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Sunday, January 29, 2006

Hamas must renounce terror, recognize Israel; Gets tax money regardless!

I wonder how long this will last past the elections (if Kadima Achora wins). Maybe we should start a betting pool....

Olmert: Hamas must renounce terror, recognize Israel; Gets tax money regardless!

Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Sunday that Israel would not have any contacts with Hamas until and unless the organization renounces terrorism and recognizes Israel's right to exist, as well as all agreements hitherto signed with Israel. [Could someone please explain to me what 'Israel's right to exist' means. Israel exists - that's a fact. Does this mean that Hamas members have to get off drugs and face reality? Otherwise, the sentence makes no sense! Or am I the only one who sees that? CiJ]

Olmert reported at the beginning of the weekly cabinet meeting on his and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni's weekend efforts to convince world leaders to take a firm stance against Hamas's terror activity. Olmert said that the international community stood behind Israel.

"We clarified that without a clear abandonment of the path of terror, a recognition of Israel's right to exist in security and peace ... Israel won't have any contact with the Palestinians," Olmert said. "These principles are accepted by the international community. On this issue, I don't intend to make any compromises."

National Infrastructure Minister Ze'ev Boim (Kadima) said that a distinction must be made between transferring money to the PA as long as Hamas has not taken its place in the government and transferring funds after Hamas takes over, in which case, Boim said, there would be "new rules." [This is called being chicken poop. The JPost editorial this morning rightfully takes them to task for this. Olmert and Kadima Achora can't decide what side they are on because no one has told them how to think yet. This is a sure sign that Mashiach is coming folks. The Gemara says that b'Ikvasa d'Mashicha - in the times before the Mashiach (Messiah) comes - Pnei Ha'Dor k'Pnei Ha'Kelev - the face of the generation will be like that of a dog. Our Rabbis explain that this means that when a person walks his dog on a leash, the dog runs ahead but looks back all the time to see whether the person is following. So too in the generation before the Messiah comes, the 'leaders' of the generation will be looking back all the time to see whether the people are following. A perfect description for Kadima Achora - a party with no platform, no positions, no lists of MK's that just keeps reading the popularity polls. CiJ]

Under the 1995 Israel-PA interim agreements, agreements Hamas does not recognize, Israel is to transfer to the PA each month tax and customs revenues it collects on the PA's behalf. A payment of some $60 million is scheduled to take place on Friday.

One government official said that Israel was in no rush to publicize any decision on how it will deal with Hamas, beyond the carefully crafted statement that followed Thursday night's meeting of the security cabinet. That statement made clear that Israel would have no dealings with a government in which Hamas was a participant.

Government officials said that Israel wanted to see what happened over the course of the next few days before making operative decisions.

"What happens if we say we won't transfer the money, and the next day Hamas disarms and repeals its charter," one official in the Prime Minister's Office asked. [What happens if you pay them the money and they use it to pay terrorists? Guess which scenario is more likely? CiJ]

The official said that although the payment was due Friday, Israel could always "hold it up" for a few days, as has been done in the past. [And what precisely would that accomplish? CiJ]


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