Hamas wins!

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  • #1
rachmaninoff
RAMALLAH, West Bank, Jan. 25 — Hamas, the militant Islamic party sworn to the destruction of Israel, won a large share of votes in the first Palestinian legislative elections in a decade, depriving the more secular Fatah party of its longstanding monopoly on power, surveys of voters leaving the polls indicated Wednesday.
NYTimes 1/26

:eek:

also
BBC 1/26
US President George W Bush also said Washington would not deal with members of Hamas, even if they ended up in positions of responsibility, unless the group renounced a desire to destroy Israel.

"A political party, in order to be viable, is one that professes peace, in my judgment," he said in an interview for the Wall Street Journal.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan said: "We do not deal with Hamas. Hamas is a terrorist organisation. Under current circumstances, I don't see any change in that."
 
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  • #2
rachmaninoff
A few more links (did NY Times jump the gun?)

Some numbers & controversies:
The claim from leading Hamas candidate Ismail Haniyah contradicts earlier exit polls putting Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction ahead.

"Hamas has won more than 70 seats in Gaza and the West Bank, which gives it more than 50% of the vote," Haniyah said.

The Palestinian electoral commission made no comment and was expected to announce the official result later on Thursday.
...
Shortly after voting ended on Wednesday, a Fatah official estimated that Fatah had won 46% of the vote, beating an estimated vote of more than 30% for Hamas.

However, early exit polls suggested Hamas had gained 40% of the vote to Fatah's 46%.

According to the Palestinian Central Elections Commission voter turnout was 77.6%.
http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/9F526B8A-1D36-46F4-8195-0863DEBCB6DD.htm [Broken]

An exit poll conducted by An-Najah University in Nablus gave 46% to Fatah and 40% to Hamas. Another exit poll, issued by the Palestinian Policy Center, showed that Fatah was expected to win 42% of the votes as opposed to 35% for Hamas. A third poll by Bir Zeit University gave Fatah 46% and Hamas 39.5%.
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?apage=2&cid=1137605909154&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull [Broken]

So the situation is: the exit polls differ signficiantly, but many newspapers have called the election to Hamas. Fatah has not yet conceded, and there are no official results yet for a few more hours.
 
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  • #3
siddharth
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rachmaninoff said:
So the situation is: the exit polls differ signficiantly, but many newspapers have called the election to Hamas. Fatah has not yet conceded, and there are no official results yet for a few more hours.

It seems like Fatah officials have now conceded that Hamas have won the elections.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4649606.stm

Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei has announced his resignation, saying Hamas must form the next government following the parliamentary elections
 
  • #4
rachmaninoff
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060126/ap_on_re_mi_ea/palestinians_election [Broken]
Officials with Fatah conceded that Hamas had won about 70 total seats. They also spoke on condition of anonymity because counting in some districts was continuing.
 
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  • #5
siddharth
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rachmaninoff, I'm curious. Why the russia quote?
 
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  • #7
Bilal
Thanks for this post...

As Palestinian I have mixed feelings:
- This election shows that Palestinian becomes a real democratic nation. There is no place for dictatorship anymore. There is a law above all the political parties and it should be respected by all.
- This election shows that people wanted to punish Fatah for their corruption. Also these results are answer to the rise of the right wing in Israel who rejects the right of Palestine to exist.

Anyway, i have to admit that I am sad to see the secular and the left parties losing these elections. I support to punish Fatah for their corruption ... but I did not expect such results. Anyway, good luck for them in the next election after kicking all the corupted leaders.

I will be back to explain the situation on ground.
 
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  • #8
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Bilal said:
- This election shows that Palestinian becomes a real democratic nation. There is no place for dictatorship anymore. There is a law above all the political parties and it should be respected by all.

Do you know if there is a date scheduled for the next elections? I wouldn't be so sure that Hamas would give up their power if voted out. Palestine may just have elected a new dictatorial party to rule them.
 
  • #9
Art
wasteofo2 said:
Do you know if there is a date scheduled for the next elections? I wouldn't be so sure that Hamas would give up their power if voted out. Palestine may just have elected a new dictatorial party to rule them.
Power won at the polls tends to temper extremism. Wait and see but I think now that Hamas are elected there is a very strong chance they will tone down their rhetoric and behave a lot more responsibly than before. Not immediately perhaps but shortly.

Up to now they have had the luxury of being able to say and do whatever they liked whilst somebody else had to deal with the consequences. Now that these consequences are their responsibilty I suspect they will follow a far more moderate path than previously.
 
