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February 18, 2006
Hamas Claims Its Terrorist Mandate

At today's swearing-in ceremony for the new Palestinian parliament, President Mahmoud Abbas called on Hamas to honor previous agreements with Israel and commit to negotiations for settling the dispute between the two peoples. Hamas, despite the Western gloss as having a mandate for social programs and austerity, responded by declaring a different mandate:

In a speech at the opening of parliament, Mr Abbas said the new government must recognise past peace deals with Israel and commit itself to pursuing statehood through talks, but he stopped short of setting conditions for forming a cabinet.

He said: "The presidency and the government will continue to respect our commitment to the negotiations as a strategic, pragmatic political choice.["] ...

Mr Abbas's words won applause from Fatah lawmakers but not from Hamas members.

"We were elected on a different political agenda," said Mr Haniyeh as sessions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, joined by video link, broke off for Muslim prayers.

A different political agenda -- this is the mandate which the West has ignored and about which Hamas has been perfectly clear. They do no t want negotiations for peace with Israel; they want Israel annihilated and its people dead or driven out of the Middle East.

Why has the West avoided dealing with reality? It reminds one of the rise of the Nazis in 1932, another political movement explicitly dedicated to the eradication of Jews in its vicinity. The Western powers told themselves for years that the Germans just wanted the trains to run on time and to distance themselves from a corrupt and inefficient Weimar government. Now they want to believe that the Palestinians elected the most radical group of terrorists on the ballot for their stand on ethics in government. Riiiiiiiiiiiiight.

At least we're consistent. When they start the war, Israel had better make sure that the West doesn't force them into the role of Czechoslovakia in 1938.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at February 18, 2006 10:09 AM

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