Palestinian Democracy Overruled

An interesting op-ed piece from The Observer in London:

Here is how democracy works in the Alice in Wonderland world of Palestinian politics under the tutelage of the US and international community. After years of being hectored to hold elections and adopt democratic norms, a year and a half ago Palestinians duly elected Hamas with 44 per cent of the vote, ahead of Fatah on 41 per cent.

It was a good election, as former US President Jimmy Carter observed at the time, a free, fair and accurate expression of the desires of a Palestinian people sick of the uselessness, corruption and gangsterism of Fatah. The problem was that it didn’t quite reflect the wishes of Washington and the international community.

[…]

It is hard not to be cynical. Palestinian society was squeezed until it hurt – punished as a whole for voting for the wrong party.

I believe violence is wrong, and have no love for Hamas, but if you don’t have respect for peoples democratic choice when it isn’t convenient for you then there is no real hope for democratic change in the Middle East.

Found via this blog which came up via Google News.

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