Monday, January 30, 2006

Tehran Times: "New challenges for Hamas"

Here is an editorial from someone who feels that the downside of the election victory is that Hamas might go soft on jihad:
The glorious victory of Hamas in last week’s parliamentary election is one of the most significant events in the political history of Palestine. However, it has also raised some concerns, both in Palestine and abroad.

Some political analysts believe that the entrance of Hamas into the parliament and cabinet may undermine the resistance activities of the movement, which clearly enjoys great popularity in Palestine.

Hamas, which was established in 1987 in order to liberate the occupied territories of Palestine, has become very popular both within and outside Palestine over the past two decades.

The organization’s rejection of the Oslo Accords and all other compromises with Israel and its insistence on the establishment of an independent Palestinian government with Beit-ul-Moqaddas as its capital have helped Hamas acquire a high status in the Islamic world.

In addition to their struggle against Israel, Hamas members also confronted the greed of the old guard of the Fatah movement and the financial and administrative corruption of the Palestinian Authority. As a result, they were often persecuted by the political parties of the Palestinian Authority.

So, what has changed in the occupied territories that has enabled Hamas to win such a majority in the Palestinian Parliament, which puts it in a position to claim the post of prime minister and select the new cabinet? Are Hamas officials better political negotiators than the professional politicians of the Palestinian Authority?

Someone should be held accountable for the death of Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, Abdul Aziz al-Rantisi, prominent Hamas member Ismail Abu Shanab, Yahya Ayash, and other Palestinian martyrs.

The U.S. and Israel will definitely impose unacceptable conditions on Hamas, calling for it to disarm all political groups, recognize Israel, and condemn all jihadi movements. Hamas must never bow to these demands.

Therefore, the Hamas victory in the election is just one side of the coin, because it will soon face many obstacles set up by other Palestinian parties, the West, and Israel.

Also, it seems that the Hamas victory in the election will also pave the way for the victory of extremist parties like Likud, which is currently led by former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in the upcoming Israeli parliamentary election.

In the Knesset election, either Likud or another extremist Zionist party will certainly assume power in Israel, and these parties are strongly opposed to any kind of negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.

Therefore, there is little hope that the Palestine crisis can be resolved through diplomacy under the current circumstances.

At this sensitive juncture, with the Islamists coming under pressure from all sides, Hamas must vigilantly and diligently uphold the rights of the Palestinian nation.

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