Once seen primarily as an extremist, violent, militant armed group, Hamas' migration toward the political mainstream of Palestinian politics is why it swept many municipal elections in Palestine last year, and is poised to win a quarter or more of parliamentary seats this week. Hamas' pragmatic journey towards the political center of Palestinian life has been well documented in a report published earlier this week by the respected International Crisis Group . This is must reading for anyone who seeks to grasp the facts and actual trends of Hamas' place in Palestinian politics, which in turn mirrors the broader transformation taking place among mainstream Islamists throughout the Middle East.Peace talks between the PA and Isreal can wait. What we need is a Democratic consolidation in the PA. We need to see if Hamas can run a stable government and ween themselves off the Western dole. Force them to rebuild the devasted tourist industry to support themselves instead. Peace talks are the last thing we need now. Peaceful intent will speak for itself. Let the pragmatic journey continue a while more because it's a journey away from Bin Ladenism.
Here's where the Osama and Dick Horror Show comes in again. A new pragmatic center is starting to take shape in many Arab lands. It articulates the sensible aspirations and solid values of ordinary citizens who reject Osama- and-Dick-style political extremism, intemperance and sustained violence. These two fellows represent dark political underworlds inhabited by frightened people who spend much of their time hiding in caves and bunkers, deprived of natural light, unaware of the moral and political trajectory of normal human beings. Give me a televised political debate from Rafah any time.
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Hamas and Bin Laden - Rami G. Khouri
I don't exactly agree with the Dick Cheney characterization, but I don't doubt the dynamic of the pragmatic journey described by Rami G. Khouri here. (Written before the Hamas election victory.)