Palestinian election, Hamas claims early victory - U2 Feedback

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Old 01-26-2006, 10:17 AM   #1
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Palestinian election, Hamas claims early victory

Official results are not yet in but Hamas, considered my most to be a terrorist organization is claiming victory in the election. Interesting development, especially since it was a democratic vote putting them in power. Even if they don't win, they will have tremendous political influence in the government. Hang on to your socks, just when you thought the Middle East couldn't get more destabilized.
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Old 01-26-2006, 10:19 AM   #2
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wait ... isn't freedom on the March?

i get so confused sometimes ...
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Old 01-26-2006, 10:21 AM   #3
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I'm curious as to how the US handles this outcome since they will not acknowledge Hamas but if they are the governing power of the Palestinians in a democratic election,well, jeez, it is awfully confusing.

They campaigned on eradicating corruption and restoring law in the region as opposed to focusing on the destruction of Israel.
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Old 01-26-2006, 10:30 AM   #4
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Ambivalent pessimism from USA Today...
Quote:
Election will encourage Israel's go-it-alone approach
JERUSALEM (AP) — Hamas' apparent victory in Palestinian parliamentary elections has dramatically shaken up the political landscape of the Middle East, elevating Islamic militants who call for Israel's destruction and most likely encouraging Israel's go-it-alone approach to Mideast peacemaking.
It also raised questions about the U.S. policy of promoting democracy in the Middle East. Although Wednesday's vote was an exemplary exercise in democracy, with far fewer disruptions than expected and extraordinarily high turnout, rejectionists won the day.

Leaders of both Hamas and the ruling Fatah Party said Thursday that Hamas won an outright majority of parliamentary seats, though official results were not yet available. The Islamists, capitalizing on widespread discontent with Fatah's corruption and ineffectiveness, now have a right to form the next Palestinian government, though it was not clear if they would choose to do so.

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, a moderate, will remain head of the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization, which is responsible for dealings with Israel.
But Hamas is sure to take a leading role in Palestinian decision-making and the initial statements from Hamas leaders were not promising for peace. Mushir al-Masri, a senior Hamas official, said recognizing Israel and negotiating with it are "not on our agenda."

However, al-Masri also suggested Hamas would be willing to join a coalition with Abbas and Fatah, and several Hamas officials said before the vote that they would not seek to tie Abbas' hands in future dealings with Israel.

A day before the balloting, acting Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert hinted that more unilateral moves — such as last summer's Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip — could be in store if Israel feels there is no Palestinian leadership to talk to.

The apparent Hamas victory "will weaken those in Israel or elsewhere who think we have a partner to negotiate with and it will strengthen those who don't think so, which means it will strengthen the inclination to either go it alone with more unilateralism or do nothing," said Israeli political analyst Yossi Alpher.

Olmert, who took over as acting prime minister after Sharon suffered a devastating stroke on Jan. 4, is the front-runner in March 28 elections. But Hamas' legislative showing could hurt the electoral prospects of Olmert's centrist Kadima party, formed by Sharon in November to free his hands to pursue a peace deal with the Palestinians.

Whether peacemaking with Israel can go forward will now largely depend on whether Hamas joins Fatah in the government, and whether it will abandon the violent ideology that underpinned the dozens of suicide bombings it carried out against Israel before a cease-fire was declared a year ago.

Both Israel and the United States have declared Hamas a terrorist group and refuse to deal with it. But a more nuanced policy now appears possible, with Israelis already debating whether it would be wiser to engage Hamas and a U.S. official refusing to rule out negotiations with a Palestinian government that includes Hamas.

Alpher said misguided U.S. foreign policy is largely to blame for the political rise of Islamists in several places, including Iraq, Lebanon and now the Palestinian territories. "President Bush's democracy push is one of the primary factors that is responsible for what has happened because he has chosen to ignore the contradiction between electoral democracy which he's sponsoring and allowing armed Islamic movements to run."
....and pessimistic ambivalence from Ha'aretz...
Quote:
Arab world jubliant at 'earthquake' of Hamas victory
BEIRUT - The victory of Hamas in the elections for the Palestinian Legislative Council was greeted with jubilation Thursday across the Muslim world.

State-run radio in Iran opened its afternoon news broadcast with the report of Hamas' victory, saying the vote showed that Palestinians support resistance against Israel. Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad met Hamas and other militant leaders in Damascus last week, though the Islamic cleric-run regime insists it only gives the groups moral support.

But while Hamas' victory proved the group's popularity over the ruling Fatah party, the win also could backfire on the militant group, some analysts said. "Hamas' role was greatly respected and embraced because it was a resistance movement," Sami Moubayed, a Syrian analyst, told the Associated Press. "Now, they will naturally be prone to fail like any other movement that entered the political arena, because they will have a very hard time to deliver on their promises."
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Old 01-26-2006, 03:17 PM   #5
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Democracy's a bitch, ain't it.
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Old 01-26-2006, 03:26 PM   #6
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It certainly didn't work out too well in Germany or Italy on the first run.
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Old 01-26-2006, 03:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Alpher said misguided U.S. foreign policy is largely to blame for the political rise of Islamists in several places, including Iraq, Lebanon and now the Palestinian territories. "President Bush's democracy push is one of the primary factors that is responsible for what has happened because he has chosen to ignore the contradiction between electoral democracy which he's sponsoring and allowing armed Islamic movements to run."
Ain't that the truth...
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Old 01-26-2006, 05:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by trevster2k
I'm curious as to how the US handles this outcome since they will not acknowledge Hamas but if they are the governing power of the Palestinians in a democratic election,well, jeez, it is awfully confusing.
I think Bush won't talk with them until they retract that Israel position. I also heard a theory that bringing Hamas into the political process will supposedly make them less likely and more responsible......
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Old 01-26-2006, 06:41 PM   #9
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CNN is declaring that Hamas won a "landslide" victory. This is interesting. Is this a victory for extremists, or for democracy? Hamas isn't going to change its position on Israel. But maybe being drawn into the political process will change them in some way.
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Old 01-26-2006, 06:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by verte76
Is this a victory for extremists, or for democracy?
Or both?
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Old 01-26-2006, 06:55 PM   #11
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I'm glad to hear that Canada's new prime minister elect, Stephen Harper, has already publicaly stated that his government would not recognize Hamas.
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Old 01-26-2006, 06:57 PM   #12
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I swear to God, you're on his payroll.
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Old 01-26-2006, 07:38 PM   #13
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Democracy encourages people to get the government that they deserve, honest bastards who wish to destroy the state of Israel and enforce Islamic law on their population.

Incidently the campaigning in Jerusalem issue before the elections was a violation of the Oslo Accords, a little factoid neglected by most reportage on the matter.

to the security barrier

to a Palestinian state that can't export it's problems.
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Old 01-26-2006, 07:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by phanan


Ain't that the truth...
Very reactionary position really.

Democracy is dangerous in the short term, but if preserved in the long term it can yield success. Although in Iraq the religious parties do not have an outright majority and the balance of power rests on the shoulders of secular parties.

If Hamas abuses it's new found position then the cautionary tale of the Palestinians may help other fledgling states.
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Old 01-26-2006, 07:47 PM   #15
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So Democracy is good so long as it suits us?

I work with mostly Israeli Jews. I was talking to one of them today (an MD here on a fellowship, about to return to Tel Aviv in a year) and he said he feels that it is largely the fault of the Israeli government for not working better with the previous Palestinian leader, and not empowering him more, but continuing to ignore the Palestinian political factions.
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