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Comments on Hamas Victory:
David hasn't opened comments (at least yet), but I am very interested to hear the comments of VC readers on the meaning of the Hamas victory. So comments are open. Please note that I will be extra vigilant about deleting comments that are not civil.
HankP (mail):
I think this is the fallacy of the Bush administration "spreading democracy everywhere" policy - what happens when the corrupt autocratic leaders are far less anti-American than the population? Elections in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, etc. would create governments that make the current leaders look like Tony Blair. Do we then stop all diplomatic contacts until they elect leaders we find acceptable? As Rumsfeld said, democracy is messy.
1.26.2006 12:17pm
Public_Defender:
The useful part of Sharon's disengagement plan is that it doesn't require a cooperative Palestinian Authority. If Hamas chooses to play ball, great, Israel can deal. If Hamas chooses to continue terror, not so great, but Israel can wall them off.

If and when Hamas changes its stripes, Israel can talk. Until then, Hamas can take responsibility for picking up Palestinian garbage and cleaning the streets on its side of the wall.
1.26.2006 12:22pm
Flydiveski:
It means the Hamas leadership is in a quandry. Much of their constituency wants armed conflict with Israel. They will have to control those elements of their constituency if they wish both to remain in leadership and preserve their "state". If they do not control the violence, Israel will move against them. If they do not molify the most violent, that group will revolt.

I would expect an internal bloodletting, together with an loud anti-Israel verbal stance by the Hamas government. After all, it's the first rule of the post-revolution - after you win, you must eliminate the revolutionaries. Revolutionaries are idealists and will rebel against the compromises necessary to govern effectively. And the loud anti-Israel talking will provide political cover with the rest of Hamas' constituency. Of course, I'm probably wrong.
1.26.2006 12:32pm
Commenterlein (mail):
David Bernstein writes "I can't see any reason why Israel wouldn't be perfectly within its rights to destroy all PA government buildings, given that they are now the assets of a terrorist group that demands Israel's destruction."

Depending on your definition of "rights" this may be a correct statement or not, but it seems obvious that doing so what also be incredibly stupid and counterproductive. What legitimate Israeli security concern would be served by bombing PA government buildings and killing lots of people? The likelihood of attacks on Israel would inevitably increase as a direct result from such action, and the likelihood of a peace agreement decrease.

More generally speaking, I agree with Public Defender above - I pretty much expect Hamas to screw up their running of the PA about as badly as Fattah did, and their public support to decrease massively as a result. All we need then are a new generation of Palestinian politicians who are neither terrorists nor thieves.
1.26.2006 12:33pm
Jeremy Suttenberg (mail):
I agree with HankP that the Hamas election demonstrates the complications that a foreign policy promoting unfettered democracy can bring. It directly reminds me of Fareed Zakaria's observation in The Future of Freedom that if elections were held in Saudi Arabia, Osama bin Laden would stand a good chance of winning. Zakaria proceeds to argue that instead of trying to achieve democracy in the Middle East, we should strive for "constitutional liberalism" or something to that effect - which, from my recollection, seemed to be autocratic rule with some constitutional limits. I think the fact that the Palestenians voted for Hamas, an anti-democratic group to say the least, lends some empircal support to Zakaria's thesis that democracy can lead to very illiberal results.
1.26.2006 12:36pm
Bobbie:
I'm in total agreement with HankP; Bush's argument that democracy per se is a good thing looks more and more foolish. I don't see how this election can be a good thing for the civilized world. One thing is for certain though: innocent civilians in Israel and Palestine are going to pay the price.
1.26.2006 12:36pm
duneclimb:
David Bernstein and Commenterlein are both quite correct. The election results confirm that most Palestinians have no interest in peaceful resolution of their disputes with Israel. The results also make clear the flaw with Bush's oft-proclaimed reason for supporting free elections in the Mideast -- that democratically elected leaders don't make war on other democracies. I guess there must be an exception where the voters are virulent anti-Semites.
1.26.2006 12:43pm
Adrian (mail):
This doesn't help with the issue of What To Do With Hamas when they're in charge, but when judging the "attitude of the Palestinians" remember that voting for Hamas is not the same as joining it.

