Hamas won the recent Palestinian elections. This has caused a lot of controversy in the media over the past week. Most people I have discussed this with are in agreeance, this is a horrible outcome for Israel. At first I agreed. When I heard the news I was outraged to hear that a an organization recognized as a terror organization was going to be the ruling power in the neighboring area. The fact that the people democratically chose terrorism scared me. The more I think about it though, the more I begin to change my mind.
This victory is not only a victory for Hamas but a victory for democracy. For the past several years, the world, lead by the US and it's (some would say eccentric) president have been trying to stamp out terror and spread democracy. Ironically the spread of democracy may spread terrorism too. One of the reasons that everyone is in an uproar about the elections is that there were democratic elections- the people doing the voting simply chose the party the people not doing the voting didn't want picked. But that's part of democracy. You can't please everyone all the time.
But then again, who can really blame the Palestinian people for voting Hamas? From the outside we see a blood-thirsty organization, mercilessly killing our citizens in cold blood, simply for existing. From the inside they see people who are paving their road, giving them jobs and paying for their children's' education and summer camps. Is there really any wonder why they chose Hamas over the corrupt dictatorship of Fatah?
This raises another issue: If you don't really have a choice, is it really a democracy? Natan Sharansky doesn't think so.
"An election between a terrorist organizations that wants to destroy the State of Israel and a corrupt dictatorship that does not care about helping its own people is not democracy"
I disagree with Mr. Sharansky. Like I said in my comments and post "Disengagement
"; While democracy may not be perfect, especially in the Middle East, this is still democracy, and it is much better than the alternatives. Democracy in Middle East leaves room for improvement. That responsibility rests on our shoulders.
In conclusion, I ask you the following: Is it really that
tragic that Hamas was elected? Yes, they want to wipe us off the map. But so does Fatah, Hamas is just honest about it. Yes Hamas trains it's youth to commit suicide in the name of Allah, but they also give back to their community. If a Palestinian democracy is going to work at all, it needs an infrastructure. With less money being syphoned out to buy Mercedeses perhaps more will go to developing their land; paving roads, building schools and reducing crime. Lastly, terror is a weapon used to get power. Once you have power, terror is useless. With Hamas running the government, they may not resort to such desperate measures.
Ultimately, what's worse? An organization that outwardly hates us and help its people or an organization that steals from its people and is nice to us to our faces but stabs us in the back? I will leave the decision up to you.