An alternative perspective
on the Hamas victory
About the Author
What should have been an unsurprising
Hamas election victory has reverberated as a shock throughout the world,
with politicians and editors universally expressing pessimism.
RIA Novosti, commented "News of the Thursday victory of
the Hamas Islamic Resistance Movement in the territory controlled by the
Palestine National Authority stunned the world" . The Seattle Times
news services headlined "Political jolt of Hamas win could hinder
peace process" and the Financial Times says it casts a new shadow
over the quest for peace in the Middle East.
Edward Abington, a former U.S.
diplomat in the region who now advises the Palestinian Authority warned
"This is not a good result for Israel, and it's a huge setback for
the United States," he said.
Please allow me to suggest an
alternative perspective. Certainly, Hamas is a dangerous extremist
organization. Its Charter overtly reveals how this Islamic fundamentalist
movement generates terror by spreading fanciful conspiracy theories
bordering on megalomania and seducing gullible youngsters to sacrifice
their lives in exchange for heavenly rewards. Its imaginative
irrationality is illustrated by obsessive phobia not only about Israel,
but also about Freemasons, Rotary clubs, Lions and similar organizations,
promising that "the day Islam is in control of guiding the affairs of
life, these organizations, hostile to humanity and Islam, will be
obliterated." (An English translation of the charter is available at
I believe that the Hamas victory is actually preferable to the hoped-for
narrow Fatah win, which would have left a powerful Hamas in opposition
I say this because Hamas as a powerful
opposition group was more dangerous than it can be in power, with
responsibility for managing the mundane affairs of state and also because
the distinction between the PA and Hamas has been very blurred. It is
probable that if Fatah had won with a slim majority, it would have had
neither the will nor the ability to control a powerful Hamas minority.
True, PA chairman Abbas condemned the December terrorist attack in Netanya,
explaining, "these attacks cause damage to our commitment to the
according to Palestinian daily, al Hayat al Jadida, only a few
hours before paying lip service to condemnation of terror and on the day
an Islamic Jihad suicide bomber spewed death at the Netanya shopping mall,
Abbas signed a new law confirming the status of terrorists as national
heroes by granting support to families of suicide bombers. Each "
shahid's" family will receive a monthly stipend of at least $250. The
family of a married shahid will receive an additional $50. Parents will
receive an additional $25, and each additional child and/or brother or
sister will get another $15.
Nor is confidence inspired by the
recent renaming of the Rafah crossing in honor of terrorist Shahid Al-Agha,
nor Abbas refusal to disarm terrorists, nor the failure to
prevent the firing of Kassam missiles which have reached Ashkelon,
endangering its power station and port.
At least with a Hamas government there
will be no ambiguity about the intentions of Israel's neighbor. Hamas'
enmity and its ambitions to destroy Israel have been openly declared.
Regrettable as it may be, this is a much healthier situation than dealing
with the lip service to peace in English by the PA while allowing open
incitement in Arabic, in schools and mosques and pleas of inability to
disarm so called militants and the ready excuse of blaming rogue militants
for terror attacks on Israel.
Israeli and International demands to
disarm Hamas will now become meaningless as Hamas officially controls the
Palestinian army and police force. There will no longer be any question
about responsibility for terror attacks.
That Hamas' real strength lay in its
power as a strong movement outside the government was confirmed in a
revealing article 'We wanted to be in the opposition' in the Jerusalem
Post of Jan. 26, 2006. Hamas leader, professor An-Najah University
admitted that many of the leaders were disappointed with the results.
"We didn't want this, we didn't hope for this. We wanted to be in the
opposition," he said.
Perhaps there is even a slim hope for
a change in attitude. The article reported that hours after the results
were announced, voters in Nablus said that Hamas's victory means that it
will for certain lay down its arms and give up its ideology.
"If they were in the opposition,
they would have been able to continue attacks," said a university
student named Essam.. "..But now that they are the government, they
can't attack Israel."
Whatever moves Hamas makes, it will
have to take into account the symbiotic nature of the PA's relationship
with Israel. Palestinian imports and exports pass through Israel, a
country it refuses to recognize, and water and electricity networks are
interconnected. Certainly we are due to see interesting and possibly
dangerous developments, but whatever happens, it is healthier to have
Hamas in charge of the PA, rather than as a schizophrenic, partly
charitable and partly terror organization, beyond the control of the PA.
more articles by Maurice Ostroff
of the Hamas: Main Points
The Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement was issued on August
18, 1988. The Islamic Resistance Movement, also known as the HAMAS, is
an extremist fundamentalist Islamic organization operating in the
territories under Israeli control. Its Covenant is a comprehensive
manifesto comprised of 36 separate articles, all of which promote the
basic HAMAS goal of destroying the State of Israel through Jihad
(Islamic Holy War). The following are excerpts of the HAMAS Covenant Read