The Columbia Critic

A place to debate anything we want to. We'll talk Columbia campus issues. We'll talk up the homosexual problem. We'll talk China. And we'll talk without resorting to partisan rhetoric. We may be left. We may be right. But we aren't going to be quoting any party line. We're leading the discussion. But feel free to chime in. Hannity and Colmes this is not.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

“Hamas Says U.S. Must Respect Palestinian Vote”

You have to hand it to Hamas: they have plenty of chutzpah. Boldly, they proclaim that the U.S. and Israel should respect the Palestinian vote, even as they are still publicly committed to Israel’s destruction. The most they will hint at is a potential 15-year truce, which gives them just enough time to build up a larger armed force to attack Israel with and push the Jews to the sea. After all, as the article from my previous post shows, Palestinian terror groups are now preparing a “Third Intifada” and brag about the new surprises and weapons they were able to bring into their arsenals during the past three month “truce” (and then they have the nerve to criticize Israel for attacking them while they were doing it – as if Israel is obligated to let them arm themselves fully and only attack when rockets are landing in Tel Aviv.)

The fact is that Israel and the United States have respected the decision of the Palestinian people. Accepting that vote, however, does not translate into accepting Hamas. Hamas has not cleaned its hands of the blood of thousands of Israelis just by being elected, and the U.S. and Israel – and the rest of the world – have every right and responsibility to make sure that money that they allow to go to the Palestinian Authority does not fall into the hands of terrorists. International aid is not, and has never been, a birthright of the Palestinian Authority. Instead, it has been given consistently since the Oslo Accords to build up an infrastructure for a peaceful and democratic Palestinian State as part of a two state solution. If Hamas rejects that end solution, as it does, then international aid serves no purpose other than to help prolong the conflict.

The Palestinian people have voted. They chose a Hamas government. That can be respected. But Israel, the United States, and the rest of Europe and the world don’t have to make life easier for Hamas as a result.

Israel, the U.S., France (PM Dominique de Villepin), England, Germany, and so forth have all declared simple conditions for a Hamas government to get assistance: it must recognize the right of Israel to exist, it must commit to the past agreements signed as part of the peace process, and it must renounce the use of violence – not as part of a temporary ceasefire but entirely. Those are fair conditions, and conditions that past elected Palestinian governments have accepted. If Hamas cannot accept them, then states can respect the Palestinians’ vote but show them the consequences of electing a party that refuses to make peace to power.

As most polls demonstrate, people voted for Hamas because they thought Hamas would be better able to provide basic services. Israel has every right to show Hamas and the Palestinian people that Hamas cannot possibly provide those services outside the context of a peace process aimed towards a two state solution.

Israel can respect the Palestinian vote, but it cannot cooperate with a party with the blood of thousands on its hands and sworn to Israel’s own destruction. If Hamas itself wants to be respected by Israel, it should recognize the right of Israel to exist. If it can’t do that, it will have to find a way to provide public services without the cooperation of the Israeli government or international community.


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