SEARCH SITE:

HOME

NEW ARTICLES

Analysis
Teaching Peace from Tales of the City: Peace Education through the Memoryscapes of Nagasaki Patporn Phoothong
Special Report
Reflections of Refugees in Africa Wyclife Ong'eta Mose
Feature
Freedom of Expression Under Threat in Zambia Mariateresa Garrido
Essay
Women’s Political Representation in Sri Lanka: Leading towards Prosperity or Peril Pujika Rathnayake
Comment
The political Crisis of the 2017 Honduran Election Daniel Bagheri S.
Letters
Notes On A Controversy Amardo Rodriguez

RECENT ARTICLES
Analysis
The Unraveled and Disquieting Human Rights Violation of Afghanistan Priya Pandey
Special Report
Nepal's recovery process since the 2015 earthquake Jini Agrawal
In-depth
Challenges and prospects of AU to implement the Ezulwini Consensus: The case of collective security and the use of force Tunamsifu Shirambere Philippe
Policy
The Right to Food Shant Melkonian
Feature
Land of the Golden Pagodas: Checking in on Myanmar’s Peace Process Monica Paniagua
Interview
Douglas Janoff on LGBTQIA Human Rights Luciana Téllez
Essay
Common Things: Communication, Community, Communal Peacebuilding Lina Patricia Forero Martínez
Comment
Periodismo Ciudadano e Internet Gina Paola Parra
Research Summary
Water Security in the Sixaola River Basin Adrián Martinez Blanco and Diana Ubico Durán
Poetry
Reborn Arunima Chouguley
Letters
An Open Letter to the American People: Political Responsibility in the Nuclear Age Richard Falk, David Krieger, and Robert Laney

ARCHIVES

In the News
Last Updated: 02/01/2006
Hamas Victory in the World Media
Bezen Balamir Coskun

On 27 January 2006 the Middle East woke up to a new reality. The Palestinian Elections Committee announced official results of parliamentary elections, declaring Hamas the clear winner with 76 seats in the 132-seat-strong legislative body. The victory of Hamas, which is labeled as a terrorist group by Europe and the US, caused mixed reactions in the World media.


On 27 January 2006 the Middle East woke up to a new reality. The Palestinian Elections Committee announced official results of parliamentary elections, declaring Hamas the clear winner with 76 seats in the 132-seat-strong legislative body. The victory of Hamas, which is labeled as a terrorist group by Europe and the US, caused mixed reactions in the World media.

Newspaper headlines in Israel and Washington reacting to Hamas’ victory have been predictably negative, while the European media took a more cautious stance. On the whole, Hamas’ victory is considered an obstacle to the peace process. It is also interesting to see how the different media defined Hamas within their coverage.

TURNING FROM TERROR: A GREEN DAWN IS ON THE RISE
Wherever he is, Sheikh Yassin must be smiling today. Israel's two major moves in the last two years - the serial assassinations of Hamas leaders and the pullout - led straight to a great Hamas victory. A new headline is created for five and a half years of intifada: From Red Dawn (Qassam attack code) to Green Dawn (Islamic renewal).

Israel is at a total loss. Both its political and military heads blindly accepted the Palestinian pollsters' results almost to the letter. The pollsters, who were proved wrong in the local elections in the territories, failed again.
Haaretz (Israel) / January 27, 2006

ISRAEL GRAPPLES WITH REALITY OF 'HAMASTAN'
Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert effectively muzzled his ministers and government spokesmen Thursday as the government grappled with how best to deal with a brand new reality: "Hamastan," following the Hamas victory in the Palestinian elections.
The Jerusalem Post (Israel) / January 27, 2006

HAMAS ROUTS RULING FACTION, CASTING PALL ON PEACE PROCESS
…The results, announced Thursday night, which give Hamas the right to form the next government, were likened by Palestinians to an earthquake or a tsunami. They ended more than 40 years of domination by Fatah, the political faction built by Yasir Arafat, which along with the Palestinian Authority was widely viewed by Palestinians as corrupt and ineffective.

The shocking outcome put Hamas, considered a terrorist group by Israel, the United States and the European Union, in charge of the Palestinian political future, and put at least a temporary halt to efforts to restart peace talks. The balloting also made a mockery of the voter surveys released Wednesday night that indicated that Fatah would have the most seats and could retain control of the legislature and the cabinet.
The New York Times (US) / January 27, 2006

HAMAS REVOLT
HAMAS, the group of suicide bombers and armed men who are equipped with Kalashnikovs, won 76 seats in Palestine parliament. The group is known as its main aim of wiping Israel off the map and establishing an independent Palestinian State on Palestine.
Hurriyet (Turkey) / January 27, 2006

THE TERRORISTS WHO HAD A SOCIAL AGENDA
Hamas built up its grassroots support by providing assistance to Palestinians dispossessed by occupation
The Times (UK) / January 27, 2006