Voting for Hamas just means Hamas was seen as the better of the realistic options. And the other realistic option was a corrupt and feckless incumbent that had power only because of loyalty to Arafat (he of the PLO era, not the wreck in Ramallah). Although from an external point of view the most salient characteristic of Hamas is its violence, internally its salient characteristics include providing effective social welfare and not being Fatah, as well as, of course, violence.
1.26.2006 12:44pm
Jay C (mail):
Well, it should be obvious at this point in time that NOBODY knows exactly what is "likely" to happen in Palestine: Hamas' electoral victory seemingly having flustered and confounded every single pundit west of Jerusalem - but one thing is clear: the rules of the game have changed: and it is now (even more than before) incumbent on the Palestinians themselves to determine their own fate. Even if, as Flydiveski remarks above, "Much of their constituency wants armed conflict with Israel." time and events have arranged that such a conflict will provide even less return to the militant Palestinian rejectionists than ever before. And, however ideologically/politically warped Hamas' leadership might be, it is too long a shot to assume they are stupid, and blind, as well.
1.26.2006 12:47pm
Matt Tievsky (mail):
Is Hamas, in fact, anti-democratic? I'm not doubtful, I just would like some information on their stance towards democracy in general.
1.26.2006 12:47pm
elektratig:
I don't think there is any necessary contradiction between encouraging democracy and reserving the right to refuse to deal with, sanction or even attack the governments that it creates if those governments commit or threaten to commit hostile acts. Past policy that encouraged or acquiesced in the repression of democracy resulted in pent-up hostility, witness for example the Shah-to-Khomeini debacle. Democracy is a mess, but can it produce any worse results? I doubt it. At least the cards are on the table, and the electorate is accountable for its choice.

As for Hamas, I'm in full agreement with Public Defender. I thought Sharon's withdrawal from Gaza was correct for precisely this reason. A wise Israel would complete the wall ASAP, ignore the Authority day-to-day, and strike swiftly and harshly in response to terror. The US and the "international community" should likewise ignore the Authority and, crucially, immediately cease all funding.
1.26.2006 12:48pm
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):
I think this is the fallacy of the Bush administration "spreading democracy everywhere" policy - what happens when the corrupt autocratic leaders are far less anti-American than the population?


A better question might be, what happens when the corrupt autocratic leaders that were seen as "pro American" either step down or are removed from power and all of the previous problems and atrocities are blamed on America?

I think Public_Defender had it right. The Hamas government can either learn to play ball or they can take responsibility for all of the messy details of civic government like sanitation and road repair on their side of the wall.
1.26.2006 12:49pm
Shelby (mail):
Democracy-spreading is still the best policy, even if it does lead to illiberal governments. I don't want to see conservative theocrats running, say, Egypt, but I'd prefer it to another thirty years of the current system, which directs anger and frustration outward because there's no safe way for people to focus it on the government. If Iran were really a democracy, the mullahs and their lackeys would be out by now; the people there have largely had their fill of theocracy. Better to have governments that must serve their people; they'll have less time to cause problems for us.

Though I admit Israel's position might be different. The Middle East has become so poisoned that real responsiveness to popular will could lead a number of governments to more actively attack Israel.
1.26.2006 12:50pm
Craig Oren (mail):
I tried to post comments earlier, but managed to mess up. The one good thing is that these comments are shorter!

Hamas's leaders are quoted in Ha'aretz, a prominent Israeli newspaper, as saying that they are willing to continue the current truce. As long as this remains true, there seems no point in taking action against them.

Israel should be very reluctant to destroy Palestinian institutions. As Sharon recognized, it is important to the future of Israel as a Jewish state (Israel's raison d'etre) to maintain a Jewish majority. Hence it's necessary to give up Gaza and at least portions of the West Bank to the Palestinians. The more the Palestinians have institutions, the more feasible the partition.

A couple of other points to remember. First, this is not necessarily a vote by the Palestinians in favor of terror. There were lots of issues in the campaign, including Fatah's incredible record of corruption. Hamas has emphasized its desire for clean government.

Second, a Hamas victory may actually be good in the long run. Only Nixon, a fervent opponent of "Red China" could go to China; only Sharon, a strong supporter of settlements, could give up the Gaza settlements. Perhaps only Hamas, a militant foe of Israel, can credibly make peace on behalf of the Palestinians.

