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From Rights to Responsibility.

Reader comment on item: Why Hamas['s Electoral Victory] Leaves Me Neutral

Submitted by RPaine (Australia), Feb 1, 2006 at 10:32

Dear Dr. Pipes,

Thank you for sharing your wisdom with the rest of us. We are all better for knowing you.

Re: Hamas' inherited Responsibility

Let's face it, the Palestinians voted for Hamas to govern and Hamas is now the official Government of Palestine. Before they talked about Rights, but now they have Responsibility.

The discussion has focused, to a great extent on "why?" and surprise, but this is potentially the ideal situation, I suggest. Everything is getting clearer. On one hand, Hamas had operated as an organisation in the past, not a Government: to the West and Israel, they were a terrorist organization; but to the Palestinians and Muslim-world they were freedom-fighters, "Jihadists" (and to them Jihad or fighting the Infidels is a good thing, right?), a charitable organization and an effective weapon against those who they wished to harm, especially Israel.

On the other hand, now all the anonymity that Hamas had enjoyed as a non-Governmental organization is gone! They can no longer hide behind Fatah's ‘skirt' and enjoy a semblance of anonymity. They are no longer on the sidelines; they are in the BIG game now, where responsibility counts. For Hamas to send a single suicide bomber into Israel at this point could/would constitute an act of war, which could easily see a military response against all of Palestine. There is a big difference in the position that they now find themselves, for there is no place to hide, and they are going to take all of Palestine with them on this journey, whether for good or for bad - they are now accountable! So, if they chose un-wisely they will be (in my humble opinion) hammered from every direction. There is no more grey area and Hamas now has a crucial choice to make!

Ultimately, they will probably step with care at first until they can figure out how to evade the bright sun-light that now shines on their every move. And it's going to be very difficult for them to just franchise their suicide terror to other groups or re-brand their terror operations under a new name through "unrelated" or "unconnected" organizations. They are in a catch-22 situation, and between the proverbial rock and a hard place. Now Hamas will get to show just how responsible they are, for the Palestinian future rest in their hands.

Best wishes,
RPaine
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