Looking at Hamas by examining definitions

The Palestinian elections mark a failure in the Bush administration’s efforts.

Many remain adamant that the Hamas victory disrupts peace in the Israeli-Palestinian situation while ignorantly holding the position that Fatah is the best choice.

There is little distinction between the events Hamas sponsors and kids who, upset over the death of a loved one, strap on a bomb in a vengeful attempt to buy back their loss. This is not to say Hamas is not militant, the group is. However, the terror wing of Hamas is exclusive to Israel, while Fatah takes its “struggle” out of the country. The horrific Munich massacre was led by Fatah members. In this sense, it is ignorant to classify Hamas as a terrorist organization and Fatah as not. The only difference between the two is that Hamas has more of a social core that contributes to the livelihood of Palestinians. The situation today would be brighter if leaders acted on morality instead of political gain. Obviously parts of Hamas’ overwhelming victory was out of reaction to the Bush administration’s militant foreign policy.

How then can we complain about the victory? People should wait before passing judgment. Hamas has ceased fire. The group asked Fatah to be involved in the political process. Despite what is portrayed in media, there is no crossfire. Little credit is given to the positives of the victory. Fatah has proved themselves as a group that has shown its disengagement from the Palestinian people. Just because the U.S. government says Hamas is a terrorist organization doesn’t mean it is.

Looking into the future, Israel and the United States must recognize Palestinian leadership. The greatest burden, however, is on Hamas leaders, who have the responsibility to prove they are capable political leaders. Hamas needs to get past militancy, as their militant activities have clouded their humanitarian efforts. Hamas must rise above military gurus and have real political figures. What is hopeful is the growing camaraderie between Arabs and Jews, all uniting toward a peaceful solution. Locally, work between International Solidarity Movement, Jews for an End to the Occupation and Women Against Military Madness Middle East Committee, convey this.