Many people claim that the Palestinian vote for Hamas that led to them taking the most seats in the Palestinian parliament was evidence that Palestinians didn't want peace, nevermind that Israel voted for Ariel Sharon who used words like, "We'll bomb the Palestinians to the negotiating table" and is said by Arab-Israeli to have committed horrible acts at Qibya and Kafr Qassem decades ago and horrible acts were said to be connected to his army in the Lebanon. Nevermind that...
The majority of Palestinians voted for parties other than Hamas to the tune of 56%. Only 44% voted for Hamas. What happened? The PLO was disorganized and fielded more than one candidate, they were in-fighting and a weak PLO by the time of 2006, not surprising after Sharon and others hammered the PA so badly and there was an emerging split between the new guard of FATAH and the old one. So even in a district where more people voted for FATAH, if they had more than one candidate, Hamas would win.
Also, many of those who voted for Hamas did so because they objected to PA corruption. Many of them also voted because they were frustrated with the occupation. Many of the voters were not rejecting peace...
According to a JMCC poll, http://jmcc.org/publicpoll/results/2006/no57.pdf, of Palestinians who voted for Hamas:
· 43% stated they did so to end corruption and another 7.5% to stop Fatah’s control over the government
· 18.8% for religious reasons
· 11.8 % voted because of its political agenda, and
· 10.7% did so with the hope to see better living conditions.
My comments about these statistics (Basil):
It is clear that not even half of those who voted for Hamas did so out of ideological reasons.