Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Hamas Gains Momentum in Palestinian Rivalry

Wonderful news!

At New York Times, "New Winds in Mideast Favor Hamas":

GAZA — For years, the imposing black gate that sealed the border between Egypt and Gaza symbolized the pain and isolation that decades of conflict have wrought on this tiny coastal strip, especially under Hamas in recent years.

But recently, the gate has come to represent a new turn for the increasingly confident Hamas leadership. The twin arches of the border crossing have swung open twice in recent weeks for V.I.P. arrivals, first to receive hundreds of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails as one captive Israeli soldier moved in the other direction, and a second time for Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood to visit Gaza for the first time in decades.

Both instances lifted the fortunes of the Islamists at a critical time ahead of negotiations scheduled to be held in Cairo this week with their main rival, President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, who leads the Fatah party.

Hamas’s leader, Khalid Meshal, arrives at those talks with a sense of regional winds at his back. Dictators have fallen, replaced by protest movements and governments that include the Islamist movements those dictators suppressed. Hamas has lost no opportunity to highlight this development as it basks in the growing regional importance of its parent organization, the Muslim Brotherhood, the oldest and most powerful Islamist movement in the world.

“This is a hot Arab winter that has not until now ripened into spring,” a Hamas official, Dr. Mahmoud Zahar, proclaimed in Gaza last month as he claimed the Arab revolutions for Islamic revivalism. The campaigns to oust corrupted leaders have reached a “critical stage,” he said, before concluding, “With God’s help, next year we will see the flowering of Islam.”
That should read, "With God's help, next year we'll see the flowering of terrorism."

But continue reading.