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Monday, April 11, 2011

Wikileaks: Israel 'doomed' if Hamas wins elections

A cable released by Wikileaks reports that then-political-military bureau head Amos Gilad warned the Americans in September 2005 that Hamas would win the January 2006 elections and that Israel was 'doomed' if that happened.
Many in Israel's political and military establishments did not appreciate the historic significance of the elections. This apathy could also be explained by Israel's desire to not appear as if it opposed the Palestinians' decision to act according to democratic principles. Indeed, any local official criticizing the move could have been seen as criticizing the Bush administration and its preaching for "democratization" everywhere, especially in the Mideast.

Gilad, then head of the political-military bureau in the Defense Ministry, is quoted as saying he was sure the elections would be free, but that they would not result in democracy, as PA President Mahmoud Abbas had already announced he would never dismantle the terrorist infrastructure.

Gilad told Dibble that Hamas hoped to replace Abbas: "First they will win 40 percent of the votes. This will give them a good showing, but will not saddle them with responsibility," he said. "They will offer anything to win votes, and then they will take over the municipalities. They have a plan to take over Nablus and all the jobs it will offer. This will give them incredible power. Then they'll prepare the Palestinian street so that their frustration will erupt."

The cable said that Gilad admitted he was not sure if the Israeli government had given adequate attention to the elections and their implications, and he went as far as to say that, "We are doomed if Hamas becomes a real power and part of political life, especially as the PA continues to be helpless."
And in the end, Hamas did even better than Gilad expected. What could go wrong?

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