P.S. It's not worth getting into, but David's analogy to Hitler is wrong; Hitler's party never won a majority in the reichstag until *after* it had gotten into power and terrorized the opposition.
1.26.2006 12:55pm
Phil Kessel:
Ths is exactly the result when "democracy" is forced upon people who do not want it and may not need it. Now the American government is going to play both sides of the fence, stating that it refuses to deal with a Hamas leadership. Mahmoud Zahar, Hamas' vocal leader, has already offered to extend a year-long cease fire with Israel. If America really wants unfettered democracry, the will of the people to rule, in Palestine, then it needs to allow the Hamas government to form, and it should stop playing favorites.
1.26.2006 1:00pm
RHD (mail):
One of your commenters concludes from the Hamas win that "Bush's argument that democracy per se is a good thing looks more and more foolish," and many others echo that sentiment albeit phrased in more sober terms. Very odd misreading of events, it seems to me.

Democracy is a process, not a guarantee of sensible results. The same can be said of any political arrangements -- autocracy, dictatorship, you name it -- subject only to the caveat that democracy has more built-in incentives that lead more frequently to sensible results. The Hamas win shows that the Palestinians have yet to learn that the intifada is even more of a dead end (literally as well as figuratively) for them than it is for Israel. Bloody and violent events will undoubtedly now prove that fact once again, and again and again for as many times as it will take for the message to sink in. But it will sink in, for the simple reason that even the Palestinians won't continually sacrifice their children for nothnig.

For the Americans, the Hamas win underscores the necessity of refusing to deal with terrorists. The long, self-destructive dance with Arafat in the 1990s taught all the wrong lessons, and now the Palestinians have to unlearn them. (Some American politicians -- Carter comes to mind, as do the knee-jerk critics of the Bush Administration -- need to unlearn them as well.) Perhaps the riots in the Paris banlieus have taught the same hard lessons to the Europeans -- time will tell. For the Israelis, they now face two mortal enemies -- Hamas and Iran. Both must be defeated in the only manner that they seem to understand. Only then will a state of affairs worthy of the name "pease" be achievable.
1.26.2006 1:01pm
JohnAnnArbor:
Remember the old saying that the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. They'd have a state by now if they hadn't spent all the years since Oslo inciting their people to kill all the Jews and providing assistance towards that goal.
1.26.2006 1:01pm
John Thacker (mail):
A better question might be, what happens when the corrupt autocratic leaders that were seen as "pro American" either step down or are removed from power and all of the previous problems and atrocities are blamed on America?

And this is the quandry. Democracy is messy, certainly. But being legitimately accused of hypocrisy is a serious problem. The US is much more unpopular in the countries where we support "pro-American" dictators than in the countries where we oppose their dictators. In addition, radical Islamicists have proven unpopular everywhere they've tried to rule, including Iran and Afghanistan, but oppressing them has only made them more popular in opposition, especially when they have good complaints about corruption.

Democracy may be messy, but it is also the only possible long-term solution.
1.26.2006 1:02pm
Jeek:
What legitimate Israeli security concern would be served by bombing PA government buildings and killing lots of people?

Punishment of Hamas for actions against Israel. Such punishment is more likely to have a deterrent effect now that Hamas controls a state than when they were "merely" a terrorist group. States can be deterred - there is ample proof of this. Terrorist groups are much harder to deter.

It astonishes me that someone could contend that when state A authorizes lethal attacks against state B, then state B's lethal response against state A serves no "legitimate" or "useful" purpose.

The likelihood of attacks on Israel would inevitably increase as a direct result from such action, and the likelihood of a peace agreement decrease.

If Hamas attacks Israel and Israel responds with lethal force, it is hardly Israel that is "violating the peace agreement" or "decreasing the chance for a peace agreement". If Hamas wants peace, they should stop sending terrorists against Israel. If Hamas does not want peace, they should be shown that the consequences of this desire are severe. (You want war, you got it.)

I think it is interesting that Hamas - Iran's proxy - has come to power at a time when Israel is allegedly preparing a strike against Iran. Can Israel fight the near enemy and the far enemy at the same time?
1.26.2006 1:03pm
Ted Frank (www):
Hank is right in some cases, but there is a significant nit to pick: a free and fair election in Iran would produce a very pro-American and pro-secular government. The problem is the number of countries where elections would produce Islamist governments that would never allow another free and fair election precisely to avoid the problem the current Iranian government has.

