Hamas Post Update:

Several commentators on my previous post on the Hamas victory either praised or condemned my "optimism." But note my last paragraph: "If Hamas turns out to be unwilling to turn itself into a non-terrorist movement that Israel can reasonably deal with, Israel will have no choice but to absolutely destroy the Palestinian government." I'm not a good enough fortune teller to put odds on this, but I wouldn't say that this scenario is "unlikely," assuming, of course that a Hamas government doesn't either collapse under its own weight, or lapse into fraticidal civil war with elements of Fatah unwilling to accept Hamas security control, and/or who are angry over not getting paid. Nevertheless, this may be what passes for optimism in the current situation. Meanwhile, it's imperative that the Europeans, Israelis, Americans, and everyone else cut off funding to the PA/Hamas ASAP. Perhaps when the Palestinians recognize the extent to which even their impoverished lives are dependent on the goodwill of outsiders it will sober up their remaining genocidal fantasies.

Meanwhile, WindsofChange, in a post linked by Instapundit, quotes a Jerusalem Post piece lambasting the Rabin-Peres government for this mess. While their naivete is certainly apparent regarding Arafat's intentions is clear in retrospect, my own understanding of the situation places the primary blame squarely in the lap of Bush I Secretary of State James Baker. In 1991, with the PLO and Arafat at their lowest ebb following their disastrous support for Saddam Hussein in the Gulf War, and the prospect of the disappearance as a serious political force at hand, Baker decided it would be a dandy idea to resurrect Arafat and start a new "peace process" with Arafat and his PLO cronies representing the Palestinians. Obviously, history doesn't run in a straight line, and alternate scenarios were possible. But it would be very hard to say that what has happened since, up to and including the creation of Hamasistan, aren't a natural result of Baker's initial mistake.