I’ve been sniping at Orrin Judd on and off about the Hamas government. Judd’s thesis was that once elected, Hamas would be forced to moderate and become realistic due to the pressures of governing. Instead we are seeing, just as many of the crew there believed from the start, Hamas holding on to its reality dysfunction at all costs. Oddly, we haven’t seen many of the “Hamas is going to deal with Israel any day now” posts fora bit.
I think Judd’s error here is part of his view that the Palestinian terror campaign has been a rational effort to secure statehood. That is not how it started of course, the terror starting well before “Palestinians” as we know them existed as a group. The methods of terror and maximality were set then, it was the national aspirations that were accreted at a later date. Moreover, the support that was provided by Arabia was not intended to help with creating such a state but instead to destory Israel, a struggle in which the Palestinians were munitions, not people.
Why does this matter? Because the leadership of the PLO and later Hamas are the product of that history, not anything arising directly from the Palestinians. Instead their late blooming national aspirations were captured and turned to the advantage of the ruling classes. Hamas’ leaders care only about their own power and money, what happens to the Palestinians is simply not relevant.
When seen this way, it doesn’t seem surprising that Hamas, rather than adjusting to governing, has been planning to destroy the truce with Israel for months. Absent the existential struggle with Israel, what governments of Arabia and the ummah are going to ship them large bales of cash? If the Palestinians object, Hamas has excellent teachers in their backing governments on how to deal with that. The idea that Hamas would moderate presumed that they had some concern about being a governing party in a normal state. What now see that is precisely what Hamas does not want and I believe that these latest actions were designed specifically to prevent it. Not only does it set up Hamas to blame any and all failures in the quotidian duties of government but it also creates a state of emergency that permits Hamas to claim internal and externally that elections are not “appropriate at this time”. People don’t switch governments during war, so Hamas started one. It was the triumph of hope over reality to think otherwise.