Thursday, December 22, 2005

Democracy, Israeli-style

The Palestinian Authority is scheduled to hold Parliamentary elections in January - a valuable step towards making the Palestinian government accountable to its people and resolving some of the problems in the de facto Palestinian state. Now Israel is threatening to stop Palestinians in East Jerusalem from voting - explicitly because they might vote for the "wrong" candidates. The similarities with Egypt ought to be obvious...


The "wrong people" in this case being these guys, which makes it rather more understandable if not excusable.

Posted by stephen : 12/22/2005 12:38:00 PM

I would much rather Hamas were seeking change through the ballot box than terrorism. Israel's actions seem calculated to confine them to the latter strategy.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 12/22/2005 01:16:00 PM

If peopel want to vote for hamas they must be allowed to. Unless you really wnat to say "democracy is wrong". And if that is your position you should be honest and say it.

Posted by Genius : 12/22/2005 04:09:00 PM

Genius: what I am saying, which I will now do in annoying detail, is that Hamas' constitutional aim is to impose Islamic rule through armed struggle over all Palestine, which they define as including all the territory currently held by Israel.

It is therefore not surprising that an Israeli government might try and stop them from winning an election.

I acknowledge this is wrong, but it is understandable. I/S' phrase "the wrong people" is quite disingenuous, because he omits the important information about WHY Hamas might be considered "the wrong people". Hamas are "the wrong people" because they are constitutionally bound to pursue armed struggle against Israel, and hence a Hamas win commits a Palestinian state to war or terrorism or both.

I/S, Hamas is bound by its convenant to Jihad (see article 13 of the covenant, for example). They don't have an IRA/Sinn Fein-style split of military and political wings, and cannot abandon warfare. You statement implies a belief that they can choose the ballot box over terrorism; one over the other. I think it is far more likely that they choose both.

Posted by stephen : 12/23/2005 09:59:00 AM