Saturday, January 28, 2006

been a while

So this will be the first of a couple of posts. I wanted to talk about one thing I was struck by yesterday while watching the footage of Fatah supporters in the streets of palestine. First, even though CNN, MSNBC and FOX were carrying the footage as BREAKING NEWS, there was little to no violence or violent acts seen. Secondly, the palestinians just had a democratic election. What western countries, including the united states, have to start understanding is that even though a democratic election didn't go 'our' way, we still have to keep our noses out of it. The palestinian people were sick of the corruption of the Fatah party and yes, frankly they agreed with Hamas on one key issue: Israel. Let me use some of the things I learned in sociology class for a second. In 2004 the US election came down to one big issue: security. Which party can make us feel more secure? The majority of Americans believed that the Repbulican party could make us more secure. In early 2006 the Palestinian election came down to a couple of important issues: Israel and corruption. Now do NOT get me wrong. I am not advocating a group that seeks the destruction of another country. What I am saying is that I can understand that if I lived in a country that had continued hostilities with its not only bordering country, but a country that splits mine down the middle, I would be inclined to not like them.

The EU has said it will pull all aid from Palestine, the U.S. is saying that it will not talk or negotiate with a terror organization. This is the wrong thing to be doing right now. There are many, many instances of an organization becoming the institution. Do you know what every single organization realizes when the responsibility of rule is thrust upon it? That it is much more difficult than it looks. These organizations follow two courses, they adapt or they wither. One example is the IRA or Irish Republican Army. Their eventual accension to power in Ireland put them in a position where they no longer were able to pass the blame. They were the gov't and had to answer to other governments for their actions. On top of that they had to legislate for an entire country that may not agree with them on every particular issue.

If the EU and U.S. wants the peace process to move forward, if they want to maintain healthy, neutral relationships with both Palestine and Israel, then I suggest they sit this one out for a while. Allow the new ruling party, Hamas, time to realize that this is not as easy as it looks. Hamas will either overcome the difficulties and transition into a responsible government or they will wither and be replaced in the next election.

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