Middle East: Just an observation. Somewhere down the road, maybe the palestianians realize this was not the right move, but I got a feeling trying to do a recall is going to be difficult and I am not talking legal wise. 56% liked them, the other 44% I suggest making sure the papers are in order.
|JIFNA, West Bank - For more than 40 years, Michel Tabash has made a living selling whiskey, beer, vodka and wine at his small family restaurant nestled in this Christian town between olive groves and a Palestinian refugee camp.
The restaurant has survived war, Israeli occupation and the economy-draining Palestinian intifada, or uprising, which forced the family to shutter its doors for nearly four years. Now, 18 months after reopening, Tabash is worried that he may be forced out of business again - this time by the new Hamas-dominated government.
After decades of secular leadership under the late Yasser Arafat, many Palestinians are bracing for a seismic social shift as Hamas' new legislators propose imposing conservative interpretations of traditional Muslim values, including no alcohol, separation of the sexes and veils for women.
"I'm worried, and I'm not the only one," Tabash said Sunday as he smoked cigarettes in his nearly empty cafe. "I have nothing but this restaurant."
Some young Palestinians say they are considering leaving the territories in light of the prospects.
"I call this the first true intifada," said Mohammad Al Hamaidi, a Muslim father of six and program manager for a U.S.-run development group in the West Bank. "If they impose strict Islamic laws as we have heard about in Iran or Afghanistan, it won't work here. No way."
Hamas is not trying to hide what they would like to happen.
|One of the group's incoming lawmakers wants to see the legislature consider a bill that would require all women to wear modest head-coverings. Another said Sunday that Hamas will press ahead with plans to separate girls and boys in Palestinian schools.
"Why do we have immorality in the West?" said Sheikh Mohammed Abu Teir, who was second on Hamas' list of candidates in last week's election. "Isn't it because of co-education? Our society is conservative and when we separate, we bring these children up in such a way that we keep our society clean. The highest levels of sexual perversion are found in the West."
Another top Hamas leader, Mahmoud Zahar, also blasted secular society.
"Do you think the secular system is serving any nation?" Zahar told CNN's "Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer" on Sunday. "Secular system allows homosexuality, allows corruption, allows the spread of the lot of natural immunity, like AIDS."
Sitting in the back of Tabash's restaurant drinking beer on Sunday with his family, Palestinian pollster Nader Said, a Birzeit University professor, said Hamas recognizes that most Palestinians in the West Bank wouldn't support such moves.
"This is not Afghanistan. This is not Pakistan. This is a very different place," he said. |