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
Brit Tzedek Responds to Palestinian Election
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
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
Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, The Jewish Alliance
for Justice and Peace
11 E. Adams Street, Suite
Chicago, IL 60603
Phone: (312) 341-1205
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