How ‘bout those Palestinian elections, huh! Hamas in a landslide! If you give the people a choice, you might not always like the outcome. It’s one of the drawbacks of democracy.
So the question now is do we still support democracy in principle, even when it does not produce the results that we want?
It really is unfortunate, though not surprising. Israel, through its hard-line stance in recent years, is as much to blame for Hamas’ political ascendency as Hamas was for the rise of the right-wing Likud Party. People have a tendency to get more militant the more they are attacked. It’s a vicious circle.
The prospects for peace would be much better if we had a Fatah-led coalition in Palestine and a Labor government in Jerusalem. Instead we have the two hard-line factions from boths sides in power and a virtual powder keg ready to go off in the Middle East. Is the Bush administration prepared to deal with this? Fat chance.
Let’s hope everybody will step back now and take a deep breath before everything is thrown into turmoil.