Palestinian people to be left out to dry?

Rob at sayanything has posted a reply to my earlier post entitled “We must respect the palestinian people’s decision”. As usual, Rob’s post is well thought out and makes a very good arguement for his perspective on the palestinian situation.

Rob makes two very good points:

Living in a democracy means getting to participate in the choosing of leaders. But that also means living with the leaders who are chosen. Voting is just the first step.


because the simple fact that Hamas was elected democratically does not mean our country has to start recognizing governments lead by groups who have “destroy the Jews” as part of their party platform.

I completely agree with the first point. Voting is the only the first step. The people of Palestine have a great deal of “dealing” to do with the government that they have elected. This has already begun.

The second point that Rob makes is only partly right in my opinion. We don’t have to deal with a government that has “destroy all jews” as part of their party platform. We do however have to recognize the government that the hamas leaders contruct. The leaders of the United States have for too long demonstrated a “democracy is ok as long as you elect who we want you to” policy. One of the reasons that the Arab world is so strongly against us is because of this. Abu Aardvark stated it best:

It is an article of faith among virtually all Arabs and Muslims that in 1992 the United States and Europe green lighted the Algerian military coup after the Islamist FIS stood on the brink of electoral victory. This has been taken for a decade and a half as the definitive evidence that the American and European commitment to democracy was a hypocritical farce: democracy only if our allies won.

He goes on to make an extremely good point:

we are going to see some major political science propositions put to the test: does power moderate or radicalize Islamist groups? Will they be willing and able to work with non-Islamist parties in a coalition? Will they use their democratic victory to abolish democracy? Will Islamist groups concentrate on the pragmatics of rule or resort to foreign policy grandstanding? Will they use their position of power to pursue terrorism? Will they be willing to set aside doctrine and work pragmatically with Israelis and Americans? Will they use government power to impose unpopular sharia rule over their people? Will they oppress Christian and non-Islamist Muslims? Most academic and policy analysis of these questions has remained counterfactual and hypothetical, since there have been no actual examples of an elected Islamist group in power. That could now change.

And he goes on to make the most important point of all:

Above alll, don’t give the Islamist hardliners the winning argument they crave about American hypocrisy. Refusing to deal with Hamas right now could effectively kill American attempts to promote democracy in the Middle East for a generation.

Or Iran. My point in saying that we must respect the Palestinian people’s decision is that for too long the American Government has come across as hypocritical. In a time when we are fighting a war on terrorism, a war that targets mostly Arabic people, we must not appear hypocritical. What value do our promises to the fledgling Iraqi government have if we do? What value do our promises to our Arab Nation Allies have? What image to we portray to the next country we try to convince into democracy?

We as American’s take to the polls every two years to vote our leaders into office. We do so willingly. We also do so with the expectation that the rest of the world will respect our decision and recognize our new leaders as the duly elected leaders of the United States of America. Should we not extend the same to other countries? Are we so self-enamored that we honestly believe that we can take a “do as I say and not as I do” approach to this?

The Arab world is watching us very closely. Al Queda is begging us to not recognize the Palestinian government. What ammo that would be. What a recruiting tool that would provide them.

At the very least we must give the new leaders of Palestine the opportunity to show us the stances that their government will take. We must recognize them and give them time to display how they will react to being in elected power.

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About Shane Ede

Shane Ede is an IT guy by day and a Entrepreneurial Blogger by night. You can follow him here on Thatedeguy or over on Twitter and Google+.


  1. I wrote an article on this and linked to your article on this topic to

  2. I guess I’m a little confused, Shane. Nobody is talking about overthrowing the new Palestinian government. At this point all anyone has talked about is not dealing with a government whose sole purpose is going to be driving the Jews into the ocean.

    They have elected their leaders. Great. But they’ve also elected terrorists, and that’s not so great. So the consequences are going to be these: If they continue advocating for the killing of Jews, we aren’t going to have much in the way of diplomatic relations with them and we may even cut off some of the aid they receive. If they attack Israel we’re going to stand behind our friends there.

    On the other hand, if Hamas shows meaningful reforms (doubtful to this observer, but still) I’m sure we’ll reciprocate with the proper diplomatic measures.

    Adolf Hitler, when he first came to power as the Chancelor of Germany, was elected in accordance to the laws of that country. I see this election of Hamas on par with that, though at a lesser scale.

  3. Thatedeguy says

    Rob, the military coup thing wasn’t even mine. And is used as an example for why we can’t screw this up. I would agree that if they continue advocating fo rhte killing of jews, we can’t have much to do with them. I sincerly hope that they do show some meaningful reforms as I think that no matter what, if we actually decide to not recognize this government, it will be detrimental to the US’s image in the Arab nations.

    As for Hitler, you are right, he was elected in accordance to the laws of that country. However, how long did we recognize that government and how far did the german army get before we finally stepped in?


  1. […] I think the arguement at hand that Shane and Rob have been disscussing on their blogs is if Hamas can control a government without turning it into a machine of terrorism. I’m going to make an unpopular statement about this topic… Hamas is evil. It will bring nothing but more violence and hate. It cannot be argued against that Hamas has killed countless numbers of innocent civilians as well as Israeli security forces. It also cannot be argued that Hamas leaders said: “As long as we are under occupation then resistance is our right”, Said Hamas Chief Khaled Mashaal, “…Hamas would not recognize Israel and indicated attacks on Israeli civilians would continue as long as Israel continued to target Palestinian civilians” […]