With respect to Hamas, the question is whether they can successfully blame their own inevitable incompetence on Israel to maintain power, or whether the Palestinian people will grow up and face the reality of a Jewish state in the Middle East, and demand a political party that will produce peace, if only for the economic benefits thereof. I'm not optimistic: there are too many Arab interests that prefer the status quo, because it's convenient to divert popular anger at autocratic governments towards Israel.
1.26.2006 1:05pm
HankP (mail):
I didn't mean to imply that I am against democracy, I think it is necessary for long term stability and keeps many other demons at bay. However, getting from where we are now to where we want to be is not as simple as "promote democracy everywhere". Pressure needs to be applied to autocrats and institutions built that will help in the transition - NGOs can provide some useful aid in that direction. What I object to is the simplistic idea that "shaking the pieces" will automatically result in a good result for US interests. Bad as things are in the middle east, they could be much worse.
1.26.2006 1:11pm
Mike123 (mail):
My crystal ball suggests ...... very bad storm coming for the Palestinians. Time to leave West Bank and Gaza is now .... time is short .... go back to Eygpt and Jordan ..... RUN!

This election is just another example of "be careful for what you ask for because you will get it". Unlike the Iraqis and Iranians, the Palestinian people have chosen terrorism and their leaders in a free election (Jimmy Carter confirms the fairness of the election - which likely will be their last). They have knowingly choosen a path, everyone of them is now responsble for the actions of thier government, the Hamas regeme. So when the SHTF, the Palestinian civilians will be legimate targets and the free world will not shed a tear for them (even France is getting jiggly)

In Iraq and Iran, the elections were/are rigged. So one could make a very valid arguement that the people/civilians are victims of their government. Thus when conflict comes, Iraq civilians are to be protected, defended, and liberated. When the conflict is over, we as liberators will help them build a strong and prosperous nation. I predict that in 20 years, Iraq and the US will have special relationship as strong as the special relationship between the Reagan Era US and Thatcher Era UK.

Now for the ugly and bad prediction .... when we attack Iran's nuclear facilities, the Palestinians will "attack" Israel in various manners. It will be a coordinated strike with Iran. Thinking Israel is weakened or distracted, Syria will attempt to recapture the Golan Heights. Eygpt will stay out of the fight but will be supplying the Palestinians with arms through Gaza. Here's where it get interesting ..... The Palestinian actions will constitute an act of war by a soverign government, not a terrorist organization. Israel will legimately have the right to defend herself and destroy the Palestinian government and the people who elected them.

Very bad winds are blowing
1.26.2006 1:16pm
HankP (mail):
Ted, I think you're making a huge assumption that Iran would freely elect a pro-western government; while individual Iranians have no problem with individual Americans, they do not feel the same way about US government policies. The US and Israel threatening Iran over their nuclear program will guarantee re-election for President Ahmadinejad.

Once again, democracy is good and necessary, but cannot be spread by simplistic slogans and hoping things turn out well.
1.26.2006 1:18pm
Houston Lawyer:
Declaring the effort to democratize the Middle East a failure is a bit premature. Democratic elections sometimes lead to results we don't like. Take Hugo Chavez in Venezuela or Evo Morales in Bolivia as examples. The real test will be whether these men will allow clean and fair elections following their stated terms in office.

It's not like there was a dictator acceptable to the United States that could have stepped in and benignly ruled the Palestinians. They had a choice between a known corrupt terrorist group and one that has yet to prove its bona fides. Sometimes you choose the devil you don't know.
1.26.2006 1:31pm
JRDickens (mail):
I think the Bush Admin's philosophy of spreading democracy in the middle east is actually a very good thing. Even if they turn out and elect terrorists, such as in the Palestinian Territories, it greatly clarifies the situation.

Now, an Isreali retaliation for an attack cannot be accused of targeting innocents, as the election results show that the good paople of the Palestinian Territories chose those terrorrists as leaders.

This effectively removes the Palestinian people from the list of innocents AFAIAC.
1.26.2006 1:38pm
Bobbie:
JRDickens, you do understand the results weren't unanimous, yes?
1.26.2006 1:48pm
CaDan (mail):
Seems a good number of people are continuing to nurse revenge fantasies in the form of "Now--finally!--we have the excuse we need to kill a lot of Palestinians."

Sad and strange.
1.26.2006 1:49pm
The Orginal TS (mail):
I think this is the fallacy of the Bush administration "spreading democracy everywhere" policy - what happens when the corrupt autocratic leaders are far less anti-American than the population?

