Thursday, January 26, 2006

Politics without borders: Hamas victory could be a positive sign

Hamas' landslide victory in the newly conducted Palestinian election has shocked the world, including the Hamas members themselves. Some are already saying the group's victory has darkened the prospects for Middle East peace. From that victory I see hope. Why? For two main reasons.

First--its a triumph of democracy, assuming that the election was indeed conducted fairly and without fear and intimidation. US President George Bush initiated a big bang to "democratize" the region. He got it. He is probably not comfortable with the result but the Palestinians have spoken and the world should respect that. Democracy means that you give equal chance to everybody to contest political power in a peaceful way, knowing that the winner might be the one you don't like.

Second--Hamas will now be doing the day-to-day boring and challenging job of governing the Palestinian nation. This tedious process will certainly transform them. They used to be known as a "terrorist" organization; now they are "legitimate." More than ever, the world now expect them to behave according to the prevailing "rule sets" among the family of nations. The organization is used to be known for its violent actions against the Israelis. Now the members have more responsibilities including the delivery of basic social services like health and education, providing economic and social infrastructure, generating investments and jobs, collecting taxes, among many others. To do that, they need to engage and be connected with the rest of the world.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Governing did not do much to Moderate the Taliban or Iran. The positive spin is that the Palestianians will have to take responsibility for their actions as a nation. No more can the PA say that they cannot restrain militant groups. Of course with that said Hamas may now take the role of 'Striving for Peace' Fatah and Islamic Jihad will take on the dissident Militant role.

Without Borders said...

What you are telling me are the dangers of hamas' win. i was just expressing my hope that they indeed will transform. remember that hamas has been very effective in terms of deliverinng certain social services to palestinians. its something that fatah has failed to do. if they are "sincere" about governing, they have no choice but abide by certain rule sets that is being observed by the larger family of nations. if they fail then, the world will have to move on searching for another path to peace. but yes, you may not share my hopes about middle east peace but i totally share your fears.