There’s much gnashing of teeth going on over Hamas, an admitted terrorist organization, winning political majority in Palestine:
Palestinian legislator Hanan Ashrawi, who apparently was re-elected on a moderate platform, said the Hamas victory was a dramatic turning point. She said she is concerned the militants will now impose their fundamentalist social agenda and lead the Palestinians into international isolation.
She said Fatah’s corruption, Israel’s tough measures and international indifference to the plight of the Palestinians were to blame for Hamas’ strong showing.
Washington miscalculated in pushing for the vote, as part of its pro-democracy campaign in the Arab world, she said. “The Americans insisted on having the election now, so they have to respect the results of the election, as we all do,” she said.
If you were listening closely to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue this morning, you might have heard the sound of several palms connecting with their owner’s foreheads.
Update: This is going to be a weird one folks. Hotline Blog quotes Bush:
Bush called yesterday’s high turnout election a referendum on the “status quo”. Bush: “Obviously, people were not happy with the status quo.” He said the Palestinian people didn’t think the “old guard” was able to provide them with basic services and security. Bush said he likes the “competition of ideas.” He said he talked to NSA Sec. Rice twice this a.m. and would continue to monitor the situation. He hinted he would not engage Hamas until they recognized Israel’s right to exist. Since no gov’t has yet formed, though, Bush refused to say what his exact posture toward Hamas would be. Bush: “If there is corruption, I’m not surprised that people say, let’s get rid of corruption.”
If that’s not hedging and political posturing, I sure as hell don’t know what to call it. So like, what happens if Hamas is all like “Yeah, we allow Israel to exist and we have negotiations?”
Another Update: Ok, so it seems there’s this thing called real analysis (whatever that means). We’ll let Volokh do the heavy lifting:
Meanwhile, in my view, the gloves are off. If Hamas doesn’t recognize Israel (and, more important, renounce terrorism) right away, 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. There may be practical reasons (let Hamas implode on its own accord), but Israel has no reason to treat Hamas as a legitimate government [update: or, as a reader suggests, perhaps Israel should treat Hamas as a legitimate government at war with Israel]. You say they were elected? So if Hamas runs a terrorist state bent on its destruction Israel should refrain from treating it as an enemy because it’s an elected terrorist government bent on Israel’s destruction? Please. By that logic, the U.S. shouldn’t have responded to the Nazis’ declaration of war.
Wait, so the theory here is that terrorists getting elected as the majority of Palestine’s government isn’t going to lead to a magical peace accord sprinkled with fairy dust? I’m shocked… SHOCKED!