Update: More reactions from across the spectrum…
From the National Post: A day after Hamas swept to an upset victory in the Palestinian parliamentary elections, former US President Jimmy Carter on Thursday said that Wednesday’s voting had been orderly and fair. “The elections were completely honest, completely fair, completely safe and without violence,” the former president said. | story
From Juan Cole: “Bush pushes for elections, confusing them with democracy, but seems blind to the dangers of right-wing populism.” | excerpt at Cole’s website or full-text (registration required) at Salon.
The president won’t deal with Hamas; neither will Israel.
BBC: President George W Bush’s talk of bringing democracy to the Middle East, Hamas’ victory in a ballot of the Palestinian people is as awkward a result as he could have expected. The Bush administration has made it clear it has no intention of dealing with a party that has “one foot in politics and another in terror”. | story
Electronic Intifada (a Palestinian-oriented site): “Hamas’ victory in the Palestinian Authority legislative elections has everyone asking “what next”? The answer, and whether the result should be seen as a good or bad thing, depends very much on who is asking the question.
Although a Hamas success was heavily trailed, the scale of the victory has been widely termed a “shock.” Several factors explain the dramatic rise of Hamas, including disillusionment and disgust with the corruption, cynicism and lack of strategy of the Fatah faction which has dominated the Palestinian movement for decades and had arrogantly come to view itself as the natural and indisputable leader. | column
Haaretz (an Israeli newspaper): Presenting, the unthinkable.
Ladies and Gentlemen, may we introduce ... Hamas - the new Likud.
It’s 1977 all over again, People of Israel. Once again, everything we knew, is wrong.
Sound familiar? The party in power, the only party which has ever held power, the party which made a people, has shown itself to be bottomlessly corrupt. It has long been unresponsive to crying social needs. It has proven incapable of making peace. It is ineffectual at bringing its people security. | column
Wesam Saleh / MAANnews
Hamas supporters, carrying their party’s flags, attend a Jan. 20 campaign rally organized by the Hamas movement for the Palestinian legislative elections in Gaza.