The people of Palestine have spoken! But do they want peace? Doesn't Hamas's overwhelming victory prove that the voters have embraced the Hamas charter and wish to destroy Israel?
Hard to say.
It must be pointed out that Hamas didn't win because it promised to destroy Israel. That wasn't one of their campiagn issues, as TNR pointed out last week, and as the New York Times explained today. Along with being a terroroist organization (which it certainly is: I make no apologies) Hamas is a social service organization. They've promised to deal with corruption and to improve services. That - not the destruction of Israel - were the issues that put them over the top.
It's is possible Hamas won the election not because they are a terrorist organization but because because they are more than a terrorist organization. Perhaps people cast their votes for Hamas not because they wish to destroy Israel, but because they are sick of the incompetance and corruption of Fatah.
Wishful thinking? Perhaps. But perhaps not.
And in any event, Israel should, by now, be used to neighboring states who are committed to its destruction. The great thing about Sharon and his policies is that those who wish to destroy Israel are on the outside, behind a wall, and not an occupied population. Previously, the Palestenians had a moral argument which they advanced using immoral methods. Thanks to Sharon, the moral argument has been answered. The Palestenians are no longer under military occupation, leaving them with their immoral methods and not much else.
Sidenote: Is George W. Bush , champion of democracy in the middle east, having a "be careful what you wish for" moment? Are our soldiers today dying in Iraq so that one day some Iraqui version of Hamas might stand for election and win?