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Thursday, February 02, 2006

The New York Slimes Gets it All Wrong

This morning's New York Slimes includes an editorial entitled Hamas at the Helm. The LLL Slimes wants Israel - and the United States - to give Hamas a chance. Of course, since they're not sitting in the line of fire, that's easy for them to say:

It could also be argued that Hamas can become a negotiating partner for Israel. Over the past year, the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, has promised to crack down on violence. He has not been able to deliver, in part because his ruling Fatah Party has been unable to tell Hamas what to do. Fatah and Mr. Abbas have been willing to say the words that Israel wants so dearly to hear. But they have been unable to deliver on the security that Israel so dearly needs to have.

Hamas is far better able to deliver on the deeds, if it should so choose. The problem is, it refuses to say the words. [It's very easy to say words. Hamas - and the 'Palestinians' who elected it - should be treated as pariahs until their actions prove them worthy of different treatment. CiJ]

So far, the Bush administration has made the right moves. The statement issued earlier this week by the so-called quartet of the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia calls for Hamas to "be committed to nonviolence, recognize Israel and accept the previous agreements and commitments," like the Oslo accords and the "road map" peace plan, which calls for dismantling of armed groups like, well, Hamas. That's a good start. The quartet also stopped short of immediately cutting off aid to the Palestinians, which would undoubtedly serve to push the Palestinians further into the arms of Iran. Presumably that decision can be made later — when a Hamas-dominated government is formed.

The United States should continue to press Israel to hand over the $50 million a month in tax and customs receipts it collects for the Palestinian Authority, if for no other reason than this is money that belongs to the Palestinians. [Hand them money to buy weapons and pay terrorists and their families? What planet does the Slimes editorial page live on? CiJ] The acting Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, may be trying to win an election by appearing tough, but pouring gas over an inflamed situation is not the way to go. [Olmert doesn't appear tough at all - except against Israeli children. But that's a different problem. CiJ]


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