Elections for a new Palestinian legislative body is today. As many know, Hamas is expected to do well in the elections. According to the Hamas Charter, a formal statement of Hamas’ beliefs, Hamas is committed to eliminating Israel:
– “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.”
– “There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.”
– “After Palestine, the Zionists aspire to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates. When they will have digested the region they overtook, they will aspire to further expansion, and so on. Their plan is embodied in the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, and their present conduct is the best proof of what we are saying.”
Hamas has claimed responsibility for numerous suicide bombings, killing innocent civilians, usually Israeli. Hamas’ decision to run in a democratic election prompts the question: Who will vote for Hamas?
I don’t have demographics, but I do have a selection of quotes from Palestinians answering why they would vote for Hamas (drawn from various on-line media sources). Among the responses:
– “We want to change the flavor,” said Nimr Derbas, a 25-year-old in the West Bank city of Nablus. “Hamas people are closer to their God, close to their religion, and I think that’s better.”
– Student Ahmad abu Quake said he cast his vote for Hamas, saying he was fed up with what he described as 10 years of misrule by Fatah. “…We tried them [Fatah] 10 years. They [Fatah] were a failure in politics, they were a failure in giving services, they were a failure in everything. They are corrupt,” he said.
– Tamir Yunis, 28, a police officer who works in a government hospital, said: “I did feel personal pressure to a certain extent at work to vote for Fatah, but I really felt that I wanted to try someone new out. Fatah has tried and failed by all standards, so I voted for Hamas.”
– Youssef al-Shaik, 51, said that he had always been with Hamas, and had been detained twice by Israel during the first Intifada. Two of his 12 children are in jail. Another two study in Egypt, but he says he cannot afford to keep them both there. “Hamas will make a difference …If we have power inside, we can help. Running in the election is not just cosmetics – people need change and reform. Fatah was the majority, but they achieved nothing but the apartheid wall… If they have a position, they try to help their relatives, and that’s it. Hamas will be different – if they have authority in their hands.”
Exit polls indicate that… Fatah won more than 42 percent of the vote and Hamas more than 34 percent, based on exit polling of 6,500 voters.
“This is going to be the truest democracy the Arab world has seen,” boasts Hamas candidate Fadel Saleh.