Saturday, January 28, 2006

The ballot box is mightier than the sword

The World is just about coming to terms with the events of the last few days in Palestine.. the shockwaves are still rippling through the Middle East and the rest of the World...
The Palestinian Legislative Council elections have demonstrated the frustration and despair amongst the Palestinians. The masses have voted overwhelmingly against the status quo, and went for Hamas.. largely because the alternatives were so pathetic.. Dispossessed, oppressed and disenfranchised, people will always shift to the most extreme option, with little regard to the details of the manifesto or policies proposed by that option.. Democracy, the US must now realize, is a double-edged sword..
The reaction to the results also demonstrated the duplicity of the Western media and Western government.. what I often refer to as 'the prostitution of the Western press'.. What is 'extremism' on the Arab side becomes suddenly 'adherence to principles' on the Israeli side.. 'Terrorism' is what the Palestinians practice, but it 's ‘defending the right for existence’ if carried out by the Israelis..
I have just watched the Press Conference held by Khaled Mash’al, Head of the Political Office (to avoid terms like ‘Political Bureau’, as it is too reminiscent of Communist Russia!!..). I must say, I am impressed by his charisma, apparent open-mindedness, and call for pluralism and inclusiveness of all Palestinian factions. Only time will tell how true to his words the organization is going to be.. I would say, give the man a chance.. I do hope that Israel, the West, and Arab countries alike will demonstrate the same levels of open-mindedness.. However, I am rather pessimistic, and previous experiences have always brought out the old cynic in me...

5 comments:

Don Cox said...

I think the Palestinians voted against corruption, not for war with Israel. Whether Hamas proves to be any less corrupt than the PLO remains to be seen. Even in Britain it is a non-stop battle to keep corruption down.

Omar said...

The "Fateh" organization brought nothing but disappointment to Palestinians in the past few years, in both international and local politics. Combine this with the growing popularity of religion-based political movements in the area (Hamas, Hizbullah, Al Mahdi army, etc..).. and Democracy is not going to go well as planned for the west.

which is (in my own guess) what's stopping the US from taking any military action against Syria as well, because any change of the regime (if it happened by people's will) will go towards the brotherhood (al ikhwan) as they are the more trusted power on the surface.. as they draw their credibility from religion.. hich cannot go wrong.. and of course, this is something that the US doesn't want, a good portion of the Syrians don't want, and certainly no one in the region wants..

I guess they all realized how complicated things can get when you tamper with the levant area..

Nice blog by the way.. glad to see that there is an active syrian presence on the net

yaman said...

Hey, I wonder if you did your medical school in Damascus. If so, my father did his around the same time as you. Your ages are similar

The Syrian Brit said...

I graduated in 1980 from Damascus University School of Medicine.. What's your Dad's name?..

ibn yafa said...

Hamas was not a Hobson's choice as many like to think it is. Disillusion with Fateh is partly the reason for the election results, but Hamas does present itself as a trustworthy movement with well established institutes.

Many people seem to have a grudge with Islamic Parties for a mixture of historic and personal reasons. Their resentment also seems to increase when such groups do not meet their sterotypical views, and prove to be even more progressive and dynamic than their secular rivals. Weird...