The U.S. has a few on-the-take VIP Palestinians who have been groomed for power over the years - one of whom is Mohamed Dahlan. This article from a new organization in Washington connected with the Washington Times:
Why Hamas did so well in the Palestinian election
The ballots have closed, but it is clear that the Palestinian Legislative Council elections have nothing to do with being free or democratic. Hundreds of Western observers won't change that assessment.
The reason: The observers did not monitor the campaign by Palestinian legislators. Had they done so, they would have found how Fatah candidates aligned with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas used PA security officers to intimidate rivals and extort money from businessmen. They would have also seen how Fatah candidates deal with difficult questions by voters.
Take Mohammed Dahlan, long the great American hope for Palestinian leadership. Flush with American money and support, Dahlan still can't seem to shake off the Palestinian image of him as a thug.
Part of the reason is that when Dahlan is pressed, he lashes out physically.
Consider Dahlan's appearance at the Open Al Quds University in Gaza City on Jan. 17. A PLC candidate to represent the Khan Yunis area of the Gaza Strip, Dahlan gave his usual speech highlighting his accomplishments and warned of a Hamas victory. The audience seemed friendly.
Then, Dahlan decided to take some questions. One student from the Fatah-aligned Al Azhar University asked Dahlan a question that struck a touchy subject — corruption.
The question concerned Dahlan's purchase of property in Khan Yunis in December 2005 and about embezzlement of PA funding.
Palestinian sources are familiar with the story: Dahlan pocketed millions of dollars in Western funding and gave some of it to his supporters. He also obtained some choice land from former Jewish settlements evacuated by Israel in September 2005 and gave some to his political allies.
Dahlan, long head of the most lethal Palestinian security force in the Gaza Strip, went ballistic. "How do you know such information, and where did you get it from?" Dahlan shouted.
Dahlan's bodyguards jumped into the crowd, grabbed the questioner and threw him out.
Hamas has not used these tactics. Little wonder that the Palestinians are likely to vote en masse for a group on the State Department terrorist list.