Why Was Hamas a Surprise?


For some reason people are thinking Hamas gaining a majority in Palestinian politics is a surprise… as evidenced here here and here.

Hamas, with its focus on providing social services that the previous governments could not, has done more for the average Palestinian than its Fatah or PA counterparts with their corrupt government. 95% of Hamas’ budget (70 million?) goes towards its social services network through which it provides education, health care, and recreation.


Hamas’ internal focus on hearts and minds will undermine its extremist elements. The leaders who are involved in the moderate stance of grassroots development will naturally face off with the leaders who are focused on violence. The moderates derive their power from lifting the standard of living for Palestinians. They’ll realize very quickly that their efforts are being counteracted by Hamas’ international hardliner status. Those extremists who derive their power from the gap between the Palestinians and the Israelis and will splinter off when they realize that the moderates don’t want to buy into their plan.

Simply put Hamas will split, following the mold of the PLO’s various splinter groups, the Real IRA and the IRA, and the GIA and the FIA in Algeria.

Or it will gradually collapse much like its predecessors and the cycle will repeat until this scenario rings true.

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  • nykrindc
    Jan 26, 2006

    Exactly on point. I fear the current administration will have a lot to do with how fast and whether Hamas splits. We can either tailor our strategy to divide them, or we can take a hardline to unite them.

    I’ve read recently that Israel has already been holding discussions with Hamas’ elected representatives in Gaza, but that for now they are taking a wait and see approach. Let’s hope the better part of Hamas prevails.

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