January 28, 2006

Sharon's posthumous victory?

Here's Gerald Kaufman's take on the Hamas victory in today's Guardian.
Lying in a coma in Hadassah hospital, Jerusalem, Ariel Sharon has achieved his final triumph. The Hamas victory in Wednesday's Palestinian elections is not only the inevitable outcome of everything Sharon did as prime minister, but is precisely what he would have wished.

Last week I argued in the House of Commons that "If Hamas does well [in the elections] as it may well do, the responsibility for that will lie with the Israeli government for nourishing the roots of Hamas. The sad thing is that Hamas and Likud and Kadima need each other. Israelis can say, 'We've got to do what we're doing because Hamas and Islamic Jihad are so dangerous'; Hamas and Islamic Jihad can say, 'We've got no alternative because the Israelis are oppressing us'." The Hamas landslide is the direct outcome of the utter frustration felt by Palestinians at the failure of anybody to do anything about the abject poverty and oppression under which they spend every day of their lives.
There's a curious quote from Netanyahu here
Today Hamastan has been formed, a proxy of Iran in the image of the Taliban.
Does he not know the animosity between Iran and the Taliban? The Taliban killed several Iranian diplomats before the American invasion of Afghanistan, calling them "CIA stooges". Somthing like that anyway. Kaufman quotes this to demonstrate that Netanyahu is an extremist but it rather shows that he is out of touch with reality.

Kaufman also outlines some issues around whether America tries to take on Iran militarily before ending with the troubling observation that Armageddon, after all, is a place in Israel.

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