But you don't understand the full effect of a sustained, functioning democracy. Not only do the leaders become responsible to the voters, the voters take responsibility for the leaders and their policies. Ongoing internal debate means that reasonable voices get heard and options get discussed. Elected leaders that completely ignore popular sentiment in a democracy find themselves ineffective, at best and booted out, at worst. If Palestinian popular sentiment is really in favor of a scorched earth policy regarding Israel, then it's much easier to make the case that Israel ought to have a free hand in dealing with them. Even to the man in the Arab street, there's a difference between innocent Palestinians and Palestinians who've publicly dedicated themselves to the total destructiion of Israel.

This is only true, of course, in a sustained and functioning democracy, not elections that are one-shot deals.

Having said that, the idea that a vote for Hamas was primarily a vote for "terrorism" is pretty ridiculous. The PA as run by Fatah is a complete mess of corruption and inefficiency. Hamas, by contrast, has made a point of providing services to people and advocates clean government. Many Palestinian voters opted for Hamas figuring that their daily lives under Hamas couldn't get much worse and might get better.

I also think that Hamas, like all opposition groups when they come to power, will find that the realities of government are very different than opposition. They will moderate their views in practice if not in theory. They have no choice.

The peace process has been going nowhere at least in part because Fatah could make commitments but wasn't able to keep them. If Israel now has a partner, however prickly, that can actually deliver on its agreements, that will be a big step forward.
1.26.2006 1:57pm
JRDickens (mail):
Bobbie,

I do indeed realize that the results weren't unanimous. I also realize that their are innocent "persons" who voted for somebody else. However, the Palestinian People, plural and as a recognized entity, have made their intentions quite clear.

CaDan

I don't have any revenge fantasy against the Palestinians. I don't "want" any of them to have to die. But if I have to choose between them or me, The answer is easy. I don't even want to have to choose, and if left to my own devices, I wouldn't. However, they and their ilk are forcing the choice on me, so it is very black and white.
1.26.2006 1:58pm
VC Reader:
People have a natural right to be governed in a manner that they choose. Since when do American interests trump people's human rights? Since when is democracy only a good idea when we like the results? Most of the world was hoping that Kerry would beat Bush, maybe they should join forces with those who voted for Kerry and install some sort of benign dictator to lead us away from that evil thing called democracy.
1.26.2006 2:00pm
Humble Law Student:
VC Reader,

I don't think anyone is denying the Palestinians their right to elect who they want. It doesn't mean we can't express our preferences...
1.26.2006 2:08pm
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):
Having said that, the idea that a vote for Hamas was primarily a vote for "terrorism" is pretty ridiculous. The PA as run by Fatah is a complete mess of corruption and inefficiency. Hamas, by contrast, has made a point of providing services to people and advocates clean government. Many Palestinian voters opted for Hamas figuring that their daily lives under Hamas couldn't get much worse and might get better.

I also think that Hamas, like all opposition groups when they come to power, will find that the realities of government are very different than opposition. They will moderate their views in practice if not in theory. They have no choice.


Well put, that's my hope as well.
1.26.2006 2:13pm
VC Reader:
Humble Law Student--I was responding to the commentors who suggested that the results of the Palestinian election were proof that a pro-Democracy stance is misguided. Expressing a preference for a different outcome is different than suggesting that a pro-Democracy foreign policy is a bad idea.
1.26.2006 2:50pm
Adrian (mail):
JRDickens, et al.: "The electors can be punished for the misdeeds of their government" is a bad argument when it's made by Hamas, and I don't see why it would sound any better made by Israel.
1.26.2006 3:12pm
JRDickens (mail):
Adrian,

On the contrary. Go back and look at the wars we won over the years.

War Between the States....The Confederates never reared their heads after their Army and citizens were routed by the yanks.

WWII...Japan and Germany are still pacifists due to the defeat not only militarily but of their citizenry as well.


Now counter those with examples of wars where the the war either ended in an armistice or a cease fire.

WWI....Germany was not defeated totally, and it led to an even greater war the the War to End Wars.

Desert Storm...Saddam was left in power, and the Iraqi people never felt they were defeated. The result was having to go back in and do it all over again.

A state of war exists between the Boomers and the Isrealis. Despite what JFKerry says, the way to win a war is not to be more sensitive. It is to be more ruthless.

