Saturday, November 11, 2006

Hamas Offers to End Rule if Aid Resumes

NYT reported Hamas committed today to folding its eight-month government if that would restore the international assistance that was cut off after it won national elections earlier this year.

It is not necessary for you to leave the government; just accept the existance of the State of Israel, and work with it, rather than attacking it.
In a shrewd and dramatic speech, the Hamas prime minister, Ismail Haniyah, said he would likely resign in the next “two or three weeks” to make way for a national unity government more acceptable to international donors than Hamas, the organization responsible for the deadliest attacks against Israel.

“When they put the siege on one hand, and having me the prime minister on the other, I said ‘no: Let us end the siege and let us end the suffering of the Palestinian people,’ ” Mr. Haniyah, 43, a former teacher and union official, told worshippers at Friday prayers here.

CQ blogged In order for the West to put any reliance on the PA, we have to know that successive governments will abide by the treaties and agreements signed by previous ones. Otherwise, everyone has to start from scratch after every election, and no progress can be made towards any kind of peaceful resolution, if one exists at all. Hamas does not want a two-state solution, and so Israel has no incentive to restart tax payments to an entity that wants to destroy it. And while America might be willing to buy peace through foreign aid in the hope that a few years of quiet might produce leaders who want it to continue, we're not going to pay Hamas to be terrorists, and so far neither will the Europeans.

Haniyeh wants to change the label but keep the product the same. Some world leaders, desperate to reverse the economic collapse in Gaza and the West Bank, might take the bait. They shouldn't, and neither should the American people. We cannot defeat terrorism while we fund it, a basic truth that all of Haniyeh's declarations cannot hide. If the Palestinians want international aid, then they need to comply with its conditions, and not just switch the nameplates on the doors.

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