[EDITORIALS]Opportunity in electionHamas, an Islamic militant group, won the Palestinian parliamentary election on Wednesday. The group, which has refused to accept Israel’s right to exist and has advocated terrorism, won 76 seats of 132 in the parliament, emerging as the governing party.
That election, in which 77.7 percent of eligible voters ― a very high percentage ― cast ballots, is being regarded as more democratic than any ever conducted in the Middle East. The democratic procedures were well in accordance with U.S. President George W. Bush’s policy for “promotion of democracy,” which he has emphasized since his reelection a year ago. And through the election, Hamas, which the United States has categorized as a terrorist group, has become Palestine’s governing party. It is an ironic situation for the Bush administration, which has actively promoted democracy through the Middle East.
We can understand America’s difficult position. But, if the country takes a negative stance on the Palestinians’ choice through democratic procedures, people cannot help but doubt Washington’s real intentions.
If Hamas accepts the existence of Israel and gives up terrorism, the result of this election could bring an epoch-making change to the Middle East.