The Spectacle Blog

The Palestinian Sinn Fein?

By on 1.25.06 | 7:52AM

Marwan Bargouti wants to be the Gerry Adams of the West Bank. The rehabilitation of the terrorist Irish Republican Army -- led by Adams’s Sinn Fein “political wing” -- managed to put a gloss of legality and legitimacy to the IRA’s participation in Northern Ireland’s politics. It is a model that Hamas and other terrorist groups in

Israel -- and some in Iraq -- want to follow on the path to political power.

Bargouti, the Hamas leader, is a convicted terrorist murderer, now behind bars. But today’s election in the Palestinian areas of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank will almost certainly result in a substantial number of Hamas seats in the Palestinian government. The choice is between the terrorist Hamas and the utterly corrupt Fatah, Yassir Arafat’s party.

Only two things are certain to result from today’s election. First, and regardless of the number of terrorists elected, the UN and the European Union will proclaim the election a success and eagerly recognize the terrorists’ participation in the Palestinian government. Aid to the PA and the “political wing” of Hamas will flow freely, though tut-tutting at corruption will become a commonplace. The Israelis will be under constant pressure to deal with the elected terrorists regardless of past or current activities that kill Israelis. Second, the Olmert government will continue Sharon’s headlong rush toward withdrawal from parts of the West Bank. The Israelis don’t have a death wish, but they are worn out from the nearly sixty years of war they have fought. In the ascendancy of Hamas are the signs of Israeli decline.

When I was in Iraq last month, several U.S. commanders predicted a "Sinn Fein" result for the Sunni insurgents. As bad as Hamas would be for the Israelis and the Palestinians, the same in Iraq would prove fatal to the unification of Iraq. Sectarian violence would continue, and no unified government could long withstand the terrorists' literally explosive participation in one.

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