Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Carter's Folly
Don't get me wrong, I love 'America's Sweetest President', Jimmy Carter, as much as the next guy, but his statements yesterday that "there's a good chance that Hamas could become a nonviolent organization" are optimistic at best. Jimmy Carter's eternal sunny disposition is a trait endearing in a grandfather, but in the hard realism of Middle Eastern politics, simply out of place.

Hamas is an organisation that has come to world fame on the back of terrorist activities, and come to electoral power on the back of a dissatisfaction with the ruling Fatah movement. There has not yet been a single indication that Hamas will renounce terrorism, quite the contrary. As a political party, Hamas cannot be a military group as well, and it is this fact that will continue to dog their relations with Israel and the West. We can all be optimistic, but it remains optimism, not reality.