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February 3, 2006

I've been away in Tasmania for a week on holidays travelling in the south central and south west of the Island--in that part of Tasmania some people call wilderness. I've had a week being disconnected from all media.

Hamas had won the elections in Palestine as I was leaving for my holidays and the Fatah leaders had promised to serve as a democratic opposition and allow Hamas to form a government. The party campaigned mainly on domestic issues such as corruption and welfare, drawing widespread support and it stood in contrast to the feuding, mismanagement and corruption of the late Yasser Arafat's Fatah party.

The US, Israel and Australia just did not like the result. They were beginning to make sour noises just before I left. America has pursued the idea that democracy is the answer to Islamist terrorism---and had presumed that free elections would produce pro-American and pro-Israeli governments in Arab countries. Then the Palestinian people spoke and they have voted for the radical Islamists. These are deemed to be terrorists by the US but its fighters are seen as the armed defenders of an otherwise-helpless people by the Palestinians.

Then I lost contact with events.


It looks like things have been brewing whilst I've been away. Everybody is kicking Hamas. The Islamic radicals are the result of liberty beginning to spread in the Middle East, are they not? Presumably Hamas will have to start dealing with Israel and begin the transformation from terrorist group to political party.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 3:10 PM | | Comments (0)