Thursday, January 26, 2006

Hamas wins Palestinian Parliamentary elections; Abbas asks Hamas to form a government.

In a result that shocked most observers, Hamas appears to have won a decisive majority in the Palestinian parliamentary elections.

It astounds me how news pundits and commentators have bought in to the supposed importance of this event, using terms like `historic' and `unprecedented' and casting it as an epic battle between Fatah `moderates' and Hamas `militants'.

In reality, there was never much difference.

Hamas and a coalition of Fatah hardliners always controlled Abbas, and he was only useful as a front man to bring in money from the EU and to a lesser extent, from America.

That usefullness is almost at an end, thanks to the EU freezing donations to the PA 3 weeks ago because of the PA's bloated payroll and lack of financial transparency once Palestinian Finance Minister Selim Faya’d was ousted afew months ago. That's what REALLY determined the election results.

Will Hamas `mature' as they embrace power? Don't bet on it. Hamas is part of the Muslim Brotherhood and its ideology is written in stone. And the Palestinians have ratified that ideology.

Hamas control of Palestinian government brings the the Muslim Brotherhood into power by the ballot for the first time in Middle East history.But probably not for the last time, when you look at Egypt and consider what could happen when octegenarian president Mubarak passes from the scene.

Hamas will be the new Palestinian government and Fatah hardliners, led by jailed terrorist Marwan Barghouti and al Aksa will work with them. Abbas, as always, will do what he's told until the time comes for him to `resign'.

In reality, this election signifies no great changes. The basic nature of the Palestinian government will be no different in its ultimate aim of destroying Israel.

If anything, at least Israel will be spared the futility of trying to talk to a Palestinian government with no real power any longer. Hamas is up front about it's objectives.

Both the EU and US emphatically stated that they would not deal with a government that had Hamas as a member, but the finessing has already started. Will Bush and the EU continue to fund and support the PA with a government led by an organization both have labeled as terrorists? An open question.

The biggest problem with the Muslim brotherhood taking over from the stand point of the war on jihad is that thanks to the Israeli pullbacks from Gaza, the terrorists have a ready made base and another state sponsored haven. Denying them this was what the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were really about.

As for Israel, allowing the Hamas terrorists to take part in the Palestinian election - after its takeover of the Gaza Strip – was a major blunder. And one they will have to decided how to deal with.

Israeli PM Olmert now looks increasingly ineffectual after yesterday's statements; attempting to entice the Palestinians into `voting correctly' by allowing non-Israeli Arabs to vote for a hostile government in Israeli sovereign territory, hinting at more Israeli withdrawals and jailing a group headed by MK Effie Eitam who were peacefully protesting the Israeli government's cave-in on allowing Arabs in East Jerusalem to vote in an election between terrorist entities.

The Israeli government made a huge blunder, and will be faced with some hard and increasingly limited choices. Particularly if it comes under pressure from the International Community to `negotiate' with Hamas.

One of the big winners in the Palestinian election? Bibi Netanyahu.

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