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On January 27, 2006 when it was clear that the Palestinian election had resulted in victory for the Hamas party, the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, ran an interesting article comparing Hamas to the Israeli Likud party of Ariel Sharon.
The article also compared the situation in Palestine with the situation in 1977 when the Likud Party was formed and first defeated the Labor Party with the election of Menachem Begin--the former terrorist head of the Irgun Gang in the 1940's. (Take note of this, all ye who doubt that Menachem Begin was really a terrorist back in the 1940's.)
The article reminded us that it was the Likud Party that made peace with Egypt's President Anwar Sadat. It was also the Likud Party that withdrew from the Sinai as part of that agreement, much to the angst of the Orthodox Jews who believed and still believe that once "redeemed," it is an unpardonable sin to give back land into the hands of Satan (i.e., non-Jews, including Christians, all of whom have "satanic souls").
The article also reminded us that it was the Likud Party that recently withdrew from the Gaza Strip.
History is often quite unkind in its irony. Those that WANT to make peace cannot, because of the war parties; and then when the war parties gain power, they discover, after all is said and done, that there is actually an advantage to making peace. It is so easy to harangue for war, as long as it is done from the sidelines. But gaining power in government often has a sobering effect, and it can force people into having a broader sense of responsibility for those they represent.
The suggestion in the article is that it may not actually be a bad thing for Hamas to have won the Palestinian elections. Perhaps they should give Hamas a chance to follow the example of the Likud in 1977.
That is, if they can get past the hysteria of the moment.
To read the full article for yourself, go to: