With the victory of Hamas, the media is awash with clichés such as that the Palestinians have chosen “terror over peace”. As if Fatah was a true peace partner, committed to reconciliation and the middle ground.
The Palestinian people have chosen one form of terror over another form of terror. The only difference between Hamas and Fatah is that Hamas is open about its aims, while Fatah carries out terror attacks and then pays lip service towards “condemning” them. The people chose Hamas because it is perceived as less corrupt than Fatah, not because of any failings of the peaceful alternative. There was never a peaceful alternative.
The real question is, now what? There will be an element who insists on turning a blind eye to the truth and fooling itself that Hamas will reform, suddenly giving up its weapons because it’s got a role in government. These are the same people who keep insisting that there’s been a truce effective this past year.
The United States will refuse to deal with Hamas… maybe. Expect a lot of waffling on that one in the coming months. Europe will deal with them, probably with lip service about how much they’ve “changed”. Again, these are the same people who repeatedly insist that there’s a truce.
For Israel – dare I say – little is likely to change. Negotiations were a non-starter even with Abbas, and Israel will still have to prioritize security measures in defence of its citizens, just as before. Maybe there will be less hypocrisy now. But don’t count on it.