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April 14, 2006
Don't I Know You From Somewhere?

After having doors slammed in their face and their cash flow cut off, Hamas has decided to recognize Israel under its 1967 border:

According to a Thursday report on Al-Jazeera, the Hamas government will recognize Israel if Israel withdraws to the 1967 borders.

Hamas officials close to Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh expect Haniyeh to announce the change in the organization's platform in the next few days, Army Radio reported.

This would appear to vindicate the hard line approach taken by the US and surprisingly echoed by the EU. Hamas had threatened to get its cash needs fulfilled by other countries in the region, especially Iran, after having the West wash its hands of the Palestinians when they elected Hamas into power. It now looks as though Hamas had its bluff called and perhaps once again proved the historical disregard that Arab nations have always had for the Palestinians.

Of course, Hamas might offer sweet words to the world but say something else entirely at home. That was Yasser Arafat's modus operandi for years. The precondition of returning to the 1967 border also may be a dodge, as Israel is unlikely to do so unless the Palestinians start abiding by their previous commitments. However, having al-Jazeera report this development throughout the Islamic world will force Hamas to acknowledge its recognition offer to its own people as well as signal that the West has won this round of diplomacy. Whether Hamas actually takes the action it proposes and starts honoring other commitments will remain an open question.

UPDATE: How bad has the financial crunch been for Hamas? They're trying to get Arabs to send them donations to pay their salaries:

IN DESPERATION at a mounting financial crisis, the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority (PA) yesterday launched a fundraising drive aimed at ordinary Arabs.

In advertisements on Arabic satellite TV stations and on internet sites, the PA said that giving money to it meant "supporting the steadfastness of your Palestinian brothers" and would "thwart the Zionist plans aimed at forcing them to relinquish their legitimate national rights". It also gives account numbers at the Arab Bank and Egyptian International Bank in Cairo.

The Palestinians have finally learned that the "steadfastness" of their Arab brothers is nothing more than a fantasy woven by the kleptocracies in the region to inflame anti-Semitic rage among their oppressed subjects. In a clever move, Hamas has decided to play into that fantasy by targeting this fundraiser to the subjects themselves, rather than struggling in vain to get any significant cash from the kleptocrats.

I suppose if this doesn't work, a telethon will come next.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at April 14, 2006 5:21 AM

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