  • #10
Bilal
wasteofo2 said:
Do you know if there is a date scheduled for the next elections? I wouldn't be so sure that Hamas would give up their power if voted out. Palestine may just have elected a new dictatorial party to rule them.

The Palestinian president who won the election last year is the leader of Fatah. He will stay for another 3 years. Usually the Parliament election are arranged every 4 years. The president has the authority to cancell the goverment if it becomes illegal.

It is impossible to have dictatorship in Palestine … we used to have such election on the levels of towns and universities. The results are not always usual, for example: in last August in the city of Qalqilia , Hamas won the 7 seats of the municipality, while all Fatah candidates failed. In the Parliament election, Fatah won all the seats of this city!! This means that the people changed their mind completely in 6 months!

What happens is a result of several factors starting from the complete failure of the peace process, settlements, occupation, extreme right wing Israeli government, corruption of PA …and ending with the financial support from the USA goverment to several Fatah candidates (they admit of giving 2 MD to several fatah candidates). Many people believed that USA goverment wants to buy the election by few millions of Dollars, so they vote to the opposite side.
 
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  • #11
Bilal
Art said:
Power won at the polls tends to temper extremism. Wait and see but I think now that Hamas are elected there is a very strong chance they will tone down their rhetoric and behave a lot more responsibly than before. Not immediately perhaps but shortly.

Up to now they have had the luxury of being able to say and do whatever they liked whilst somebody else had to deal with the consequences. Now that these consequences are their responsibilty I suspect they will follow a far more moderate path than previously.

I agree with you ….

It seems the leaders of Hamas did not expect to win such high percentage!!

Now they are friendly asking Fatah and the Left to establish one government. There are many difficulties for Hamas to establish the government alone.

I do not know how they can deal with Israel (the real authority in WB and Gaza) if they do not recognize it?
 
  • #12
russ_watters
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Bilal said:
- This election shows that Palestinian becomes a real democratic nation. There is no place for dictatorship anymore. There is a law above all the political parties and it should be respected by all.
Agreed. That's definitely a good thing.
- This election shows that people wanted to punish Fatah for their corruption. Also these results are answer to the rise of the right wing in Israel who rejects the right of Palestine to exist.
My boss's theory is that Hamas was able to credibly claim a victory with Israel's pullout from the West Bank. Do you think that played any role?

If it did, that's a bad sign that people are turning to Hamas not becuse they think Hamas can be a legitimate political force, but because they believe Hamas's terrorism gets results.
Art said:
Power won at the polls tends to temper extremism. Wait and see but I think now that Hamas are elected there is a very strong chance they will tone down their rhetoric and behave a lot more responsibly than before. Not immediately perhaps but shortly.
I'd like to believe that (and as a staunch democracy-ist, I should), but I'm not sure we've ever seen an actual terrorist organization elected to power before.
 
  • #13
Bilal
russ_watters said:
If it did, that's a bad sign that people are turning to Hamas not becuse they think Hamas can be a legitimate political force, but because they believe Hamas's terrorism gets results. I'd like to believe that (and as a staunch democracy-ist, I should), but I'm not sure we've ever seen an actual terrorist organization elected to power before.

:bugeye:

If Israel accept the decent offer of Arafat or Abbas , then Hamas will never get such support!

The problem that the people have nothing to lose now...

Palestinian resistance includes Fatah and Hamas, so nobody can claim that Hamas only who liberated Gaza. The problem is the failure of the peace strategy of Fatah by recognizing the right of Israel to exist, while the Israeli rejected till now to accept the right of Palestine to exist.

May be Israel should withdraw from Gaza through a agreement with Fatah instead to run away as scared sheep!! :mad:
 
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  • #14
Bilal
russ_watters said:
I'd like to believe that (and as a staunch democracy-ist, I should), but I'm not sure we've ever seen an actual terrorist organization elected to power before.

I do believe that Art can reply and show you how terrorists not only became leaders but also created a State on the land of other nation!!

((On October 28, 1948, Israeli battalion 89, headed by Moshe Dayan attacked Al-Dawaymeh, a village West to Hebron, to kill children and old aged men and women, Israel newspaper Davaar said on June 9, 1979. ))

((The terror Zionist organization Shtirn tried to assassinate the British military leader Montgomery, according to his dairies. Somebody has phoned my office to say this is Shtirn gang speaking, we have prepared a bomb to the Field Marshal, Montgomery's dairies, London, 19958, P. 467.))

