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April 19, 2006
Hamas: Winning Friends In The Middle East

Hamas has certainly built an impressive track record at the helm of the Palestinian Authority. Just when no one thought they could possibly do worse than the kleptocrats of Fatah that robbed the Palestinians blind for a decade, Hamas has created a nostalgia for the previous government in less than two months. After having their aid cut off and impoverishing their people through diplomatic isolation with the West, Hamas has busied itself by alienating their closest Arab neighbor:

Palestinian officials have criticised Jordan's decision to cancel a visit to Amman by Foreign Minister Mahmoud Zahhar of the Hamas militant group.

Amman announced it had postponed the trip indefinitely after discovering arms and explosives it said were smuggled into Jordan by Hamas members.

It said this was proof that Hamas had been saying one thing and doing another in its dealings with Jordan. ...

Jordanian officials said the weapons were seized in the last couple of days and included "missiles, explosives and automatic weapons".

Jordan expelled Hamas seven years ago after discovering plots against their government by the Islamist terror group. The exiled leadership initially went to Qatar but then later moved to Damascus at the invitation of the Assad regime. Seven years later, they have attempted to rebuild their credibility with their eastern neighbor and had succeeded in gaining diplomatic recognition from Amman -- until they decided to continue their efforts against the US ally by shipping weapons and bombs into the Hashemite Kingdom.

Now with financial bankruptcy looming and holding nothing more than pledges from Arab states for emergency cash, the Hamas-led PA reminds every Gulf nation why putting money into the pockets of Hamas runs counter to their own security and survival. Jordan's door slam humiliates Hamas just when they had begun to pick up diplomatic momentum in the region. Even the hate-besotted Palestinian electorate might wonder why their new government busies itself with terrorist activity across the river when the PA can't pay their own employees, and especially why it picked now to antagonize a potential benefactor.

As terrorists, Hamas was moderately successful. As politicians, they're hopelessly inept, even by Palestinian standards.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at April 19, 2006 6:06 AM

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