This is not to say that the late Edward Said would approve of all past policies of Hamas. But Hamas in 2006 may not be the same organization it was in 1996 or 2001. The point is that the Palestinian people have once again defied inertia, defied superpowers, defied Zionists, and have stood up proudly and said "We will have a strong say in our own fate."
Edward Said marveled at the resilience of the Palestinian people, his own people. Few peoples in the history of mankind have stood against such prolonged efforts to demoralize, dispossess, and destroy them by such powerful forces and foes. The Palestinian people seem indestructible collectively.
There is hope for peace, based not on Palestinian weakness and despair, but on Palestinian resolve, strength, and resilience despite the greatest of odds. Ariel Sharon was so full of hate and poison that his body broke down and he lays dying in Jerusalem. But the children of Palestine cling to life, even to exuberance as they sense the possibilities of ultimate freedom. The elders in Palestinian society, many of whom have lived as refugees scattered to the desert winds for decades, sense that their sacrifices may not be in vain — their people will live and will prosper because they did not give up and did not fade away and could not be driven away from what was theirs.
The civilized world congratulates the Palestinian people and their fortitude. Surely justice and peace cannot be forever denied such a people! May this new opportunity lead to an ultimate solution to the issues at stake. May the layers and layers of pain and hate and anger be unraveled so that these people can live in peace and prosperity, so that their children will be able to live in prosperity on their own land and in harmony with their neighbors. I believe that was the dream of Edward Said, and I pray that his children will see the fulfillment of those dreams.