The Hamas Election Victory and a Light at the End of the Tunnel

By now, most of you have heard how Hamas has won the Palestinian elections. How could you NOT hear?

What you also might notice is that the representatives of Hamas don’t seem to say anything different about Israel than the previous regime, the more ‘moderate’ Fatah party. True, Hamas doesn’t recognize Israel, but most people put that down to the sort of prenegotiation haggling that often goes on around here.

However, you must be annoyed to hear Hamas talk about continuing their armed struggle. When Israel no longer occupies Palestinian land, they say, they’ll stop fighting.

I see that you are clinging to that as a light at the end of the tunnel. Very understandable since Israel really is letting go of occupied land. They have withdrawn from Gaza, and they are drawing up plans to unilaterally withdraw from the West Bank. It sounds like light at the end of the tunnel is a bright and shining peace, right?

Yes, yes, you know that Hamas is a terrorist organization. But, terrorists need to come in out of the cold sometime. Surely, underneath all that bluster they are pragmatic, right?

Of course, you were probably disturbed by the fact that Hamas wouldn’t even consider the idea of recognizing Israel when they visited Russia a little while back. Yeah. That must have been a bit disturbing. They just can’t seem to acknowledge even the possibility of recognizing Israel. They keep saying, that there must be an end to the occupation.

It’s annoying and impolite. You would expect good negotiators to at least TALK about the idea of an eventual peace, right?

Feeling a bit uneasy that Hamas isn’t playing the game? Maybe you tell yourself that they don’t really understand how the game is played and that they just need a little more time. Hamas are like children on the world stage. We should indulge them a little bit, right?

When you tell yourself these things, you can almost see the light at the end of that tunnel getting closer. Hamas are people like you and me. If you can just find the right key, the right words, there will be peace in our time.

It sounds like you really do work very hard to be a reasonable person, so let me ask you a reasonable question. Did you ever stop to ask Hamas what they meant when they referred to ‘occupied territories’?

I know that you keep telling me that you don’t need to do that, because they’re just Fatah with beards. But, really, go and ask. I’ll wait.

Or… let me save you some time and tell you myself. According to Hamas, here are the following ‘occupied territories’: Gaza, the West Bank, the Golan Heights, Galilee, Haifa, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Beer Sheva, Eilat…

You’ve gone a little pale. Maybe you should sit down. It looks like you finally understand.

That’s right, the light at the end of that tunnel is a train, and it’s not waiting for you to get out of the way.