Hamas wins. (Quick, someone call the Nobel Prize Committee!)

It appears that the terrorist group Hamas has won the Palestian Authority election in a landslide:

Hamas won 76 seats in the 132-member parliament, while Fatah, which controlled Palestinian politics for four decades, won 43 seats, said Hanna Nasser, head of the Central Election commission. The 13 remaining seats went to several smaller parties and independents.

The result was based on a count of 95 percent of the vote and still could change slightly, Nasser said.

Hamas won 60.3 percent of the vote, said Ismail Haniyeh, one of the group's leaders.

In his first remarks since the election, acting Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Israel won't negotiate with a Palestinian government that includes Hamas members.

"The state of Israel will not negotiate with a Palestinian administration if even part of it is an armed terrorist organization calling for the destruction of the state of Israel," said Olmert's statement, issued after a three-hour emergency Cabinet meeting.

Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said Israel will insist that Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, popularly known as Abu Mazen, keep his commitments to disarm militants.

"Israel needs to act judiciously and responsibly," Mofaz said. "We will continue to demand of Abu Mazen to meet his commitments and to disarm the terror organizations."

Mofaz said that the U.S.-backed "road map" peace plan, which calls for the creation of a Palestinian state, is the "only existing path."

Other Israeli politicians from across the political spectrum said there could be no relations with a group that has been responsible for scores of deadly attacks against Israelis and is listed as a terror organization by the United States and the European Union.

Benjamin Netanyahu, leader of the opposition Likud Party, condemned the vote. "Today Hamastan was formed," he said. Labor Party politician Ami Ayalon said Israel might have to change the route of its West Bank security barrier to take Hamas' victory into account.

I'd say that at this point Natanyahu's chances of heading the Israeli government are looking pretty good.

The United States of course lists Hamas as a terrorist organization, which it is. This makes it a crime for the U.S. government (or any American) to "provide funds or other material support" to Hamas, members of which are to be "denied visas or excluded from the United States." (Makes "peace talks" rather tough, I'd say.)

But I expect to soon see apologists for Hamas springing up all over the place, as leftist support for fascist fundamentalists has become a fact of modern life.

MORE: Glenn Reynolds has a roundup, and so does Pajamas Media.

posted by Eric on 01.26.06 at 04:50 PM


The only difference is Hamas is less discreet about annihilating Israel than Team Arafat was.

beautifulatrocities   ·  January 26, 2006 6:34 PM

More honest.

Eric Scheie   ·  January 26, 2006 11:05 PM

No way that Netanyahu will be the go-to guy in this environment.

He ia an opportunistic charlatan leading a bankrupt 'settler' fringe, whose advice and opinions would have left Gaza as an open sore in the Israeli body politic.

Sharon hated the guy. Sharon was right. Even comatose, Sharon is a better leader than Netanyahu.

For Israel to elect this discredited 'politician' in order to oppose Hamas would be an exercise in futility. He has no great backing nor is he personally popular. There are more than enough tough guys in Israel to deal with the likes of Hamas.

No need to dip into the recycle bin.

dougf   ·  January 27, 2006 12:43 AM

The problem with your argument is that Hamas painted Gaza as their "victory," and this offends many Israelis (including those who favored the pullout). Anyway, my remark was not meant to discuss Netanyahu's qualifications; my point is that I think this political turn of events will probably favor him. An anti-Hamas backlash by Israelis is considered largely responsible for his rise to power in the mid 90s.

Of course, Hamas might suddenly declare itself the "party of peace." It's unlikely, but possible, just as it's also possible that a few war-weary people would want desperately to believe it.

Eric Scheie   ·  January 27, 2006 7:51 AM

Personally I would say that Hamas winning could be a good thing. Obviously not because of who got in, since they are Holocaust denying, fascist terrorist, scum. But because of the way Fatah left.

They lost the election, and then left office.

No declaration of an emergency, no coup d'etat, no demands for a rerun, no ignoring the result, nothing left behind to maintain the 'correct' political path (e.g. the military in the case of Turkey, the clerics in the case of Iran). They simply admitted that they had been democratically defeated and left. This is pretty well unprecidented in the Arab world.

It is also going to shine a spotlight on the Islamofascist scum that replaced Fatah. Hamas is no longer going to get away with continuing it's war against Isreal while Fatah declared to the world how it was oppressed, powerless, and so unable to control the militants. Sucking up as much sympathy as possible (and money, to get transferred into Swiss bank accounts) while doing nothing to stop the attacks.

Now the militants are the government. So the next attack they stage will be an attack by a the government of Palistine against Isreal. There will be no excuses for not backing Isreal's right to defend itself from what is an act of war.

chris   ·  January 27, 2006 10:53 AM

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