I was going to blog a bit about how the Hamas victory in Palestine may not be all bad. However, David Bernstein at Volokh has outlined every relevant point I could make on the issue.
If I were voting in the Palestinian elections, I would have been sorely tempted to vote for Hamas, even if I rejected their Islamicist views and their policies toward Israel. This is because the Palestinian Authority is one of the most corrupt and incompetent governments in the world. The PA has received billions of dollars in foreign aid but one would be hard-pressed to find a single school, hospital, park, or other public building built by the PA with that money. The money has disappeared either into the hands of corrupt officials, or into paying salaries to the tens of thousands of Palestinians who work for the government, who do basically nothing but are thus bought off by Fatah. Indeed, the election results almost certainly overestimate the PA's real support because assumedly government patronage employees and their dependents voted for Fatah. Because of the PA's low standing among the Palestinian public, it probably was not capable of reaching any kind of agreement with Israel, much less disarming Hamas and Jihad, and even if it were capable of reaching such agreement, it would not have had any legitimacy among the public.
Assuming that Israel and the US don’t move immediately to isolate the new government I think that Hamas has the ability to do something no one else has been able to do.
Only Nixon could go to China.
Only Sharon could negotiate with Arafat.
Perhaps one day we will say “Only Hamas could bring Peace to the Middle East.”