More Opinions on Hamas’ Victory

More Opinions on Hamas’ Victory

February 1, 2006 2:08 pm (EST)

Expert Roundup
CFR fellows and outside experts weigh in to provide a variety of perspectives on a foreign policy topic in the news.

More on:

Palestinian Territories

Elections and Voting

Rachel Bronson

Director of Middle East and Gulf Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations


Rather than endorsing Hamas’ foreign policy objectives, Palestinians were clearly expressing enormous anger at Fatah’s corrupt practices, its inability to improve the local economy and the faltering security situation. According to a December poll, 86% of Palestinians believe Fatah is corrupt, 65% do not feel safe and secure, and 80% supported an extension of the cease-fire with Israel.

Still, can a group sworn to Israel’s destruction moderate once in office? Certainly discrepancies between the Hamas charter and its campaign platform suggest moderation is possible, as do initial Hamas statements supporting an extension of the current cease-fire with Israel. But Hamas will immediately face grave challenges such as a bankrupt treasury, nervous international donors and, most importantly, a decentralized security force and the fact that groups such as Fatah’s al-Aqsa Martyrs brigades and Iranian-funded Islamic Jihad are well outside its control. How Hamas handles these three key issues will provide the best guide for whether we should expect moderation over time. Certainly Hamas’ past performance offers little cause for optimism.

For the full text of the interviewee’s repsonses, click here.

More on:

Palestinian Territories

Elections and Voting

Close

Top Stories on CFR

China

The Biden administration is imposing a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Olympics in Beijing. What could a boycott accomplish, and how might China respond?

Ukraine

Ukraine has struggled to forge an independent path, torn between Europe and the United States in the West and its long-standing ties to Russia in the East.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Separatist rhetoric among Bosnian Serb leadership is raising concerns about the dissolution of Bosnia. It’s part of a nationalist wave across the Balkans that threatens a return of ethnic conflict.