HAMAS SHOCK VICTORY POSES NEW MIDDLE EAST CHALLENGE
Hamas won a crushing victory in the Palestinian parliamentary elections as results yesterday showed it had swept away Fatah's 40-year monopoly of power, presenting a challenge to western policy towards "terrorist organizations".
The Guardian (UK) /January 27, 2006

A DETOUR ON THE ROAD MAP, AND ECHOES OF THE COLD WAR
The Middle East road map took a detour into uncharted territory with the surprise victory of Hamas in the Palestinian elections. With Israeli politics already in a state of uncertainty, its "partners for peace" went from the much-despised Fatah movement to the much-feared Islamist group, responsible for the deaths of more than 400 Israelis in about 60 suicide bombings and countless attacks on the army and settlers.
The Guardian / January 28, 2006

WIN SETS WORLD A CONUNDRUM
Hamas is under great pressure to renounce violence. The victory of Hamas in the Palestinian elections has set the rest of the world a dilemma. The Palestinians have chosen Hamas and therefore the democratic choice has to be accepted, especially as spreading democracy in the "Greater Middle East" is the goal of the Bush administration.

But Hamas is listed as a terrorist organisation by both the US and the EU and unless the group accepts that Israel should exist, it is hard to see how it can be a negotiating partner, even if it wants to be. The so-called roadmap to Middle East peace, already gathering dust, might as well be rolled up for good.
BBC News (UK) / January 27, 2006

On the other hand in the Arab media and by Turkish Islamic media HAMAS victory was latently praised as the victory of resistance in the Middle East.

PALESTINIANS VOTE FOR RESISTANCE
Palestinian anti-occupation organization, Hamas, (in Arabic, an acronym for "Harakat Al-Muqawama Al-Islamia" -- Islamic Resistance Movement -- and a word meaning courage and bravery), swept to victory over the ruling Fatah party in Palestinian parliamentary polls, winning an overwhelming majority in the 132-seat legislature.
Tehran News (Iran) / January 28, 2006

ARAFAT GONE, NEW LEGEND IS AHMED YASIN
Palestinian streets are witnessing a historical day. Supporters carrying green flags and Ahmed Yasin posters enthusiastically celebrate the victory of HAMAS, the Islamic Resistance Movement.
Zaman (Turkey) /January 27, 2006

HAMAS VICTORY REDRAWS POLITICAL MAP OF MIDDLE EAST
Hamas swept to victory over the long-dominant Fatah party on Thursday in Palestinian parliamentary polls, and Israel immediately ruled out talks with any government involving the Islamic militant group. Hamas won an overwhelming majority … It gives Hamas the power to shape and possibly even lead the next cabinet.
Weekly Ahram (Egypt) January 26 – February 1 , 2006 / Issue No. 779

VOTE FOR CHANGE
Palestinians go to the polls in the hope that their lives will change for the better. Few Palestinians have any illusions that they are anywhere near independence or that casting a ballot will change by one iota a military occupation that fundamentally controls their lives. But they are convinced they can elect a better, "deserving" leadership to improve the way they are governed and therefore their ability to resist the occupier.
Weekly Ahram (Egypt) January 26 – February 1 , 2006 / Issue No. 779

HAMAS' TRIUMPH IS A REAL OPPORTUNITY
Media and official comments both indicate that the historic nature of what has just happened in Palestine is unlikely to be grasped in the U.S. or many other parts of the Western world, because Hamas and the rest of the Middle East continue to be judged by the litmus test of their acquiescence to Israeli security demands.

This is a tragic shame, because Hamas' victory - coming after similar Islamist triumphs in Egypt, Lebanon and Iraq - also offers a potential political opportunity, if only sober minds would prevail on all sides.
Daily Star (Lebanon) / Saturday, January 28, 2006

RESISTANCE FROM BALLOT!
…Hamas, who won the majority of seats in Palestinian parliament, repeat their commitment for the armed resistance just after the announcement of election results. On the other hand Israel declared that they don’t accept any authority of Hamas as far as they decide to disarm.
Ortadogu (Turkey) / January 27, 2006

However, regardless of geography the World media was agreed on the failure of Bush’s democracy for the Greater Middle East project and the negative effects of corrupt Fatah regime in Palestine and of Ariel Sharon’s policies.

