist admit this. CiJ]

Likewise, in the eyes of a large majority of Palestinians, Israel evacuated Gaza to the last grain of sand as a result of Hamas’ hitting of Israel inside and outside of Gaza. Israel left Gaza not as a result of a peace process, not as a result of negotiations, not as part of a decision to empower Mahmoud Abbas and his moderate regime. The rise of Hamas is the result of the faulty policies of both Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

The election of Hamas put the final nail in the coffin of the peace process. The only remaining elements of the peace process – the Paris economic protocol under which Israel collects VAT and Customs tariffs and transfers them to the PA treasury will now end. The Road Map for peace is also dead.

Many people are suggesting that Hamas will go through a period of reform and change (as the name of the political party under which they ran suggests).

It is true that Hamas may become more moderate and more practical. Hamas may eventually adopt a position that would allow it to enter into some kind of negotiations with Israel, however, I assess that this is a process that will take years, not days.

Last week Hamas leader in exile, Khaled Mashal met with Iranian President Ahmadinejad; they didn’t only discuss the rising costs of a barrel of oil, they also discussed how much of those windfall profits would be pumped into the Palestinian economy. The Hamas government of the Palestinian Authority will not be intimidated by US and EU threats to stop financial support. Iran’s millions of barrels of oil everyday being pumped and sold all over the world will provide the Palestinian Authority with the ability to withstand any international boycott.


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