The Corner

Re: The Hamas Victory

When some nutso extremist group actually attains power with wide popular support (even if not precisely by democtatic means), two forces get to work. One force is the force of moderation acting *from* the populace *on* the group; the other is the force of extremism acting *from* the group *on* the institutions of govt. The first might win (think Menachem Begin, Gerry Adams) or the second might (think Hitler, Khomeini).

We’ll be hearing a lot of happy talk in the days to come about how the first scenario is BOUND to be the one that comes to pass. Possibly so; but not necessarily so. Anyone betting on the good sense of the Palestinian Arabs would have lost a ton of money these past few decades.

John Derbyshire — Mr. Derbyshire is a former contributing editor of National Review.

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