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24 January 2006


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John Howley

It seems to me that the United States and Israel have been campaigning quite actively for Hamas votes by loudly denouncing Hamas and by funding the PA incumbents. If they (we) were really worried about Hamas winning too many votes, we would have kept our mouths shut. After all, the majority of Palestinians believe that Israel and the U.S. are the main cause of the misery their families enjoy (I know I would if I were a Palestinian). If Washington and Tel Aviv insist that Hamas is dangerous, then they must be doing something right (in addition to providing services where the corrupt Fatah has failed). What am I missing here, Col.?

W. Patrick Lang


We are not as smart as you give us credit for. pl


Uri Avnery made this point in an article yesterday about Hamas and the elections:

"Hamas' presence in the next Palestinian government is not a reason to reject peace negotiations. On the contrary, it is a compelling reason for starting them at long last. It would mean that we negotiate with the entire Palestinian spectrum (excluding only the small Islamic Jihad organization). If Hamas joins the government on the basis of Mahmoud Abbas' peace policy, it is manifestly ripe for negotiations, with or without arms, based on a hudnah (truce)."



Col. Lang,

Is it that hard to understand why Hamas is garnering so much support? As Mr. Howley points out, Fatah is a terminally corrupt organization, which provides little in the way of services or security to the Palestinians.

In contrast, Hamas, though its faults are legion, attempts to provide some essential services to Palestinians. Since Hamas is providing to people services normally attributable to governemnt, perhaps people assume that the organization should be given a chance to govern.

Just a thought.

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