Captain's Quarters Blog

« Pork Queen? | Main | Still Not Biting »

November 11, 2006
Hamas Retreats

Hamas' Ismail Haniyeh has announced his intention to resign from office if an agreement can be forged which will allow international aid to flow back to the Palestinian Authority. However, he has not repudiated the positions which caused the aid to stop, and claims that the new government will not budge from those principles either:

Hamas committed today to folding its eight-month government if that would restore the international assistance that was cut off after it won national elections earlier this year.

In a shrewd and dramatic speech, the Hamas prime minister, Ismail Haniyah, said he would likely resign in the next “two or three weeks” to make way for a national unity government more acceptable to international donors than Hamas, the organization responsible for the deadliest attacks against Israel. ...

It was a public acknowledgment that Hamas had failed to run the Palestinian Authority on its own terms in the face of an American and Israeli-led cutoff of funds and aid, and that Mr. Haniya and his government would soon be replaced by a “unity” government of technocrats, currently being negotiated with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Hamas refused to meet the three conditions set out by the international community: to recognize the right of Israel to exist, to forswear violence and to accept previous Palestinian-Israeli agreements that imply a two-state solution. In turn, Israel withheld more than $50 million a month in taxes and customs collected for the Palestinians and the United States and Europe cut off direct aid to the Palestinian Authority.

Unfortunately, Hamas will still refuse to change its position on any of the above and still wants a power position within the new unity government. That sounds like a textbook description of putting lipstick on a pig. The problem, as Tzivi Lipni pointed out, is not the names of the groups involved but the policies they have promulgated.

In order for the West to put any reliance on the PA, we have to know that successive governments will abide by the treaties and agreements signed by previous ones. Otherwise, everyone has to start from scratch after every election, and no progress can be made towards any kind of peaceful resolution, if one exists at all. Hamas does not want a two-state solution, and so Israel has no incentive to restart tax payments to an entity that wants to destroy it. And while America might be willing to buy peace through foreign aid in the hope that a few years of quiet might produce leaders who want it to continue, we're not going to pay Hamas to be terrorists, and so far neither will the Europeans.

Haniyeh wants to change the label but keep the product the same. Some world leaders, desperate to reverse the economic collapse in Gaza and the West Bank, might take the bait. They shouldn't, and neither should the American people. We cannot defeat terrorism while we fund it, a basic truth that all of Haniyeh's declarations cannot hide. If the Palestinians want international aid, then they need to comply with its conditions, and not just switch the nameplates on the doors.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at November 11, 2006 8:30 AM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry is

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Hamas Retreats:

» Hamas Offers to End Rule if Aid Resumes from Don Singleton
It is not necessary for you to leave the government; just accept the existance of the State of Israel, and work with it, rather than attacking it. [Read More]

Tracked on November 11, 2006 10:29 AM

» Give us some money and I'll quit from RightSnipe
First, Ismail Haniya the elected Palestinian prime minister, says he wants to join al Qaeda and kill westerners. Then the next day he's begging the same people he wants to slaughter like dogs, to send money. [Read More]

Tracked on November 13, 2006 4:37 PM


Design & Skinning by:
m2 web studios

blog advertising


Proud Ex-Pat Member of the Bear Flag League!