I can always count on Reuel to read me, at least. This is in response to my Times op-ed, written with Hussein Ibish:
Peace comes when a democratic Palestine votes for peace with the Jews. Hamas does not appear to represent all faithful Palestinian Muslims, but Hamas's creed may well have considerable resonance--more resonance than the creed of Abu Mazen and his men--with devout Muslims. What we have on the West Bank is a dictatorship. Until it's not, we won't know where the Palestinian soul is. There are many reasons why Muslim Brotherhood ideology, financed with Gulf money and now synched with Wahhabi virtues, has become the most powerful intellectual force in the Arab world (it's only competitor is the democratic ethos, which has merged, at least in Egypt (and Tunisia) with the Brotherhood's identity. But one not insignificant reason has been the distasteful peace process between Fatah's elite and the Jews. (The Israeli factor pales, of course, with local national issues and the larger overwhelming issue of modernization and the failure of secular dictatorships.) The only thing that I'm willing to bet large quantities of money on is that economic vitality on the West Bank does not guarantee democratic success. The perverse truth is that Hamas might still do very well on the West Bank in a free vote.