Now that a new government in the West Bank has been established – one that does not contain members of Hamas – the rest of the world, even Israel, has said that it will resume political dialogue, international aid, etc. You can read about it at:
“The EU said today it would resume financial aid to the new Fatah-led Palestinian government, as part of international efforts to isolate Hamas in its Gaza stronghold.
“The EU, along with other western donors, cut off aid after the Islamist movement won a general election in January 2006, maintaining the embargo even after ministers from the secular Fatah organisation joined a new unity government this March.
“As well as the EU resuming relations, Israel has said it will begin providing fuel for the West Bank again, and will release millions of dollars that it had seized when Hamas formed its government.”
I find this whole affair quite revolting. The “free” world makes much fuss over the idea of democracy – states that are undemocratic are internationally reviled (unless they have something that the USA wants – like oil – but that’s another story).
So, the Palestinian held elections that international observers concede was free and fair. Hamas, an organization denounced as “terrorist” and which is highly anti-Israel, won that election and formed a government. This was all free and fair and democratic – but the rest of the world declared that it would not deal with such a government and severed all links.
Even when they formed a “National Unity” government in partnership with Fatah, most of the world didn’t want to know. For instance, Israel said that it couldn’t deal with an organization that did not recognize their right to exist, that was committed to the Jewish state’s destruction.
Everyone was studiously ignoring Hamas’s statement that it would honour all treaties and commitments that previous Palestinian governments had made – a tacit recognition of Israel’s validity.
I’m not condoning the acts of violence committed by Hamas. But I am trying to draw attention to the hypocrisy with which the world has treated the Palestinian people. Because the Palestinians voted for Hamas – they wanted to be ruled by Hamas – but the rest of the world made it impossible for Hamas to do its job.
If the developed world are going to hold up democracy as the universal ideal, they must follow this belief consistently. It’s no good saying “Democracy’s the only way… as long as you vote the way we want you to.” That’s international dictatorship, neo-colonialism, and should be stamped out, ruthlessly, whenever it raises its head.