The Paleos have spoken. Their intent is clear. They know what Hamas does, yet they put them into power regardless.
1.26.2006 4:12pm
Greedy Clerk (mail):
I think the basic point of David's post is that it can't get any worse than the current people running the PA. There are smaller points which I disagree with David on, but on that I am in full agreement. Israel has nothing to lose with Hamas in power --- it has no partner now anyway so the worst that happens is that Hamas continues to not be a viable partner as was the PLO types who were running the PA. We'll see how it all pans out in five years or so, b'ezrat ha-shem.
1.26.2006 4:21pm
Seamus (mail):

WWI....Germany was not defeated totally, and it led to an even greater war the the War to End Wars.



And of course Keynes and Churchill were mistaken in their suggestion that the draconian peace settlement at Versailles had anything to do with it.
1.26.2006 5:24pm
Seamus (mail):

Desert Storm...Saddam was left in power, and the Iraqi people never felt they were defeated. The result was having to go back in and do it all over again.



"Having to"? I guess that's because Saddam was on the brink of reinvading Kuwait and probably destroying New York with all his WMDs.

And of course there's all the trouble Spain has given us since we liberated Cuba but didn't go on to topple the Spanish government in 1898. And when we failed to nuke North Vietnam back to the stone age, it was just a matter of time before North Vietnames PT boats (the kind used in the Gulf of Tonkin incident) were preying upon U.S. shipping in San Francisco bay.
1.26.2006 5:28pm
Adrian (mail):
JRDickens: I could pick a nit or two (the war to end war was WWI; who's "we"?), but more importantly your list doesn't stick to electoral responsibility. Japan, Iraq, Germany (at least in WWI) weren't democracies when they were defeated.

Instead you seem to be saying that attacks on civilians are justified because they persuade the other side to stop fighting. And that's pretty much the terrorist's argument. (The Israeli people, think Hamas, won't feel any need to make peace and end the occupation/settlement/Zionist project if we only kill soldiers.) And it's morally wrong for all the obvious reasons, and it's practically wrong because terrorism leads not to despair but to anger. (As, I gently suggest, you illustrate with your name-calling.)
1.26.2006 6:00pm
JRDickens (mail):
Adrian,


Should have been "Germany was not defeated totally, and it led to an even greater war THAN the War to End Wars." (Ima gud speler, bad tipist)

I am not saying that attacks on civilians persuade the other side to stop fighting, I am saying that I think the only way to defeat an enemy like the Islamo terrorists is to completely destroy them. If you decide that the civilians are off limits, the bad guys will soon take to using them as shields. War is a terrible thing, and should be terrible to everyone, civilian or not.

I'm not some bloodthirsty redneck who wants to see any innocents die. But if it has to happen, I'd rather it be somebody else besides me.

Like I said, the Pelestinians know who Hamas is and what they are about, and a majority of the people still voted to elect them. I hope it will prove to be the right decision and that all is peaceful and prosperous between them and the Isrealis. I just have some serious doubts that it will happen given that Hamas is comitted to the TOTAL Destriction of Isreal, according to some of their own leaders.
1.26.2006 6:30pm
minnie:
I also think that Hamas, like all opposition groups when they come to power, will find that the realities of government are very different than opposition. They will moderate their views in practice if not in theory. They have no choice.

This seems likely to happen, and is cause for optimism.

One thing that could derail this is if the US and other countries threaten them before they get started, try to force them to say this, or renounce that. That is likely to elicit exactly the wrong response.

I would watch closely what they do, and wait.
1.27.2006 5:57am
Daryl Herbert (www):
"Progress" by definition is not the same as the status quo. The situation cannot get any better if corrupt arafatoids continue to hold power.

The real problem is that Israel in the past negotiated with Palestinians without ever holding them to their concessions. The negotiations should be optional, but if there are any, the Palestinians should be held to whatever they agreed to.

If HAMAS wants to negotiate, and then it breaks its promises, it should be slaughtered. If it doesn't want to negotiate, that should be O.K. with Israel. Israel should be able to accept a lull in the "peace process" (which means a lull in the number of suicide bombings).

The only way to achieve peace is for the Palestinians to agree to it. They can't "agree" to anything if their democratic wishes are thwarted. So let them have HAMAS. Let HAMAS be corrupted by power and money.
1.28.2006 8:36pm
Sam Davis:
If the the new PA (Hamas)attacks Israel is it an act of war? Since both are governmnents. It would seem Israel would have the legal authority to defend its self from an aggressive government. Attacks before this could blamed radicals, but not directly to the PA. Now its a new game. It might be a bad day in Palestine. Allah should make room in heaven quick.
2.4.2006 12:08am