Friday, January 28, 2005
Middle East rumble
Well WELL...... things are getting pretty exciting in the Middle East these days, now aren't they? Iraq is having it's first democratic elections in almost 50 years. So far the build up to and during the elections has been riddled with violence but determined Iraqis are doing what they can to get out and vote. As many as 11,000 Iraqis in Canada are registered to vote and are heading to the polls over the next three days. I hope this brings Iraqis some sense of independence......

And in Israel there seems to be change in the wind. Many are afraid to be too optimistic about all this (myself included) but at the same time it's hard not to get hopeful. The IDF chief has ordered a reduction in the number of troops in Gaza as the number of Palestinians police officers deployed has been on the increase. It's nice to see the power being handed over... but the fear of course is whether or not that will come back to bite Israel in the ass. However, even the Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, has admitted that "the conditions are ripe for a historic breakthrough". Funny how none of this ever happened when Arafat was leader of the Palestinians, hm?

Then again, Hamas (you may recall, a terrorist group responsible for many of the suicide bombers) has just won an overwhelming victory in Gaza Strip local elections. The article says: "The first-ever municipal elections in Gaza, which were held on Thursday, were seen as a test of strength between the Islamic militant group and Abbas". Indeed, it's that bond between the new Palestinian leader, Abbas, and an Islamic terrorist group (not militant, thank you very much) that has me worried. The article goes on to say: "Our people have a consensus on the choice of jihad and resistance and the election has underscored that concept," Hamas spokesman Muhir al-Masri told reporters following the announcement of the results". In other words, the people have voted for the violent leadership method over the negotiation method. Looks like Abbas has his work cut out for him.

Shabat Shalom.