Bucking the CW on Hamas

Okay, time for a little politics. Like just about everyone else, I was surprised to see the Hamas party win the majority of seats in the Palestinian parliamentary election. Unlike a lot of people, I don't necessarily think this is a bad thing. That bucks the conventional wisdom, of course, but hear me out.

First of all, the Palestinians didn't have really have much of a choice: They could choose between the kleptocratic Fatah party (which had impoverished the Palestinians for decades under Yasser Arafat while the Fatah party functionaries stole the aid money sent by the foolish Europeans) or the terrorist Hamas party (known mostly for its suicide bombing attacks in Israel). Corrupt kleptocrats or Jew-killing terrorists. Some choice.

But it was a choice, and it makes it clear that the so-called "peace process" is as dead as Arafat.

Now, instead of a situation where Fatah runs the Palestinian territories while the Hamas terrorists blow up Israelis, Hamas itself will be the government. Before, when a Hamas terrorist attack would occur, the Fatah government would say, "Hey, we can't control what they do, we're not in charge of Hamas." But now, with Hamas running the government, an attack on Israel by Hamas terrorists would not just be a terrorist attack, it would be a state-sanctioned act of war. Anyone want to guess how that war would come out, given the Arabs' history of wars against Israel since 1948?

Then there's the question of whether Hamas is capable of changing from a terrorist organization or not. Can the leopard change its spots? Probably not. Now, Israel itself was founded by people who engaged in terrorism (Menachem Begin's Irgun), but those Jewish terrorists only attacked British military targets, not civilians. Their goal was only to have a state of their own. Hamas' goal, on the other hand, is the complete destruction of Israel. Expecting that to change is about like expecting Fidel Castro to give up communism.

Some critics of the Bush administration will be quick to say, "See, here's a case of democracy where the new democracy isn't peaceful. Bush was wrong!" But of course, the Palestinians won't have a real democracy. They may have had a free election, but none of the candidates were democrats. It was like a choice between neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klansmen: Nothing but evil on both sides.

It's going to be interesting to see how it all plays out. The Palestinians have chosen the path of further conflict with Israel. I suspect that they will rue this day in the future.