((Shtirn, itself also made another assassination bid against late US President Truman. It was because fanatic Zionists had felt that he did not give enough support to their claims in Palestine. The White House Intelligent Service was warned by British Secret Service over a trapped message to Truman. The murder attempt was foiled. Novosti, 21, 5, 1988.))

((The terrorist Irgun Organization headed by Menachem Begin staged attacks on the British troop police centers in Palestine upon Britain's Mandate; the result was two Briton soldiers killed. Irgun again said it was responsible for King David Hotel detonation, where 100 persons killed, 41 of them were Arabs and 71 Jews and 28 Britons. The explosion took place in July 22 1946.
As a result British authorities haunted Begin to arrest and put him on trial. They allocated $ 50,000 for the person who can put him in jail. Egyptian newspaper al-Ahram March 10, 1992. ))
 
  • #15
russ_watters
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Bilal said:
:bugeye:

If Israel accept the decent offer of Arafat or Abbas , then Hamas will never get such support!

The problem that the people have nothing to lose now...
That isn't what I asked...
Palestinian resistance includes Fatah and Hamas, so nobody can claim that Hamas only who liberated Gaza.
Well, anyone can claim anything they want just by opening their mouths - and Hamas did claim that their violence is what led to the Israeli withdrawal. My question was: do you think people believed them and voted for them because of it?
The problem is the failure of the peace strategy of Fatah by recognizing the right of Israel to exist, while the Israeli rejected till now to accept the right of Palestine to exist.
I didn't think that had been a component of Israeli policy for some time. The question isn't whether Palestine should exist, but where. That is different from the other side of the coin, where Hamas still does not recognize Israel's right to exist.
May be Israel should withdraw from Gaza through a agreement with Fatah instead to run away as scared sheep!! :mad:
I'm not sure what you mean. For the West Bank, Israel had been trying to broker a deal to give it up for some time and finally gave up and withdrew unilaterally. There was no running away - they just decided that it was worth the international recognition to give it up without an agreement from the Palestinians. That puts a heavy burden of proof on the Palestinians to actually prove that they are even interested in peace.

As I understand it, the status of Giza is still under considerable dispute.
 
  • #16
russ_watters
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Bilal said:
I do believe that Art can reply and show you how terrorists not only became leaders but also created a State on the land of other nation!!
That isn't what I was saying. Of course terrorists have become leaders. But the Palestinians just elected a government with a stated policy of terrorism. I don't think that's ever happened before.
 
  • #17
NateTG
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russ_watters said:
That isn't what I was saying. Of course terrorists have become leaders. But the Palestinians just elected a government with a stated policy of terrorism. I don't think that's ever happened before.

Considering that the government hasn't been formed yet, that statement seems, at best, premature. I'm also wondering how different this is from, say, Sinn Fein winning elections in Ireland.

I'm not sure what the short term results will be, but if Palestine remains democratic, then getting Hamas invested in a peacful political process is probably a very positive thing for the Palestinians, and, most likely Israel as well because political empowerment makes terrorism a less attractive option.
 
  • #18
russ_watters
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NateTG said:
Considering that the government hasn't been formed yet, that statement seems, at best, premature.
I don't: Hamas has existed for some time. They may well change their stance, but the fact of the matter is, they were elected while having that stance.
I'm also wondering how different this is from, say, Sinn Fein winning elections in Ireland.
I knew someone would bring up Sinn Fein. It's a thin difference, I know, but Sinn Fein does not claim association with the IRA. That enables Sinn Fein to draw support from a larger audience that includes people who are against violence. With Hamas, there can be no such fence sitting: a supporter of Hamas is supporting a terrorist organization.

Edit: Also, Sinn Fein's history is fractured enough, though, that is is not easy to pin down. Hamas's position has always been clear and consistent.
I'm not sure what the short term results will be, but if Palestine remains democratic, then getting Hamas invested in a peacful political process is probably a very positive thing for the Palestinians, and, most likely Israel as well because political empowerment makes terrorism a less attractive option.
I tend to agree, but I'm not sure - we'll just have to wait and see how this one pans out.
 
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  • #19
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How will Bush's "war on terror" be affected by the outcome of elections?
 
