Debating IR

Probing the philosophical underpinnings of the international system and anything else of interest.


Saturday, January 28, 2006

Reflection: the effect of this election on Palestine

In class, we discussed the elections that unseated the Fatah party in favor of Hamas, and the inevitable or not-so-inevitable changes.

I think it's fair to say that most Palestinians have much more conviction about political events than most Americans do. The average American can't even name his senators, might make it out to vote for the president, and accepts the presidential election results with a day or two of either griping or celebration. Compare that with today's events, when Fatah activists stormed the Hamas leader's compound and made such statements as "We are now no longer part of the ceasefire [against Israel]" and "Whoever will participate in a government with Hamas, we will shoot him in the head."

Will this be resolved peacefully? I doubt that it will be a bloodless conflict, considering the passion on both sides, but I agree with Jonathan that it will find a balance between political differences and the national interest all Palestinians share by nature of being Palestinian. I'm not optimistic enough to say that this will happen soon, however. For the next few months, Palestine will be attempting to find this balance, and there will be dissatisfied citizens on both sides. The intense convictions of both Fatah and Hamas sympathizers will make it hard to reach a compromise anytime soon.

However, I admire the fact that Palestinians have such strong convictions; the American equivalent of this last election would be the Democrats gaining the majority in Congress, unseating the Republicans, and in my opinion, a relatively small percentage of Americans would care or, for that matter, would have voted in the Congressional elections. Few people in my area, for example, would be aware of the change.


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