Brit Tzedek has compiled a regularly updated, extensive resource collection on the Palestinian elections and their aftermath that can be accessed on our website. To go there directly, click here.

A TIME TO WAIT-AND-SEE:
Brit Tzedek Responds to Palestinian Election Results

Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, the Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace, views the election of a Hamas majority in the Palestinian legislature with deep dismay; nevertheless, we support the wait-and-see policy that the Bush Administration has adopted, and we hope that Hamas' rise to political power will have a moderating effect on its rhetoric and actions.

Not only is Hamas on the US State Department's list of terrorist organizations, with a charter that calls for the destruction of Israel, but most searingly for Israelis, as well as for Jews throughout the Diaspora, Hamas has repeatedly perpetrated horrific acts of terror and violence that target innocent civilians. Although it has mostly respected the ceasefire of the past year, it is about to become a governing political party with an extra-governmental military wing. All of these facts make it completely understandable that Israel, the Western world, and the Jewish community in particular are alarmed at the ramifications of democratically elected Hamas leadership in the Palestinian Territories. Brit Tzedek does, however, urge both Israel and the United States to continue to maintain open communications with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who has repeatedly demonstrated his commitment to a peaceful, negotiated settlement.

Hamas will have to decide whether it wishes to turn the Palestinian Authority into a pariah or, instead, change its charter, renounce violence and terrorism, and recognize Israel's right to exist and by so doing gain recognition and standing in the international community.

Many observers believe that widespread anger at Fatah's corruption, its failure to ease the burden of Israel's occupation, and Hamas' humanitarian and charitable works in providing social, educational, and health services are what led the majority of the Palestinian population to vote for Hamas. If this is so, a vote for Hamas was not necessarily a vote against a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Indeed, numerous polls have shown that despite their votes for Hamas, a majority of the Palestinian people support a negotiated two-state solution, just as do the Israeli people.

It is declared US policy to promote democratization and free elections throughout the Arab world. In this context, Brit Tzedek urges the President and Congress to respect the Palestinians' recent free and democratic elections and to recognize the legitimacy of any future PA government that pursues a policy of working nonviolently toward a negotiated two-state solution.


Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, The Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace
11 E. Adams Street, Suite 707
Chicago, IL 60603
Phone: (312) 341-1205
Fax: (312) 341-1206
info@btvshalom.org
www.btvshalom.org


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