  • #20
Art
There are several examples to illustrate my point. Besides Israel which has already been mentioned the current governing party of the Republic of Ireland, Fianna Fail were labelled terrorists for their opposition to British occupation and then again by the first Free State government and yet following their election to power they became a highly respected member of the international community.
Like many other now respectable groups whose roots lay in armed insurrection the rhetoric on which they were founded continued to some degree. In the case of Fianna Fail to the point that a claim to the still occupied 6 counties in the north of Ireland was enshrined in the constitution (until removed by referendum as part of the Good Friday Agreement) but was never militarily pursued.
Another example would be the US itself.
 
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  • #21
SOS2008
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Bilal said:
…and ending with the financial support from the USA goverment to several Fatah candidates (they admit of giving 2 MD to several fatah candidates). Many people believed that USA goverment wants to buy the election by few millions of Dollars, so they vote to the opposite side.
So Bush has been trying to spread democracy in the Middle East, and he uses the K Street tactics he/GOP are so familiar with? :surprised
Bilal said:
I agree with you ….

It seems the leaders of Hamas did not expect to win such high percentage!!

Now they are friendly asking Fatah and the Left to establish one government. There are many difficulties for Hamas to establish the government alone.
Correct about your other comments too. Arafat became more moderate with time. The problem is, once labeled a “terrorist organization” Bush will never work with Hamas just as he wouldn’t with Arafat.

Oh democracy, and how it is only a good thing when the Party of your choice wins, eh? :rolleyes:
 
  • #22
BobG
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russ_watters said:
If it did, that's a bad sign that people are turning to Hamas not becuse they think Hamas can be a legitimate political force, but because they believe Hamas's terrorism gets results.
Hamas won because they aren't one-dimensional. They paid a lot of attention to details internal to the Palestinian community that were not controversial. But, if Palestinians are even divided over whether Hamas contributed to results or hindered results, it's good for Hamas - it becomes a push and other issues become the deciding factor instead.

That doesn't change the Hamas external view and that is definitely a problem. Israel has elections coming up and the chances of hard-liners, unwilling to negotiate, winning Israel's elections just skyrocketed.

Between Israel-Palestine, the possibility of a theocratic Iraq (and the problems that will cause with Sunnis), the possibility of a nuclear Iran, the Middle East is in the most volatile and unpredictable condition I've seen.
 
  • #23
alexandra
Art said:
There are several examples to illustrate my point. Besides Israel which has already been mentioned the current governing party of the Republic of Ireland, Fianna Fail were labelled terrorists for their opposition to British occupation and then again by the first Free State government and yet following their election to power they became a highly respected member of the international community.
Like many other now respectable groups whose roots lay in armed insurrection the rhetoric on which they were founded continued to some degree. In the case of Fianna Fail to the point that a claim to the still occupied 6 counties in the north of Ireland was enshrined in the constitution (until removed by referendum as part of the Good Friday Agreement) but was never militarily pursued.
Another example would be the US itself.
Here are a few more examples of so-called 'terrorist' organisations that were voted to power:
South Africa - the African National Congress (ANC)
Namibia - the South West African People's Organisation (SWAPO)
Mozambique - the Liberation Front of Mozambique (FRELIMO)
Three examples just off the top of my head... And note that all of them retained power since being voted in by the people, and continue to enjoy immense popularity.
 
  • #24
alexandra
BobG said:
Between Israel-Palestine, the possibility of a theocratic Iraq (and the problems that will cause with Sunnis), the possibility of a nuclear Iran, the Middle East is in the most volatile and unpredictable condition I've seen.
I couldn't agree more, Bob - but what really gets me is how predictable this instability was - it was completely predictable that the invasion of Iraq would result in religious factionism, and the Israeli-Palestinian time-bomb has been ticking away as long as I can remember, and getting worse with each passing year. It didn't take brilliant multimillion-dollar-funded 'thinktanks' to see a volatile situation brewing there. And meddling in Iran is definitely going to shorten the fuse... but no, what is obvious to ordinary people who bother to read the news (biased as the 'news' sources are), is completely ignored by the experts and decision-makers. Brave new world...
 
  • #25
alexandra said:
Here are a few more examples of so-called 'terrorist' organisations that were voted to power:
South Africa - the African National Congress (ANC)
Namibia - the South West African People's Organisation (SWAPO)
Mozambique - the Liberation Front of Mozambique (FRELIMO)
Three examples just off the top of my head... And note that all of them retained power since being voted in by the people, and continue to enjoy immense popularity.

I'm not exactly sure how useful these parallels are. Fatah and Hamas are both organizations with roots and strong ties to terror. And in none of those cases did the national aspirations of a people depend entirely on how forgiving the neighbors they've victimized felt.
 

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