Reviewing Hamas’s First Year in Government

Since Hamas achieved a stunning victory in the Palestinian parliamentary elections in January 2006, Conflicts Forum has been closely monitoring the subsequent shifts in the political landscape. In the wake of the recent Mecca Agreement for the formation of a Palestinian national unity government, now is a good time to review some of our findings.

How the Saudis Stole a March on the US provides a detailed account of the political process that led to the Mecca Agreement. “The biggest loser in Mecca… was not Fatah, but Elliott Abrams. Abrams’ program of arming Fatah — first to spark a ‘hard coup’ and then, when it was clear that that would not work, a ‘soft coup’ — has failed.”

In From Rebel Movement to Political Party [PDF], Alastair Crooke lays out an in-depth analysis of the dynamics of political transformation. “The view held by many in the West that transformation from an armed resistance movement to political party should be linear, should be preceded by a renunciation of violence, should be facilitated by civil society and brokered by moderate politicians has little reality for the case of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas). This is not to suggest that Hamas has not been subject to a political transformation: it has. But that transformation has been achieved in spite of Western efforts and not facilitated by those efforts.”

Condi Encounters Resistance looks at some of the fallout from Condoleezza Rice’s suprising acknowledgement that Hamas is a resistance movement.

An Alastair Crooke interview with Al Jazeera along with the article, Elliot Abrams’ Uncivil War (Crooke and Perry), describe the year-long efforts of the U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor to topple the Hamas government — even if that meant promoting a Palestinian civil war.

“A democratically elected Hamas is still a terrorist organization,” was the motion in a debate hosted in New York by Intelligence Squared. Speakers for the motion included Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Daniel Ayalon. Speaking Against the Motion were Mark Perry, Mahmoud Mohamedou, of the Harvard Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research, and Stanley L. Cohen, a lawyer who has represented Muslim and Palestinian activists and imams.

The articles Talking to Hamas (Alastair Crooke, June, 2006), Back to 1967 (Alastair Crooke, March, 2006), Leaning on Hamas (Alastair Crooke, March 2006), and Let Them Starve (Mark Perry, March, 2006), consider the effects of the economic seige imposed by the Quartet on the Hamas government and Palestinian people.

Painting Ourselves Into the Corner of PLO Non-recognition and The Best Chance Towards an Enduring Settlement provide initial reactions to Hamas’s election victory.

One Comment

  1. […] Posted by Nima Maleki on March 26th, 2007 A short review of Hamas in government is dotted with links to reports, articles, and interviews. This review is written by Conflicts Forum. […]

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