Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A Palestinian Do-Over

Well ,you know what they say if you don’t get it right the first time try, try again. It appears that this is the philosophy of the Fatah sect of the Palestinian government, the Bush administration, and the Israelis. Unhappy with the results of last year’s Palestinian election, which saw the Hamas faction winning big, it has been decided that those results should be dispensed with and new elections should be held. Now why didn’t we think of that in 2000 and 2004? If you don’t like the results of an election, just call a do-over. Unlike our case we are not talking about an election with contested results, this was an election that was considered fair by all parties.

So what’s the problem? The problem is that the Palestinians don’t understand democracy. They foolishly think that democracy means that the winner of an election is allowed to govern for the term of that election. Wrong, the way democracy really works is that if you have the nerve to elect a government that the powers that be do not like, approve of, or recognize then that election is invalidated. The nerve of these people to think they get to elect their own representatives. After decades of corruption, lack of progress in peace talks, and torture of their own people, the Palestinians decided to go another way from the Fatah monopoly.

Abbas made the announcement ahead of a gathering of the Palestine Liberation Organization's powerful Central Council. The council was expected to call for early elections as a way toward ending the bitter power struggle between Abbas' Fatah movement and the Islamic militant group Hamas.

Hamas trounced Fatah in 2006 legislative elections, setting off more than a year of factional strife that culminated with Hamas' violent takeover of the Gaza Strip last month.

Abbas responded by forming an emergency government based in the West Bank.

Hamas has said it would oppose a call for new elections, saying it is being robbed of last year's victory.[1]

So this is the type of democracy that the Bush administration wants to import to the Middle-East? It’s no wonder the rest of the region is not dying to get a part of this. You can’t have open and fair elections and then invalidate the results; it kind of defeats the purpose of open and fair elections; sort of like that whole “fair and balanced” thing with Fox news. It is this type of empire philosophy that is fueling the ire of the world; we know better than you what is right for you. It is not democracy when the results of the election are rigged in advance. It appears that the folks in the White House and in Tele Aviv could use a class in democracy.

Rather than address the true obstacles to peace, let’s focus on the group that the Palestinians have chosen to negotiate for them. Let’s ignore the continued settlement building, the assassinations, and the apartheid regime and act shocked by the fact that these people are frustrated and want new leadership. Why can’t they be fat, dumb, and happy like our democracy has made us? These same politicos that decried the fake elections of Saddam and other dictators have the nerve to claim the moral high ground here. The hypocrisy of this blatant attempt to thwart the will of the Palestinian people is so obvious, I would suggest that the Palestinians should boycott any attempt at new elections. If they will not honor the last elections what makes you think they will honor this one? Maybe, because prior to the next election they plan to release millions of dollars into the economy in an attempt to buy the Palestinians silence and prevent true democracy from taking place.

“Hypocrisy can afford to be magnificent in its promises, for never intending to go beyond promise, it costs nothing” - Edmund Burke

[1] http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/world/AP-Palestinians-Abbas.html?hp

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