Monday, January 30, 2006


I think (hope) that the Hamas victory will be a good thing. They seem to be much more efficient in terms of providing services to the Palestinian population. They also seem to be much less corrupt. As I understand it, that's why they won the election—and not because the Palestinians are itching for war.

The question, of course, is what will their position be with respect to Israel. It seems to me that being in power makes that question a lot more straightforward. Does Hamas see the Palestinian Authority (the nation they would be heading were it to become a nation) as being in a state of war with Israel? Their official position seems to be that they do. Is that a tenable position? If Palestine were recognized as a state tomorrow, would they really want to be in a state of war with Israel? It's hard to imagine that they would.

The alternative is that they are not in a state of war with Israel. In that case, they are responsible for preventing attacks on Israel from within their borders, and they are presumably desirous of negotiating with Israel regarding disputes with the intent of arriving at a mutually satisfactory settlement—just as other nations negotiate with each other about disputes.

It seems to me that Israel, the US, and the rest of the world should stop blustering and just pose this question to Hamas. What do you want: a state of war or negotiation of differences? If given the chance, I hope Hamas will be responsible enough to answer.

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