[Our guest blogger, Mara Rudman, is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. Mara was a member of the National Democratic Institute international election observer delegation to the Palestinian legislative elections.]
Watch Mara on Fox News:
On Sunday, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice acknowledged that she was surprised by the Hamas victory in the Palestinian elections:
I’ve asked [my staff] why nobody saw it coming. … It does say something about us not having a good enough pulse.
To those of us observing the lead-up to the election as well as election day, the results were predictable. The Palestinian people were registering their protest with Fatah, the ruling party of the Palestinian Authority. Palestinians also were registering their despair with leaders who had brought few tangible results from years of efforts to build a Palestinian state. Those in the Bush administration engaged with average Palestinians would have picked this up long before election day.
The Bush administration now needs to fix its blind spot if it hopes to help the Palestinian people move ahead. Read more