Saturday, January 28, 2006

POST. Trouble ahead in the Middle-East

It’s useless to say now that the Palestinian elections have been disappointing for most of the International Community and that President Bush is firmly against Hamas’ violence towards Israel.

It’s useless to say that Hamas is the leading terrorist group in the Middle-East, financed with Iranian money, and very close in its ideas when it comes to the “soon-to-be-nonexistent” state of Israel.

It’s useless to say that Israel has menaced to cut any funding to the Palestinian authority as long as they do not abandon violence, and considering Hamas’ background, this is rather unlikely to happen.

But even if all odds are against, there’s still room for hope. Not much but still. Why? Because Palestine is not alone, so to say. The European “Troika” has always shown a great interest in the moderation of the precedent government of Al-Fatah. After the Oslo agreements in 1993, Arafat’s party gave up violence. This doesn’t mean Hamas is going to follow the same path. Its origin is quite different, mainly because we’re talking about a religious-based party.

It is not credible, thought, that in the Middle East, a region which is increasing its democratic values election after election, vote after vote, a radical party such as Hamas raises to power, but again, look at Iran’s Amadineyad. We cannot cast a spell and ban radicals from government, but we can press up to soften its pretensions.

With Iran’s retaking of nuclear threats, and a newly-aggressive Palestinian Authority we cannot progress. The problems posed by the Iraqi occupation will be a minor setback if there’s an escalade of terrorism just because “Allah commands it”. We better take the issue seriously on time. Europe is there. America is there too, so let’s check out how Hamas is going to act before proceeding any further.

Miguel Vinuesa

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