Ever since Hamas won the last election, its supporters have been playing up the fact that they were democratically elected. It seemed to some observers that Hamas would embrace the democratic form of government, heralding in a new era of leadership and perhaps the beginning of a transition from terrorist organization to legitimate political one.
How soon reality has set back in again. It is now apparent that the only democracy that Hamas will embrace is the democracy that will let it attain further power.
With the creation of a new Hamas backed security force, Hamas’s political leader Ismail Haniya has thumbed his nose at the democracy he claimed brought him to power by ignoring Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and forming a Hamas led security force. Abbas has ordered the newly formed illegitimate security force off of the streets.
Hamas has refused to recall their newly formed extremist security apparatus, leading to near anarchy in the streets of Palestine. As well, some international leaders now fear for the personal safety of Mahmoud Abbas, with one top aid already dying in a bomb blast.
Tensions continued to escalate Monday as sporadic clashes between Hamas and Fatah forces erupted throughout Gaza.
The underlying cause of the problems now plaguing the people of Palestine is the struggle that continues for control of the government. With Fatah holding the presidency of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas can, in theory, keep the lid on Hamas. I say in theory, because that could only happen if Hamas were to play by the rules that were in effect at the time it came to power.
Hamas, however, has never been a democratic force. Throughout their existence, they have relied on violence and force to obtain their goals and enforce their will. Many in the Hamas organization consider Abbas a traitor and coward. They feel that he is a puppet of Israel as he continues to plead for peace and for a two state solution. Hamas wants nothing to do with peace. Their goal is and has always been the eradication of Israel.
Should anything happen to Abbas, the Palestinian people will have voted themselves a trip back in time some 50 years. They will once again be international pariahs cut off from the West and dependant on aid from hostile islamic countries with their own agendas. Even worse, we could see the beginning of the internal conflict becoming a bloody civil war.