This is an interesting take on the upcoming election. –Editor
By Micah Halpern
I am here to say, loud and clear, plain and simple, that no matter what happens on January 25th, Hamas has already won in the Palestinian election.
If Hamas wins the 30 percent of the Palestinian electorate that they are expected to win, a percentage that puts them in a close race with the governing Fatah, it will be a big win. If Hamas wins even more than 30 percent of the electorate, if they outstrip Fatah, it will be an even bigger win.
Whatever happens, just being on the ballot, is a win for Hamas. Becoming the plurality is one of their dreams come true. Their other dream, of course, will never come true. That dream is the elimination of Israel.
So what happens if/when Hamas actually wins in the Palestinian elections scheduled for January 25th? The Palestinian people, as we have come to know them, will disappear. Hamas will create a new Palestinian culture, a more religious, less economically developed culture, a safer place for Palestinians to live, a more dangerous spot on the world map.
It sounds ridiculous, even absurd, it seems counterintuitive, even beyond belief, but in certain ways, a victory for Hamas also benefits those Palestinians who are non-Hamas supporters. Why? Because a victory for Hamas is a victory of extremists over corruption.
The Palestinian Authority, since its inception, has been a hotbed of corruption, ineptitude and greed. It is a legacy handed down by founding father Yasser Arafat and embraced by his successor Mahmoud Abbas.
Simply put, casting a vote for Hamas is voting to oust corrupt Palestinian political leaders. For the Palestinian voter this election is not about Israel, it is not even about a Palestinian state. Only Westerners think otherwise. For Palestinians, January 25th is a day devoted to very personal and very local issues. It is a day to say “ENOUGH” to monies that were misappropriated, to billions of dollars in foreign aid that never trickled down to the people, to leaders who stole and pocketed gargantuan sums intended for the people. It is a day of empowerment.
A vote for Hamas on election day is a vote to end the true legacy of Yasser Arafat.
A vote for Hamas on election day is a vote to censure the United States, Europe and all Westerners involved in policy decisions that ignored the people of the Palestinian Authority and, instead, trusted in Palestinian leadership.
The United States and her allies are truly to blame for much of the economic plight of the Palestinian people. Where were the bean counters? Where was the demand for fiscal accountability? The EU and the U.S. just threw money at an ephemeral entity called the Palestinian Authority and hoped that it would some how, some way find its way and do some good. Instead, it found its way under Fatah mattresses and into Fatah cookie jars.
Abbas has already said he will not run again. In truth, it does not matter one little bit what Abbas does. Abbas has been irrelevant from the beginning. Abbas has played little role in forging any change for the people he promised to protect.
A vote for Hamas on election day is a voting turning the Palestinian Authority into an entity akin to a Little Iran.
The biggest difference between true Iran and Little Iran is that Iran had educational, scientific and technological infrastructures in place before they had ruling religious leaders. The Mullahs did not rip down that infrastructure, and so a thriving economy continues. Palestinians have never reached that level of advancement.
So what will the Palestinian Authority look like after Hamas wins 30 percent or more of the Palestinian popular vote on January 25th? How will the Palestinian state be run?
- Educational institutions and curriculum will have no chance for reform. Israel will never be seen as a neighbor or written into texts
- Science and tech schools will be replaced with religious schools
- There will be no chance of economic growths and gains in the new generation
- Attitudes toward the West will grow ever more negative
- Religious police will be instituted, and anyone who does not conform to Shari’a will be punished publicly
- A female dress code will be instituted and enforced
- TV and radio will revert to Muslim-only programming
- PA culture will be exclusively Muslim
- There will be an exodus of wealthy, successful, future-oriented liberal Palestinians
- The nation will spiral downward
- Palestinians will get more safety on the streets and less corruption. There will be no more kidnappings. Anyone who breaks the law will be publicly humiliated or executed.
After the election there will be a proud public display of a change in policy and attitude toward Israel and the West.
And then there will be an inevitable attack. Israel will counter attack and search out terrorist leaders, even PA political leaders, and cut off major sections of this new state. Israel will react in the way they know best: they will cut the Palestinians off and protect themselves.
For Israel, Palestinians under Hamas will be more dangerous in the short run, but much more manageable. It will be much clearer for Israel to understand the new state of Palestinians and to create a strategic response to the new threat facing them. Actually, they have already worked out the scenarios. Israelis like security to be black and white, clear cut. A Hamas-led Palestine is the textbook example of a clear cut situation.
That is what will happen when/if Hamas wins the Palestinian election. And the United States will get the blame.