Prague Twin

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Can we talk?

Is it just me, or does it seem strange that the world is calling on Hamas to disarm?

Certainly, the calls on Hamas to recognize Israel as a state, and to renounce violence carried out on civilians are more than reasonable. But if a political entity, democratically elected by its constituency, does not have alternate means of defense it must have a right to maintain an army.

This army must be held accountable to standards put forth in the Geneva Convention and other international treaties, but its right to exist—except in the case wherein a foreign power guarantees its security—should be without question.

Only when Palestine is given a state, and its security is guaranteed, can the world expect its leaders to “renounce violence.”

In the meantime, those who start a dialogue (as did Putin) should be applauded. I mentioned in the previous post that someone should take Hamas aside and tell them to tone down their rhetoric.

Putin is just the guy to do it.

(I’m not sure how I feel about sharing the same view as Putin as to how to progress, but at least I’m not completely alone).

Unfortunately, before Hamas can even name a prime minister, the funds are not only being cut off, but the Palestinian Authority is being asked to give back previously granted assistance.

Here is the official reason the funds are being returned…

The money is being returned "in the interest of seeing that these funds not potentially make their way into the coffers of a future Palestinian government that might not recognize the right of Israel to exist," McCormack said.

I had also suggested in the previous post that cutting off humanitarian aide would counterproductive. This economic squeezing of Hamas will certainly be viewed by many as a mistake due to Hamas’ history of support of the Palestinian population. Despite their propensity for terror, they are the largest provider of direct assistance to the Palestinian people. Starving them economically will have tangible adverse effects on Palestinians.

Is this productive?

On the other hand, the US can still fund all the other despicable leaders around the world.

And no one bats an eye.

If there is to be rules about who gets aid and who doesn’t, they should be clearly defined, and applied to all aid recipients.

Otherwise, how can any punitive economic action be seen as anything other than a unjust singling-out?


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