No-win election leaves little for optimism

Rarely in the history of electoral politics has a victory been met with as much angst as the Hamas win in the recent Palestinian elections. Nobody is happy: not Israel, not the United States, not Europe, not Fatah — and not even Hamas.

Only Iran’s idiot president seems thrilled.

The event clearly falls under the heading of “Be careful what you wish for.” All they wanted was to be the opposition party, but Hamas now finds itself in the awkward position of having to form a real government.

Not an easy task when your strong suit is murdering Jewish men, women and children.

While the world looks on nervously, key Middle East players are furiously wheeling and dealing to come up with an acceptable outcome. But there are no guarantees of success.

The defeated Fatah Party is not taking its loss well, with its militants shooting up the streets and seemingly threatening a Palestinian civil war. The United States and, refreshingly, many European leaders have made unequivocal statements of dismay, refusing to lend support to any Hamas-led government. Israel has put peace talks on hold, and is withholding payment of funds promised to the Palestinian Authority. That could bankrupt the already financially shaky organization.

The solution, some say, is for Hamas simply to renounce its charter, abandon terror, recognize Israel, lay down its weapons and be nice.

We’re not holding our breath on that one. As an Islamic entity, Hamas is different from previous Palestinian leadership. Murderous as Yasser Arafat’s PLO might have been, it was a secular nationalist movement. Hamas is more akin to the Muslim Brotherhood, al Qaida, the Taliban and other hard-core pan-Islamic groups now terrorizing the world.

Optimists like to think the sober responsibilities of power will cause Hamas to moderate its views.

We do not think that will happen either. No matter how much pressure the outside world exerts, Hamas will remain at heart a group devoted to killing Jews, and it deserves the world’s collective disdain.

The only good thing about the debacle: The masks have been ripped off the Palestinian leadership. With Hamas, what you see is what you get. It’s no secret that Hamas wants to obliterate Israel and kill all the Jews. That is its agenda. Any deals it proffers will be inherently dirty.

Israel and the world’s democracies will respond accordingly.

Decades ago, the late Israeli diplomat Abba Eban said, the Palestinians “never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” Tragically, he’s still right.