Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Palestinian election

Today, the Palestinians began voting in their election. It is part of President Bush's agenda for democracy in the Arab world and it is supposed to lead to the development of a democratic,peaceful state next to Israel.

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, the election is totally insignificant and not actually an election at all, as we in the West think of one. The Fatah security forces voted in advance in their barracks under the watchful eyes of their officers and things like secret ballots and unimpeded access to the polls are not exactly what you'd call uniform in all parts of the Palestinian Authority.

In addition, there the matter of how much of the $2M received by the Palestiinian Authority went for poll fixing and vote buying.

It's a turf battle over spoils and patronage, and one where the outcome was likely preordained and the end result wouldn't matter anyway even if it WAS an actual election.

My prediction for the end result is that Hamas will capture the control of Gaza and a few select enclaves in the West Bank like the Arab part of Hebron while the Fatah gang bosses divvy up the rest. Things will be set up so that Abbas and Fatah maintain just enough of an edge over Hamas in the new government so as to allow the EU and the US to continue to fund the Palestinian Authority..thus conferring legitimacy and de facto recognition of Hamas as a political force as well as a terrorist group.

Hamas will continue its makeover for the West, posing as a legitimate political party with one hand while continuing terrorism against Israel with the other. It's already less than our old friend Jimmy Carter is already on board, predicting that Hamas will `mature' as they take political power and comparing them with ex-Israeli PM Menachim Begin, who began his career in politics as leader of the Jewish militant group, the Irgun.

Only thing is, the Irgun targeted British troops rather than innocent civilians and Israel disarmed them before independence, saying that there couldn't be seperate armed factions in a democratic state. But then, I wouldn't expect Jimmy Carter to know that. Or care, even if he did.

It remains to be seen whether the US and the EU will actually adhere to their pledges not to support or deal with a government in which Hamas is a part. My guess is that they won't, but I'd love to be surprised.

The basic nature of the Palestinian Authority isn't going to change no matter whom is in charge. All one has to do is look at who's running at the head of the `moderate' Fatah parliamentary list - convicted terrorist and murderer Marwan Barghouti, now in an Israeli prison serving five life sentences for his involvement in terrorist attacks that killed five innocent civilians.

Actually, there are some 31 Palestinian terrorists running for office from jail. Most of them are considered to be pretty good bets for election. As a matter of fact, running from a jail cell after being convicted of murdering Israeli civilians seems to be a pretty good qualification for a seat on the Palestinian legislative Council.

One thing no one has commented on, with all the reams of print expounded on this subject is the fact that there is no such as a Palestinian peace movement or even a peace candidate running in this election. There isn't even a single candidate offering any `concessions' in exchange for a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

Yet the Bush Administration is spending $2M of our tax money to push the election of `moderate' Fatah and Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is already promising further concessions to the Palestinians if they put the same old terrorist regime back in power as opposed to a different set of terrorists!

It doesn't really matter who wins. The Palestinians sense the wavering and lack of leadership in Israel and are gearing up for the next stage of the war against the Jewish State.

That lack of leadership was evident in Olmert's attempting to bribe the so-called `electorate' with a promise of further Israeli pullbacks before the voting started and the jailing of MK Effie Eitam and a few other Israelis peacefully protesting the Israeli government's caving in on allowing Palestinians to vote in an election for a hostile government..on Israeli soil.

In spite of all the pious rhetoric, the awful truth is beginning to become apparent that there isn't any basis for a second Palestinian state in the region...not politically, not economically and certainly not based on any consideration for peace in the region.

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