Count me wrong in one prediction about Hamas. I had figured, given its contempt for Yasir Arafat and his dishonorable ways, that Hamas would honorably stick by its ideology once it reached power, and not follow Arafat down the road of saying different things to different audiences. Yet, according to analyses by Palestinian Media Watch ("Hamas Duplicity: Talk Peace in English and deny it Arabic") and the Israeli ministry of foreign affairs ("The forked tongue of Hamas: How it speaks differently to Western and Arab media"), it is doing just that.
PMW presents a case of Hamas "presenting a conciliatory face to the Western media, while rejecting peace to its own people in Arabic, and even denying that the conciliatory statements were made." The MFA presents side-by-side extremist and moderate statements from Hamas leaders on such subjects as jihad, recognition of Israel, and applying the Shari‘a in the West Bank and Gaza.
Comment: This development is probably due to the quite significant resistance in the West to the Hamas victory, including the withholding of funds and other benefits. I am glad of it but expect this position to erode over time and the Hamas message eventually to return to its former consistency. (April 11, 2006)