Hamas Wins Palestinian Election

(See here) a BBC article reporting on the Hamas victory in Palestinian elections. I was going to wait until official results were announced before commenting, but the results are already pretty clear.

Please note the article quotes one Hamas official, Mushir al-Masri, as warning that Hamas would not hold peace talks with Israel.

"Negotiations with Israel is not on our agenda," he said.

"recognizing Israel is not on the agenda either now."

Senior Hamas official Mr Haniya called for the US to "respect ... the will of the Palestinian people and the result of the ballot," AFP news agency reported.

I am all in favor of that. Now if Hamas continues in acts of terrorism the US should respect that it is the official government of the Palestinian people that is carrying out the actions. It is not a small minority that supports the terrorism, it is the majority. The US should respect the "will of the people" and respect that the majority of Palestinian voters want to be held accountable for acts of terrorism carried out by their official government.

The article also quotes Ehud Olmert as saying Israel could not deal with a Palestinian Authority which included Hamas.

"Israel can't accept a situation in which Hamas, in its present form as a terror group calling for the destruction of Israel, will be part of the Palestinian Authority without disarming," Mr Olmert's office reported him as saying.

Perhaps the acting Israeli Prime Minister goes a little further in his demands then I would, however he is not too far out of line. I would not demand Hamas completely disarm, however it is not wrong to expect the Hamas militia to be absorbed into Palestinian Authority forces. It is also not wrong for Israel to demand that the Palestinian government recognize Israel's right to exist. If a majority of representatives within the Palestinian government is sworn to drive the Jews into the sea then I would think this would mean a state of war continues to exist between the nations of Israel and Palestine. Israel will have the right to retaliate against the nation of Palestine for any terrorist actions conducted by that nation. If Palestine expects Israel to conduct this war within the rules of the Geneva Convention then Palestine must also adhere to these same rules.

Now if Israel retaliates against "Palestine" for terrorist actions conducted by Hamas it is not collective punishment of the majority for the actions of the minority it is a justified reaction to hostile actions conducted by another freely elected government. Hamas should be forced to accept the facts. With their victory comes responsibility. If they continue to insist on operating as if a state of war exists they are now representing Palestine and Palestine should be held accountable.

If Hamas still wants a war, I say we should give them one. Of course Hamas could still have a change of heart. Under Yassar Arafat, Fatah was allowed to change its mind.

Does Hamas want war or will they be willing to settle for a just peace? They should be forced to choose, and when they make their choice they now represent the people of Palestine.


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