There's an earthquake in Mideast politics today. Palestinians have gone to the polls and elected, it appears, Hamas to power. Hamas, which runs medical clinics and charity networks across the impoverished West Bank and Gaza, is seen by many Palestinians as a champion of clean government.
Hamas is the Islamic militant group that has carried out nearly sixty suicide bombings in Israel in the last five years. It is also the group that is committed by charter to the destruction of the state of Israel.
The prime minister and cabinet of Yasser Arafat's long-dominant Fatah party have quit. Democracy is in gear, and a group called terrorists by Washington and Israel is in power.
Hear about the voting of Hamas to victory by Palestinians.
Michael Matza, Middle East Correspondent for the Philadelphia Inquirer;Dr. Mahmoud Al-Ramahi, a Hamas candidate for a seat in the Palestinian Legislative CouncilKhaled Al-Hroub, Director Cambridge Arab Media Project at Cambridge University in England, author of "Hamas: Political Thought and Practice," and host of a weekly book review show on Al-Jazeera satellite network;
Haim Malka, a fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington
Meir Sheetrit, Israeli Minister of Transportation and Minister of Education, Culture and Sport;Robin Wright, Diplomatic Correspondent for the Washington Post.
This program aired on January 26, 2006.