The Mid-Atlantic Blog

January 28, 2006

Continuing Fallout From Palestine

The effects of the election rumble on.

The more time that passes on this the more I'm certain that I think that this has been a painful but good thing. Hamas has been one of the biggest obstacles to peace, and have had a privileged role of plausible deniability, able to keep the pressure on Israel without comeback. No more. Now they're in charge, and will have to choose a path. If they send Palestine formally down the eliminationist path they'll lose a lot of global support... but if they pull back they'll have to wind back some of the agression in their culture that they have fomented.

Calls for cleaning up Fatah's leadership are also important. Corrupt societies don't have full application of the rule of law... and the rule of law is necessary for economic progress. If these calls for a clean-up help pitch Palestinian policies towards higher public standards of conduct and accountability then everyone in the region will benefit.

One final point. I'll be interested to follow the treatment of Palestinian Christians under the new regime. There was talk before the election of a tax on non-Muslims: will they implement it? More, will they allow the Christian minority to have freedom of religion? If not, one would hope for a greater bipartisanship amongst Christian charities and churches over the Palestinian question. As the Western Churches have given the Palestinian cause quite significant support, unqualified by much criticism or necessary nuance, a change might have a leveraged effect in the support in the West. Of course, that would require intellectual honesty from the people concerned, and that may be too much of an ask.
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