Freedom On The March

From Holden:

Somehow, I don’t think this was part of the NeoCon wet dream.

A lot of eyes are fixed on Qalqilya, where the radical Islamic group Hamas won every seat on the city council five months ago. It was a major shock for Fatah, the dominant faction in the Palestinian Authority, and is emerging as a test case of Hamas’s foray into electoral politics.

Hamas, which advocates Israel’s destruction and is regarded by Israel and the United States as a terrorist group, is fielding candidates in the Palestinian local and parliamentary elections. Here in Qalqilya, its rule has already set off a fair amount of grumbling that the group is trying to impose a strict Islamist morality.


But in its short tenure, Hamas has also brought a new measure of modernity to this town of 45,000 people. It has tackled the budget and even predicts a surplus. It has introduced previously alien practices, like computerized bookkeeping and competitive bidding on city contracts, and has begun to investigate past corruption.