Feature

A win for armed resistance—and democracy.

The week's news at a glance.

Hamas

Iran congratulates the Palestinian people, said Iran’s Siyasat-e Ruz in an editorial. Their election of the Islamic Resistance Movement, aka Hamas, is “a turning pointin the history of the Islamic Revolution.” Hamas is not only committed to the destruction of the Zionist entity. It alone among Palestinian factions has pledged to “revive Islamic values.” The landslide victory of this party proves that Iran, which has long supported Hamas, has “great weight” in regional politics. And it shows that Palestinians are no longer satisfied with Fatah’s corrupt brand of nationalism, divorced from religion.

The Palestinians chose resistance, said Isam Dari in Syria’s Tishrin. Political and diplomatic methods to solve the refugee crisis have failed “because of Israel’s deception, maneuvers, and rejection of peace.” Predictably, Israel now says it won’t talk to a Hamas government. That’s because Israel wants to deal “only with a weak government that completely abandons the resistance option.” Naturally, the Western powers are backing that stance. They are telling the oppressed people of Palestine “to lay down their weapons and stay unprotected from the fiercest forces of injustice and tyranny in this age.” What happened to the rhetoric about democracy? Palestinians voted fairly for resistance. “The Americans should accept that democracy is what nations choose, not the canned commodity that they want to export to nations.”

The Americans shouldn’t worry so much, said Jordan’s Al-Dustur in an editorial. It’s a mistake to see the Hamas victory as a vote for armed struggle. Palestinian voters don’t support open war against Israel. “The Palestinian people want security, stability, and peace, which is why they wanted to try a new face and direction.” In their view, Hamas has the best chance of restoring order in the Gaza Strip and purging corruption from the Palestinian Authority. “Hamas’ entry into government can make the Palestinian position better than ever—providing everyone accepts and respects the will of the Palestinian people.”

It all depends on whether Hamas can change, said Saudi Arabia’s Arab News in an editorial. Hamas does not have a real mandate and should not act as if it does. Palestinians “voted against Fatah, rather than for Hamas. They certainly did not vote for its policies.” If Hamas continues “with the bomb and the bullet,” the Israelis will abandon all restraint. They will “rain down death” on the territories, hoping to provoke a Palestinian uprising against the Hamas government. Hamas will have to soften its stance and accept the need for peace negotiations.

Sa’dollah Zare’i

Keyhan

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