Tuesday 31 January 2006

Shocked, shocked, I say.

So the Palestinians elected Hamas, Jew-hating suicide-bombers extraordinaire. Every TV news report I've seen on the matter mentions what a hugely surprising shock this is.

Without getting into the ins and outs of what Hamas's victory Really Means, can I just say that I found the news about as surprising as the weather report? I admit that I don't follow Middle-Eastern news as closely as some — no fine-toothedly combing through translations of Arabic press releases for me — but I vaguely keep up with what's going on there, and Hamas's election, as far as I could see, was about as unlikely as a Conservative victory in the UK five years from now — or, come to that, a Labour victory fifteen years ago: hardly a foregone conclusion, but no-one's going to be falling out of their chairs in amazement over it.

It strikes me that the journalists who are telling us how surprisingly surprising it all is are the same ones who tell us that the Palestinian people want to coexist peacefully with Israeli Jews.

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