Was it a vote for more extreme terrorism, or a vote against known corruption?
Will Hamas use its new power to expand its attacks on Israel, or will political and economic realities force it to moderate its positions, recognize Israel, and discourage terrorist acts?
What does this mean for the prospects of democratic reforms elsewhere in the Middle East?
Fortunately, we can read Natan Sharansky’s opinions. He understands these issues better than most.
Some key excerpts:
No, the real difference for the Palestinians was that a Fatah-run Palestinian Authority was rightly seen as a corrupt and feckless organization that had done and would continue to do nothing to improve Palestinian lives, whereas Hamas was untainted by corruption and appreciated for providing real social services.
With the vote being a choice between corrupt terrorists dedicated only to themselves and honest terrorists who are also dedicated to others, is it any surprise that Hamas won by a landslide?
The world must base their support for this new regime on two ironclad conditions. First, Hamas must explicitly abandon the goal of destroying Israel and renounce terrorism. Second, it must dedicate itself toward building a free society for the Palestinians.