Sunday, January 15, 2006

Update on the Israeli/Palestinian situation and "Why the Palestinians are voting for Hamas"

An interesting read by the Jerusalem Post's David Horovitz.Jerusalem Post | Breaking News from Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World It doesn't auger well for peace in the Arab-Israeli conflict..but then you knew that,didn't you?

In other Israel news, the Israeli Knesset put the official seal of approval on Palestinians in East Jerusalem voting for Hamas. And Bush and the EU are of course, delighted.Jerusalem Post | Breaking News from Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish Worldof course aside from lip service,no one is pressuring the Palestinians and Abbas to reign in terrorism.

Israel took a proactive stance on its own today, closing down an illegal Hamas campaign headquarters in Jerusalem.Jerusalem Post |Hamas offices closed inEast Jerusalem

The offices belonged to a Palesinian `charity' called Wifadah, which was channeling money to Hamas and acting as a front for their campaign activities. Four Hamas activists were arrested including one big fish, Mohamed Abu Tir, who holds the top place on Hamas' electoral list in Jerusalem and is considered second in the Hamas heirarchy.

Israel has a ban on Hamas candidates being a ballot choice for the Jerusalem voters, so many of the Hamas candidates are appearing as `independents' on the Jerusalem ballots but as part of the Hamas list everywhere else. Cute!

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri had the last word: "We don't need Israeli permission to participate in the elections."

He's entirely correct, and Hamas is going ahead with its campaign anyway. Most polls show them getting at least 50% of the vote.

Posters featuring Hamas candidates have appeared in Arab neighborhoods in the city over the past 48 hours alongside pictures of Fatah representatives. Jerusalem Municipality workers and policemen removed many of the posters.

"We have many ways of conducting our election campaign in Jerusalem," said Hamas spokesman Mushir al-Masri. "We will use private radio and television stations and newspapers to spread our message. We also have many supporters who are working in the field."

Israel may labor under the fantasy that it can grease things for Abbas and Fatah like it did last time, but I don't see it as a viable option.

In any event, the `election results' will be decided in a sitdown between the parties before a single ballot is cast. Hamas and Fatah share exactly the same goal of driving the Jews into the sea. Any disagreements are merely about turf, influence and splitting the swag.

Think of it as sort of like one of the Mafia sitdowns in the `Godfather'.

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