Should The Newly Elected Hamas Government Of Palestine Be Sanctioned Or Engaged? (2006)

1226 words - 5 pages

Following the sudden death of Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian Islamic militant group Hamas, emerged the victor of the January 25 election in Palestine. It is widely known that Hamas is a sponsor of terrorism, and one of its major radical ideologies is to destroy Israel as part of the Islamic Jihad, or holy war. Hence, the victory of this Palestinian group has triggered many shockwaves among the international community, particularly in the West. The tremendous alarm and concern has surfaced to create heated debates among diplomatic circles in the United States, Europe and Israel, as to whether the olive branch should be extended to the Palestinian Authority. Many Western interests are appalled ...view middle of the document...

However, an uncompromising approach would be a slap in the face to democracy, and cause much distress to the Palestinians. This paper argues that the policy of engagement would be more beneficial than isolation, because if Hamas were to resist these axiomatic changes or fail a diplomatic test, a transition to a policy of confrontation would be sufficiently warranted. The shift from refusing to compromise, to doing so, may not be possible.Hamas' history of involvement in terrorism proves that the organization is predisposed to violence. However, the Palestinians are well aware of this, as they were when they voted. Many Palestinians know that Hamas' terrorist activity has made it unpopular among diplomatic circles, especially since the events of 9/11. However they democratically elected Hamas. But it is ironic that the countries which are advocating the sanctioning of the new Palestinian Authority are the ones who claim that they want democracy to thrive. The United States and several European nations supported military intervention in Iraq to oust the notorious dictator Saddam Hussein, in order 'for democracy to prevail'. By their own standards, these nations should therefore respect the Palestinian electorate, and dissolve their prejudices to Hamas. Forty- five percent of the Palestinian electorate legitimately voted to be led by the current Palestinian Authority- perhaps the electorate is convinced that Hamas' resolve will ensure that it is never intimidated by the superpowers and Israel.By imposing sanctions on the Palestinian Authority, the Palestinian masses would inevitably be made to suffer from starvation and economic misery, as they are largely dependent on international aid. 'Al-Quds al-Arabi', a London-based paper, proclaims that the Palestinians may soon be victims of a 'total war of starvation aimed at forcing them to bow, to retract their democratic choice and return to the days of corruption and useless concessions.' This is an undoubtedly inhumane and tyrannical prospect. It would only cause more poverty and social problems. The Western interests who seek to put an end to Hamas' terrorism would be becoming terrorists themselves. This would fuel more hatred, hence more terrorist activity. Palestinians equate the ultimatum to blackmail. No such ultimatum has ever been extended to Israel, a major exporter of nuclear weapons, which continues to kill innocent Palestinians along the Israeli-Palestine border. Palestine's exports and imports are almost completely dependent on Israel. If the territory is sanctioned, it would be placed in financial...

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