May 11, 2006

No Consequences


The Palestinians elect a terrorist group to lead their government, and this is the consequence:

From ABC News: Israel releasing money for Palestinians.

Israel has agreed to release tens of millions of dollars it withheld from the Palestinians after Hamas ascended to power and is considering easing restrictions on the movement of goods between Israel and the Gaza Strip, officials said Thursday. ...

Israel stopped transferring some $55 million in tax and customs revenues it collects monthly on behalf of the Palestinians shortly after Hamas won January parliamentary elections.
The withholding of those funds, coupled with a cutoff in aid from the U.S. and European Union, has left the Palestinians broke and two months behind in paying salaries to government workers who provide for about a third of the people in the West Bank and Gaza.

The potential humanitarian crisis is fueling international alarm.

Later in the article:

Outside U.N. headquarters in Gaza City Thursday, about 40 children protested what they called an economic siege. Several stripped down to their underwear and stood on U.S. and Israeli flags.

Is that the way to ask for help? It illustrates how morally inverted the whole issue has become. And the Palestinians don't just stand on the flags, they stab them too.

The article goes on to quote the protest's organizer: "The world should act to end this collective punishment." Yeah, right. Like Hamas will ever stop its "collective punishment" of Israelis.

But Israel is not the only one rolling over. A Reuters report indicates that America might be, too: Quartet agrees to channel aid to Palestinians.

The quartet of Middle East peace brokers agreed on Tuesday on a way to channel aid to the Palestinians for a trial period to ease a financial squeeze on the new government following the election of Hamas.

The group of international mediators -- the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations -- issued a statement after a day of talks in which Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia warned of a civil war if the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority was left to collapse. ...

The move came after the World Bank warned on Monday that the Palestinian Authority could face a breakdown in law and order and basic services unless foreign donors step in to pay the salaries of about 165,000 civil servants.

The United States, which initially opposed a European proposal to channel aid to the Palestinians via an international mechanism such as the World Bank, said any such move would have to be limited in scope and [have a] mechanism so aid would not reach the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority. ...

The European Union will take the lead in working out the details but has suggested in the past that the World Bank could be a suitable vehicle for getting aid to the Palestinians.

The cartoon's title and links are from AllahPundit, who has more links and commentary.

UPDATE I -- May 12: A must-read from The Jerusalem Post: America embraces the Hamas fantasy by Caroline Glick. (via Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi)

RICE'S DECISION to enable the funding of the Hamas-led PA is significant, and indeed disastrous for two main reasons. First, by so acting, the Bush administration is ignoring strategic realities that present immediate dangers not only to Israel but to the US as well.

Against the backdrop of Ahmadinejad's letter this week and his constant threats against the US and its allies in recent weeks and months, it is clear that Iran perceives itself as being in a state of active war against the US. It is also a fact that Hamas is now an official client of Teheran. As an Iranian satellite, an empowered and emboldened Hamas is no longer just an Israeli concern. Hamas today can and ought to be perceived as an enemy of the US as well - an enemy to whom the Bush administration just pledged $10 million in medical assistance. ...

The US and its Palestinian-obsessed European counterparts and the Israeli government claim that the hundreds of millions of dollars they are about to provide the Palestinians with in "direct aid" will not benefit the Hamas-led PA. But of course this is incorrect. Firstly, the EU is already making clear that their Hamas-evading mechanism for funding the Hamas-led PA will facilitate the payment of salaries of PA employees who are supposed to be getting paid by Hamas. That is, the EU will be paying Hamas's bills directly.

Secondly, every cent transferred in "direct aid" to the Palestinians is money that will prevent Hamas from failing. Every well-fed Palestinian welfare case will be a vindication for the Palestinian people's decision to vote Hamas into power. Every penny of Western and Israeli aid tells them that they may both escalate their war against Israel while officially joining the global jihad and eat well on the Israeli/ American/ European dole.

UPDATE II -- May 16: From the Ayn Rand Institute: Washington's Pro-Hamas Foreign Policy by Elan Journo.

Even as Palestinian terrorism raged, in defiance of Palestinian obligations under successive "peace deals," America continued to dole out rewards. It sent hundreds of millions in aid to the terrorist-sponsoring Palestinian Authority. When Israel unilaterally withdrew from the Gaza strip, rendering itself more vulnerable to predations, America wholeheartedly approved--and insisted on further land concessions. Palestinians, who swiftly began rocket attacks from Gaza, were jubilant; they correctly saw themselves as the victors whose terrorist war had won our approval and forced Israel to retreat.

American policy teaches Palestinians that their goal of destroying Israel--and the terrorism they employ to achieve it--is legitimate and practical. The ascendance of Hamas therefore was predictable. It is by far the more consistent proponent of that murderous goal.

Posted by Forkum at May 11, 2006 03:52 PM