Monday, February 20, 2006

Hamas picks a government..and picks up some new aid and supporters

Hamas officially took over the Palestinian governement today, and named Ismail Haniyeh as its choice for Palestinian prime minister in a meeting with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.

Haniyeh has suitably anti-Israel and Islamist qualifications to satisfy Hamas hardliners as well as a reputation as a pragmatist, willing to work with other Palestinian factions.

As expected, the UN criticized Israel for cutting off tax rebate funding to the Hamas government. U.N. envoy to the Middle East Alvaro de Soto raised objections on Monday to Israel's decision to withhold tax funds from the Palestinian Authority after a Hamas-led parliament was sworn in. He called the decision `unhelpful and premature'. Hmmm. I suppose in his view Israel can be expected to provide Hamas with the money to buy weapons to use against its citizens.

Jimmy Carter (of course) weighed in as well, saying that Israel and the US should not punish the Palestinian people with sanctions against their government.'Don't punish Palestinians'

I'd LOVE to know how he works out the logic of that one!

You can't endorse people making a democratic choice on the one hand and say that they should be exempt from the actions and positions of that government on the other hand,Mr. Peanut. Unless, of course, the whole idea of the survival of the `Zionist entity' is something you're against simply as a matter of principal. Right, Mr. Carter?

Meanwhile Sweden, home of probably the most vociferously anti-Israel government in Europe except for Norway stepped up to the plate and said it would provide $6.4 million to the Palestinians for `humanitarian aid'. And the Arab League was debating last night whether to spend $60 million a month to keep the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority afloat.

Now that would be a welcome change; the Arabs actually assuming some responsibility for the refugee problem they caused by attacking Israel in 1948 and 1967!

As someone who's observed this charade for some time, I feel that part of the problem
with peace in the Middle East, if not the major problem is that the Arabs have never paid a price for their choices, whether those choices involved attacking a memeber in good standing inviolation of the UN charter on numerous occasions,and not being required to be accountable to deal with the Arab refugees that resulted after their acts of aggression, let alone compensating the numerous Jewish refugees ethnically cleansed from the Arab world after 1948.

In the case of the Palestinians, their leaders have continually broken the agreements signed with Israel and failed to do anything beyond empty promises to prevent terrorism against Israeli citizens or to educate their people to live in peace next to the Jewish state. And they have not been required to pay a price that might just make it worth their while to do what's necessary for a peaceful settlement to the conflict.If anything, it sends a message to the Palestinians that they can endorse an even more hardline position without cost to themselves or their national aspirations.

Several Israeli governments as well as the EU and the USA bear no small responsibility for allowing this to continue. Let's hope that at least some of these people have learned something.

1 comment:

Dan Zaremba said... sends a message to the Palestinians that they can endorse an even more hardline position ...