The Terrorists Have Won (An Election)

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!

  1. remember, We invaded Iraq for democracy. We love democracy. Period. Terrorists hate democracy and freedom. Period.

    I say more power to ’em, being part of a truly democratic process has been known to deradicalize certain groups…

  2. It’s not a question of if Hamas will renounce their stand on the destruction of Israel, just a question of when. As was pointed out this morning on the BBC World Service, the IRA was rehabilitated because they only wanted England out of Northern Ireland, they weren’t calling for the destruction of England entirely.

    As long as Hamas is still engaged in and espouses terrorism, even many of the countries that are supportive of the Palestinians are legally prohibited from continuing their support. Unless Hamas (and the Palestinian people) are willing to accept the consequence of having the money spigot turn off, Hamas will have to reform.

  3. NPR had some classic soundbites this morning from miss condi. “renounce violence.. terrorist organization…” that sort of thing.

    the phrase that went through my head… hello mr. kettle? yeah, this is the pot. umm.. you’re black.

  4. Hamas has to do three things to have legitimacy here: 1) end all attacks against Israel and denounce terrorism (they have won democracy after all); 2) accept the existence of Israel as a state and peaceful neighbor; 3) go back to the peace table to hash out the border issues.

    I’d put money on #1 failing, but there’s enough hate on both sides that this is still a powder keg waiting to reignite.

  5. And to be fair, Israel needs to keep their extremist settlers (the ones who actually call themselves zionists) in check just as much as Palestine (Hamas) needs to keep their extremist muslim terrorist community in check.

  6. Stephen V,

    Thanks! There are definitely 2 sides to this conflict. I actually think this works in Israels favor. As the Volokh stated, this gives them the go ahead to just wipe out the buildings before Hamas does anything.

    Let’s be honest, both groups are trying to wipe each other off of their respecive maps. Maybe not due to actual murder and genocide sense, but at least in the NIMBY sense (not in my back yard).

  7. I saw an interesting report on find it here:

    The author says Olmert has two choices, both being dangerous. He can try to work with Hamas and lose the rightist base in Israel, or he can take a had line and push Hamas towards conflict. The best option for me: ACT LIKE NOTHING HAPPENED! Keep disengaging and establishing the border. I honestly believe they need to establish SOME KIND of state as soon as possible.

    By the way, Hannity is going nuts on this issue right now on the radio, check it out.

  8. and Benyamin Netenyahu just said this new terrorist state is going to turn its terror on the U.S. now too… wow

    The Hannity Show is great… too bad someone out there actually believes this stuff

  9. “He said he talked to NSA Sec. Rice twice this a.m.”


    For real? I thought she was the Secretary of State. Has something changed?

  10. Good catch aProgressive, I guess the folks over at Hotline Blog were posting before their morning coffee.