Don’t “Weep for Palestinian Suffering”

Western governments are coming to grips with the reality of the Hamas victory. On the plus side:

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 receive money.

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.