Election season 2006 is over, and we can say goodbye to the negative media ads and stories. Opposing sides fought one another with reckless abandon. Yet they never once thought of turning their struggle into a civil war. So why is the Bush administration claiming that it’s pushing for democracy in the Middle East while it is taking steps that encourage a civil war between Hamas and Fatah?
In their January 2006 elections, the Palestinians emerged as a potential democracy—limited, to be sure, by the absence of sovereignty and by uncertain borders and a destitute economy under Israeli control. Hamas won the internationally monitored election. There was just one problem. As far as Israel and the United States were concerned, Palestinian voters chose the wrong party.