December 11, 2012

THE DISCIPLINE OF DEMOCRACY:

You want Hamas to behave? Then it's time to let it govern (Matt Hill, 10 Dec 2012, The Trelegraph)

[H]amas faces tough new choices in the wake of its recent confrontation with Israel. Like any radical group that succeeds in gaining power, it will increasingly be forced to make a painful choice between ideological purity and accommodation to the realities of government.

For some time Hamas has seen a power struggle between its commanders in Gaza, who shun any talk of future compromise with Israel, and its exiled leaders, who are influenced by the outlook of their hosts in countries like Egypt and Qatar, and increasingly see the idea of never-ending "resistance" for the dead end it is.

So far Israel has played its part in enabling the group to avoid choosing between these two ways of thinking. With Gaza under economic blockade and military siege since Hamas came to power in 2006, the organisation has never made the transition from resistance movement to governing party, with all the painful compromises that entails. [...]

Giving Hamas a chance to exercise real power in Gaza would empower less extreme elements who advocate a rapprochement with the Palestinian Authority and closer ties with moderate regional powers like Egypt, Qatar and Turkey. In this way, Israel could begin a process of nurturing the group's pragmatic strain, coaxing it towards compromise and legitimacy and eventually leaving its diehard militants on the margins - just as the world did with the PLO in the 1980s and 90s.


Posted by at December 11, 2012 4:34 AM
  
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