1/31/2006

Well, it could be raining...

Lately big changes are at hand in the Middle East. In our ever-long-lasting clash with the neighbors, the latest to change is the leadership of the Palestinians. As a result of last week’s elections, the old guard of Fatah is no longer in power. In its place is Hamas, a party that has been a more grassroots, for-the-people type of party, noted for making new schools and feeding the poor. Unlike Fatah, under Hamas people now are getting paid for their jobs, health care is being made available, and other necessary community services are being provided. These basic needs are being met after so long without. So, good for the Palestinians.

Unfortunately, Hamas is also calling for the complete destruction of the state of Israel. They are a known terrorist organization and while some have high hopes that once they become a governmental institution, Hamas’ extremist ideals will tone down, they have yet to change anything about their fundamental philosophy.

Israel allies like America say they will refuse to give the funding they normally dole out to the Palestinians if Hamas continues to hold on to its destruction-of-Israel platform. If other countries follow suit, Hamas will be hard-pressed to locate money for the social services it has been providing. Interestingly enough, Israel gives Palestinians a lot of money through tax returns and other things, which the Palestinians rely upon. As of now, Israel plans to provide that money to them with Hamas in power because it was earned in the month where Fatah controlled.

So now a lot of different things could happen. Israel has elections coming up at the end of March. Kadima, the new party of the comatose Ariel Sharon, is still expected to win, but stranger things have happened with Middle Eastern politics. For now it seems as though the country sits and waits. An attack by Hamas against Israel right now seems unlikely, while Hamas’ hands are tied up in clashes with Fatah over the power change and dealing with setting up a new government. Yet, for the first time my program has requested we don’t use public transportation at all in cities and stay away from large pedestrian areas. This is the longest such a warning from program officials has ever been in place and it is very weird to live in a place were I sorta flinch every time I’m in crowded areas.

2 Comments:

Blogger Steven R. Neuman said...

Your banner has returned, i'm just gonna tweak it a bit

10:23 PM  
Blogger Steven R. Neuman said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:23 PM  

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