HAMAS WINS; AMERICA LOSES
Hamas victory shows American-imposed democracy can backfire.
ynetnews.com (American Israeli News Agency) / January 26, 2006

MIDDLE EASTERN RESISTANCE HAS BEEN LEGITIMIZED THROUGH ELECTIONS
The United States, who declared itself as worldwide gendarme, has been shaken by the reality that its Greater Middle East project has provided legitimized ground for resistance movement in the region. The election results in Egypt, Iraq and Palestine have shown that American-led democracy cannot produced predictable results in this part of the world. On the contrary, the US’s democratization project is proving to be fertile ground for the radical groups in Middle Eastern states.
Ortadogu (Turkey) / January 27, 2006

BUSH DEFENDS HIS GOAL OF SPREADING DEMOCRACY TO THE MIDEAST
The sweeping victory of Hamas in the Palestinian elections threw President Bush and his aides on the defensive on Thursday, complicating the administration's policy of trying to promote democracy as an antidote to the spread of terrorism. Reacting uneasily to the Hamas triumph, Mr. Bush said the results spoke to the failures of President Mahmoud Abbas and the "old guard" of his Fatah faction to root out corruption and mismanagement, not to any flaws in the administration's policy of advocating democracy.

But without criticizing the Palestinian people for choosing leaders who advocate the destruction of Israel, a tenet at the very core of Hamas's creed, he said that the United States would never tolerate such a policy.

Mr. Bush joined a chorus of world leaders — including the so-called quartet of principal parties in the moribund peace process — in calling on Hamas to renounce terrorism, disarm its militias and recognize the legitimacy of Israel now that it has won the elections. But his tone was less confrontational than invitational — in effect, inviting Hamas to embrace reconciliation.
The New York Times (US) / January 27, 2006

A PREDICTABLE VICTORY IN A FAILED PALESTINIAN STATE
The victory of the fundamentalist Hamas in the Palestinian elections will have far-reaching consequences for the region, some totally unexpected. Two aspects, however, are already visible.

The Hamas victory is, first and foremost, an indication of the total failure of the traditional Palestinian leadership to create a body politic. Palestine is not yet a state, but it is already a failed one. Since the Oslo Accords of l993 between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization, the Palestinians have enjoyed limited transitional autonomy. To be sure, the new Palestinian Authority (PA) took power under difficult conditions, but which new liberation movement does not face serious challenges when it finally must govern?
Daily Star (Lebanon) / January 28, 2006

A TRIUMPH FOR SHARON
Hamas's victory is the inevitable result of the failure to do anything about the oppression which Palestinians suffer… The Hamas victory in Wednesday's Palestinian elections is not only the inevitable outcome of everything Sharon did as prime minister, but is precisely what he would have wished.
The Guardian (UK) / January 28, 2006

To sum up, the Hamas victory caused mixed reactions. Just one day after the election results the European Union and the US declared their unwillingness to financially support a Palestinian Authority that is govern by a terrorist organization. The calls for disarmament and Hamas’s inconsistent reactions were covered differently by the Western media and Arab media. While Arab media express their anxieties about the dilemma with which Hamas faced, Western media underlined the Western stand against a possible Hamas government and the problem in which Western world found itself thanks to a full-blown democratic election in Palestine.

HAMAS IS FACING A MONEY CRISIS; AID MAY BE CUT
Hamas leaders, savoring their landslide victory in Palestinian elections, faced an array of threats on Friday: a huge government deficit, a likely cutoff of most aid, international ostracism and the rage of defeated and armed Fatah militants.

Of the many questions that the Hamas victory presents, the need to pay basic bills and salaries to Palestinians is perhaps the most pressing. The Palestinian Authority is functionally bankrupt, with a deficit of $69 million for January alone. That will be an urgent question when the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations, known as the quartet, meet in London on Monday to discuss the Palestinian vote, especially if, as some American officials fear, Hamas turns to Iran to make up some of the difference.
The New York Times / January 28, 2006

HAMAS REFUSES TO DISARM AND ACCUSE WESTERNERS FOR BALCKMAILING
Ismail Haniyeh, chief candidate of the Hamas in general election, declared that the movement’s refusal to disarmament while knowing that this refusal risks a sensitive decrease of the international assistance in the Palestinian Authority. This help cannot be brandished as a sword of Damocles over the Palestinian people and cannot served.
Le Monde (France) / January 28, 2006

JOYFUL ARABS VOICE CONCERN AT HOW HAMAS WILL SWIM IN THE MAINSTREAM
Hamas's overwhelming victory in the Palestinian elections on Thursday was met with a mixture of jubilation and consternation in much of the Arab world. For some, it raised the concern that, in winning, the Islamic group will almost certainly have to lose something.
The New York Times / January 27, 2006

PRESSURE MOUNTS ON HAMAS
A day after its sweeping victory in Palestinian legislative elections, pressure mounted on Hamas to renounce violence and accept the existence of archfoe Israel. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he would soon ask Hamas to form the next government. Supporters of his Fatah party fought a gunbattle with Hamas activists.

Leaders of Arab and Islamic countries urged Hamas to talk peace with Israel and called on the West to accept the Hamas poll win. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, in a call to Abbas, urged Fatah and Hamas to work together for peace and an independent state.
Arab News / Saturday, January 28, 2006

Bezen Balamir Coskun is a PhD candidate in Loughborough University (UK) Department of Politics, International Relations and European Studies.


Footer