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March 31, 2006
JINSA Report #561
Don't "Weep for Palestinian Suffering"
Western governments are coming to grips with the reality of the Hamas
victory. On the plus side:
- Canada's government was the first to suspend assistance to and order
no contact with the Hamas Cabinet.
- The U.S. government told its diplomats and contractors to sever
contact with Palestinian ministries and forbade contact with all
Hamas-appointed officials whether the officials themselves are or are
not Hamas members. This expands the original American position.
- UN Ambassador John Bolton announced that Washington would redefine the
role of Maj. Gen. Keith Dayton, as liaison to the PA for security
matters. Gen. Dayton has been asked to end all contact with Palestinian
security forces reporting to any member of the Hamas Cabinet.
- The Quartet said aid would "inevitably" be affected and called on the
Hamas "to commit to the principles of non-violence, recognition of
Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations… Future
assistance to any new government would be reviewed by donors against
that government's commitment to the principles."
But the full Canadian position in instructive. Ottawa said the
Palestinian people should not be penalized over the actions of Hamas
will continue to provide $22 million in annual humanitarian aid through
various UN and non-governmental agencies. Washington and the Quartet,
too, will continue to finance humanitarian projects and are considering
how to move projects from the PA to NGOs in order that they continue to
There is, in this, an unwillingness to grasp that Hamas was the CHOICE
of Palestinian voters in open competition (not a "democratic election,"
but a competitive choice). They knew what they were doing and knew what
they were risking and Hamas is what they picked. How can Western donors
defend rejecting Hamas for being the choice of "the people", but not
penalize the people who made the choice?
"I weep for the Palestinians' suffering," President Bush said yesterday.
"They've been ruled for years by a disappointing government, but we
can't fund a nation that seeks to destroy its neighbor."
Yes, Mr. Bush, the Palestinians have been poorly led and for years it
was possible to say they had no hand in the lousy leadership that
beggared the people and took them to an unnecessary and particularly
brutal terrorist war; lousy leadership that devoured its young, teaching
them that death was preferable to life; rotten leadership that stole the
treasure and the soul of the people. We funded them all that time while
they tried to destroy Israel. But that was then and this is now. "The
people" picked this government and should not be allowed to expect that
the civilized world will feed, house and shelter them while Hamas picks
up its check from Iran and uses it to enhance its terrorist capabilities.
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