On Thursday last week, a day after Hamas was elected in the West Bank and three days after the Conservative Party was elected here in Canada, I raised a toast in my dining room to Moderating Radicals.
Now that the Fattah Party and the Liberal Party have been defeated primarily because their respective electorates were fed up with corruption from stagnant governments, two radical parties have replaced them. But perhaps in acquiring a mandate to govern, these parties will learn to moderate their policies, out of necessity, in order to secure a second mandate.
I know that Hamas has blood on its hands. So has almost every Israeli leader in its short history. That was then, this is now. Ariel Sharon, a butcher of civilians decades ago, ended his tenure as a great peacemaker. Much can change if it is allowed to.
I despise the Israeli and American responses to Hamas' victory. I am ashamed and disgusted that the Fattah militia responded to the Hamas mandate from the Palestinian electorate by storming the legislature. Let the party govern. Let it see that compromise, contemplation, and transparency are the keys to good government. Let democracy and wisdom prevail. Israel and the US should welcome the installation of a duly elected government. That formal recognition alone can undermine Hamas' urge for reactionary grandstanding, but more importantly legitimizes the freedom to choose by the Palestinians, and initiates a potentially constructive dialogue with the new government.
To Moderating Radicals. --= clink! =--