Hamas' Victory: No Grand Democratic Achievement

World leaders, although somewhat nervous about Hamas’ electoral victory in the Palestinian Authority, were nearly unanimous in their praise for the "peaceful" and "orderly" manner in which the elections were carried out. Completely ignoring the fact that all the main competing parties were terrorist organizations or parties with terrorist wings, the international community clearly views the Hamas election as some kind of grand democratic achievement:

Election observer Jimmy Carter gushed: "The elections were completely honest, completely fair, completely safe and without violence."

George Bush hailed the election of unabashed terrorists as a democratic exercise in holding the former government accountable for its corruption. "There’s something healthy about a system that does that," he proclaimed.

EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana expressed joy over the "smooth running" of the elections, declaring "The Palestinian people have voted democratically and peacefully. I welcome this."

So let’s take a look at what has happened in the Palestinian terroritories since this fabulous democratic exercise:

  • In Gaza, dozens of mask-wearing, armed police officers stormed the parliament building
  • Hamas gunmen woulded two Palestinian policemen in a roadside ambush
  • Two police officers and a Hamas activist were wounded in a firefight, including one officer who remains in a coma after taking a bullet in the head
  • 2,000 Fatah members led by dozens of gunmen marched through Nablus, fired into the air, and declared they will no longer observe the cease-fire with Israel
  • 400 Fatah "activists" took over the party’s office in Bethlehem
  • A Fatah gunman warned that Fatah would murder any member that cooperates with the new Hamas government

Seems to me that defining these elections as an exercise in "democracy" is setting the bar for "democracy" pretty low.