25 January 2007

Hamas Elected One Year Ago

On the first anniversary of their spectacular
election victory in occupied Palestine, any true
believer in democracy would warmly congratulate
Hamas, one year ago the overwhelming choice of
the Palestinians.

Hamas and its followers have faced a dreadful
year through no fault of theirs: An international
boycott, a virtual freezing of aid (other than what
could be smuggled in by returning government
ministers), political isolation, a brutal invasion of
Gaza by Israel on the pretext of retrieving their
captured soldier but to any rational observer a
clear attemp to destroy the Hamas government,
regular attempts by Israel to disrupt the latest
truce, Israeli raids on banks doing legitimate
business, very disturbing clashes, probably
encouraged or engineered by "outside forces",
between Hamas and the ousted Fatah
movement, the list continues...
Given that each one of these problems is a major
problem on its own, it is no less than a miracle
that the Hamas government, led by that fine
principled man Ismail Haniya, is still intact
and in power after a full year of these brutal
onslaughts and humiliations.
Lesser men would long since have buckled and
failed where Haniya and Co have steadfastly
refused to compromise and remain unbowed.
You are heroes, every one of you!
Stand firm, remain true to your ideals and one
of these days the world, whether it likes it or not,
will have to deal with you.

Ahmad Yusuf, a senior Hamas political adviser,
when asked about their first year in power, said:
"It's been like a world conspiracy against this
government - led by the United States. Arab
countries have collaborated with Washington.
Elements in the ousted Fatah party have
attacked the new administration, and the
Israelis have continually tried to undermine it.
With this combination of powers working against
this government, I think just to keep ourselves
surviving - and our people still not starving to
death - that to us is a big achievement".

For Palestinian anger is directed against the
Israelis and the international community, there
has been no wavering in support for Hamas,
proving that although jobless and hungry, they
can still tell right from wrong and friend from foe.

Haniya and Hamas, here is hoping that this
coming year will see the world coming to its
senses and deal with the government which the
people of Palestine elected to represent them.

Morally, of course, the world has no choice but
to deal with Hamas and, anyway, Hamas the
political party is now so strong that it cannot
be ignored.

In the words of Ahmad Yusuf:
"If the Israelis fail, or the world community fails,
to deal with Hamas that will mean that there will
be no chance for peace at all". Ameen!!

Let me say it again:
Haniya and Hamas, were I a Palestinian,
I would vote for you!

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