Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Hamas

David Warren thinks that the victory of Hamas, "the openly terrorist party" is kind of clarifying: The vast majority of Palestinians want Israel driven into the sea. Probably true. Yet, Warren doesn’t tell us what to do now. Inj a soft piece, Fareed Zakaria thinks we shouldn’t have been surprised, but we were. He thinks we will be surprised again, unless we start supporting the liberal, secular groups. That sort of goes without saying, but in the case of the Palestinians, what has become clear is that they are less interested inh having their own state than in ending the state of Israel.

The Belmont Club says that following the money will not necessarily make you into an optimist. Sixty percent of the Palestinian Authority’s money comes from foreign donors (see his chart), with $368 million coming from the U.S. and $ 338 from the European Union. He notes that since November ’05, the European Union has witheld
$42 million in aid payments to the PA as punishment for missed fiscal targets. That, combined with Fatah having padded its payroll with young militants to win their votes ahead of the polls, and you are at the start of a bankrupt "government." Read the whole of it to see what they he is driving at. Is it possible that Bush will hold fast on not deal with Hamas and be able to hold the Europeans, the U.N., as well as Jordan and Egypt, with him? Can they support Israel, and demand that the government ruled by Hamas accept the prior Israeli-Palestinian peace agreements? Hard decisions will have to be made. The hard distinctions between democracy and justice, still have to be worked out. We can incline them in a certain direction based on their interests, but they will--somehaow--have to walk the last miles by themselves, in their own way. I hope that walk will not include a civil war. Khaled Meshal, speaking from Damscus, said
asked the world to respect the democratic choice of the Palestinian people -- which he called an example for the Arab and Muslim world. And then, this:

"The world raised the slogan of democracy, and now it should respect the results of democracy. If you want to punish the Palestinian people for practicing democracy, then the American administration should punish Americans for choosing President Bush." Hard work, all this, but I haven’t thrown in the towel yet. Also note this.

Discussions - 1 Comment

What leads you to believe that it is wise to "do" anything?

It is something of a caprice to think that it is within our power to devise a settlement to this problem, well nigh intractible.

I’ve got a better idea, traditional, tried and tested. Let the Israelis do what is required to establish the security of their state. The election results suggest that the Pals have embarked upon a course of open and avowed warfare. Whereas before the PLA could pretend that terror operations did not receive their approval, now any such terror action against the Israelis is tantamount to a declaration of war, and should be responded to as such.

The parties to this dispute are not going to "process" their way to a resolution, and it is an unwise indulgence to conclude otherwise.

But to answer your question directly, "what is to be done now," the answer is nothing. Stop seeing this through the prism of the Arab League, stop thinking that this issue needs to be at the forefront of American diplomacy, cease to suffer from the delusion that American diplomacy has it within their ability to be able to solve this dispute. The deal that Clinton had on the table before Arafat SHOULD HAVE been accepted, but it was not. Actions have consequences. Now that refusal has been compounded by the election of Hamas. So be it. The Pals should be informed that the United States deems the Oslo protocalls irrevocably broken, and that the position of the United States is that her ally and friend, Israel, has a free hand regarding her security, AND a free hand to carve any border she deems fit.

Let the United States turn its gaze from the pathology of Gaza to that of Tehran. THAT is the problem that cries out for attention. As for the Pals, our policy, in the former words of Daniel Patrick Moniyhan, should be one of "benign neglect."

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