As Palestinians hear news of potential early elections, little hope abounds.
This cartoon depicts the pinch Palestinians are experiencing, from one direction the international closure and embargo, from the other the internal situation. Lawlessness is increasing on the streets of Gaza, but it cannot be separated from international pressure due to Palestinians having practiced their democratic rights. What would early elections mean?
Early Elections would mean a complete collapse of the democratic process. Furthermore, such elections would be held with the sole purpose of changing the current political outcome. If Hamas wins a second time, their victory will have been set in stone. For some like my friend Ezzam, as he explained to me today, they will shut their doors and never leave their homes. Lawlessness is a result of the ruling government being strangled by international pressure.
The other side of the coin is this, if Hamas loses power due to renewed elections, the principles of democracy that the U.S. and the rest of the West hold so dear will have become moot.
If early election are held, each citizen will have one of two options, either to go hungry while holding on to a political ideology (thus practicing democratic rights) or to give up such ideals and accept corruption and a hypocritical pat on the back by a self-righteous international community (for giving up their democratic rights for more urgent needs).
Who do we think we are?