Should The Newly Elected Hamas Government of Palestine be Sanctioned or Engaged? (2006)

Essay by vybzdanielleCollege, UndergraduateA, October 2006

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Following the sudden death of Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian Islamic militant group Hamas, emerged the victor of the January 25 election in Palestine. It is widely known that Hamas is a sponsor of terrorism, and one of its major radical ideologies is to destroy Israel as part of the Islamic Jihad, or holy war. Hence, the victory of this Palestinian group has triggered many shockwaves among the international community, particularly in the West. The tremendous alarm and concern has surfaced to create heated debates among diplomatic circles in the United States, Europe and Israel, as to whether the olive branch should be extended to the Palestinian Authority. Many Western interests are appalled that the Palestinian electorate has given Hamas what they perceive to be the authority to instigate more conflict with Israel, and more resources to support state-sponsored terrorism. They believe that the new government should be sanctioned in order to smother any prospect of the developing terrorism-related activity.

Two polarized possible approaches, with regard to the way in which relations international relations should be cultivated with the new Palestinian Authority have surfaced in the aftermath of the election: sanction and isolate the Hamas regime, or execute a policy of engagement with the government. The United States and Israel are major advocates for isolating the Hamas government, based on theory that an extremist group like Hamas cannot not change. It is a popular belief that the new regime must be tottered, to facilitate the rise of a government which is less devoted to violence and hostilities. The most reasonable thing about this policy is that it would underscore the undisputable stance against terrorism. The sentiment is that Hamas consists of terrorists who threaten global peace, and that by sanctioning Palestine, the people will be deservedly punished for electing...