This was initially a response to GAZA Youth Break Out tweet but I thought I would post it as a blog entry:
I think what the last weeks and months have shown is that when it comes to support on the ground, secularists and liberals in general have very little/limited support. We sometimes forget, when reading blogs and other social media that most Palestinians and Arabs dont actually read English-language blogs and that their strong showing on social media is not an accurate reflection of the reality. Bloggers like GazaYBO dont actually represent Palestinian Gazan public opinion (all due respect to them of course) but they have a presence here because many international supporters of Palestinians are hungry for a 'liberal' anti-Israel alternative to Hamas. And the experience of Palestinians with Hamas is a different matter altogether. Islamists in Tunisia and Egypt are not suffering from a siege, they have control of their borders and they were not subject to a CIA-backed coup attempt in 2007 a year after they were democratically elected.
However, Hamas rule has been blighted by cracking down on political freedom and political prisoners but I would argue that after they routed Dahlan 4 years ago, Hamas made the mistake of giving too much power to the Executive force - when security forces have too much power then political oppression and violence ensues. On the other hand, if Hamas did not have such control in Gaza, their political and military leaders would have been killed in the Gaza war of 2008/2009 - I say this from a pro-resistance point of view. It is to Hamas' credit that they never bowed down on the Quartet conditions, that they held to Shalit all this time. We must accept that they were never given a chance to truly deliver on their program. Unfortunately, Hamas did not stamp out nepotism but actively engaged in it and have not solved Gaza's economic problems. Of course, this is due to the siege but Hamas is still responsible to find a solution and they have not done so. Inshallah, Egypt and Tunisia will not be punished for choosing an 'Islamist' party and they can show what happens when you merge taqwa (piety) and brains together :)