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March 20, 2006
The EU Never Learns, And Neither Does The BBC

The European Union has transferred sixty-four million euros to the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority after briefly withholding the funds because of Hamas' refusal to accept agreements in place that recognize Israel's right to exist. They gave the money with a warning that the next time it might stop if Hamas doesn't change, a warning that failed to impress Hamas at all:

The European Union has handed over 64m euros (£44m) in aid to help the poorest Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.

But it said that future aid depended on the incoming Hamas government showing a commitment to work for peace, saying the group was "at a crossroads".

The EU is due to give another 60m euros to cover official salaries and energy expenses for the Palestinian Authority.

EU commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner underscored the EU's rock-solid stance that they would cut off Hamas ... eventually ... sometime ... just watch us. She actually said that the payment gives Hamas room for positive change but it should be clear that the EU would not "go soft on our principles". Really? Exactly what principles would that be? They can't include the cessation of funds for terrorist organizations, because the EU recognizes Hamas as exactly that.

Hamas was less than impressed. Their spokesman acknowledged that the PA faced economic disaster due to the Hamas policies, but that "we will not go begging to the United States and Europe because we will not be blackmailed over our political positions." In other words, Hamas expects the world to give them money while Hamas gives nothing in return. Apparently they've analyzed the EU very accurately in this regard.

The BBC manages to make itself look silly in this dispatch as well. After noting that Hamas has carried out "dozens" of suicide-bomb terrorist attacks against Israel, the Beeb says that the US and the EU have "branded" Hamas as terrorists. Well, no kidding. I'm not sure why the BBC can't just say that Hamas is a terrorist organization, especially since they take credit for terrorist attacks, but I suppose they wouldn't be the BBC if they did. (They might be an actual news organization, but that wouldn't be the BBC.)

The funniest/most tragic part of this story is how the EU plans on ensuring the money does not get used for terrorism. They will give the money to the UN for distribution. Perhaps the EU might want to revisit that cesspool of corruption and oppression that the UN ran in the Oil-For-Food program before they start allowing the same idiots to funnel money to the Palestinian Authority. That money will go right into Hamas' pockets and we will read story after story about the suffering of the poor Palestinians, thanks to the "exclusion" of Hamas from the cash.

I know history repeats itself, but the EU apparently wants to run it on an endless loop.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at March 20, 2006 6:34 PM

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