The Corner

Re Re Hamas

Jonah, Derb, those are good points.

Let me also note this: The election in Gaza and the West Bank was free and fair–up to a point. People could vote for either Hamas or Fatah and there is no evidence of ballot-tampering.

But no one should seriously believe that it would have been possible for dissident Palestinians to organize a serious alternative to Hamas and Fatah.

Imagine that some Palestinian had stood up on a soap box in Gaza City and said: “Vote for me and I’ll make peace with Israel immediately! We’ll have a Palestinian state and your children will leave in peace and freedom and prosperity!”

Such a candidate would have been shut dead on the spot.

In other words, as others have stated before, elections alone do not a democracy make. There also needs to be the rule of law, guaranteed minority rights and an open civil society–all of which is still severely lacking in the Palestinian territories.

Clifford D. May — Clifford D. May is an American journalist and editor. He is the president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a conservative policy institute created shortly after the 9/11 attacks, ...

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