Congress Should Withhold Funding To The Hamas-Fatah Unity Government
While there is much consternation over the Palestinian Authority (PA) unity government, there is nothing new on the policy front. Fatah, the so-called moderate in the alliance, has been an intractable enemy of Israel that speaks in peaceful tones for international organizations and promotes violence for its Arab sponsors. Hamas is and has always been a terrorist organization that believes the Palestinian state should include all of the territory from the Jordan to the Mediterranean. Hamas has been responsible for the murder of over one thousand innocent Israelis and the firing of thousands of missiles at Israeli cities.
Recently Congressmen Trent Franks and Michele Bachmann sponsored a resolution to withhold U.S. funding for this PA unity government. In the interest of full disclosure, the London Center for Policy Research is also backing this resolution.
As soon as the unity government was formed, Hamas reiterated its commitment to terrorism and the elimination of the State of Israel. By agreeing to the alliance, Abu Mazen reveals his hand as a partner for terrorist activity. Clearly, Israel should not conduct diplomatic negotiations with any organization that calls for the destruction of the Jewish state.
In fact, this should be the position of the Obama administration. The foolhardy peace overture by Secretary of State Kerry reflected a complete misunderstanding of Fatah and its motives. For Abu Mazen, there could never be a recognition of the Jewish State of Israel. All of the dancing around what is a central issue merely illustrates his intentions.
Outgoing Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, in praising the new Palestinian unity government that brings the PLO and Hamas together, boasted of the “advanced resistance” capabilities of the terror organization.
For Hamas June 2, 2014 was an historic day as reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas was accomplished. Hamas is recognized as a terrorist organization across the globe, having never modified its position that the Jewish state of Israel must be destroyed. Both parties assume greater solidarity than in the past.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu organized an emergency cabinet meeting in which he called for the suspension of peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority because of its affiliation with Hamas, and a reduction in assistance given to the Palestinian Authority. Despite Netanyahu’s exhortations to refrain from recognizing the new Palestinian government, European leaders and even the Obama administration applauded the unity arrangement, a somewhat strange response when compared with the widespread revulsion over the murders of Jews at the Brussels Jewish museum – an event that Hamas usually praises.
Now Israel has to prepare for the onslaught of a new round of rocket attacks launched form Gaza and possibly the West Bank. The Israel Defense Force understands what it faces. The Iron Dome and David’s Sling — anti-missile technologies — will help. But ultimately the resilience of the Israeli people will be tested again as it has been over the last seven decades.
The determination to withstand the threat will prevail, I am confident of that. What I am not confident about is the support of the United States and European nations. Unfortunately many on both sides of the Atlantic do not appreciate the fact that Israel is a battleground in the war against radical Islam, the same war we are fighting in other venues. That is a tragedy for Israel and a potential tragedy for us, since many Americans believe that a withdrawal from the Middle East will reduce hostility towards the United States. Unfortunately vacuums are always filled. Americans may not want war, but war has a strange way of wanting us.
Herbert London, is the President of the London Center for Policy Research (www.LondonCenter.org) and co-author of the Sunni Vanguard.