Hamas, the Palestinian terror group that runs Gaza, is mourning the death of Osama bin Laden. He is a “martyr” to these jihadists. And Hamas has just concluded a pact with the so-called Palestinian Authority (PA), or Fatah, the group that the U.S. recognizes and to whom we give lavish foreign aid. We are currently giving $600 million a year to the so-called Palestinian Authority.
Fatah has held an increasingly precarious control over much of the West Bank of the Jordan River since 1988. It was then that the U.S. brokered a deal in which the PLO morphed into the Palestinian Authority (PA), promised to give up terrorism, and promised to recognize Israel’s right to exist. Many of us never thought the PLO would keep any of those promises — but we knew they would cash our checks and pocket as well huge sums from the European Union. All of this in the name of “peace.”
Among the things that the PLO has done on the West Bank is terrorize Christian Arabs, name public squares after suicide bombers, and conduct an all-out Hate Israel propaganda campaign in their schools, universities, and controlled media.
Good faith? Arafat instigated yet another intifada against Israel when he got 98% of his territorial demands met and not 100%. Intifadas are uprisings characterized by stone-throwing Palestinian youths confronting Israeli troops. The visuals are great for their propaganda purposes. Israeli soldiers in armored personnel carriers or tanks are shown confronting a hail of stones. But less often noted in the leftist media — BBC, CNN, Reuters, AFP — is that these young warriors of the intifada are deadly accurate. Their stones have been a deadly form of action in that region since biblical times.
Now, the PLO has made a pact with Hamas, their supposed rivals who control the Gaza Strip. For a decade, Hamas and Fatah have been fighting each other. Hamas is openly committed to the eradication of Israel. All maps of the Mideast produced by Hamas show Arab lands with no Jewish state — what they call “the Zionist entity” — at all. But Fatah’s maps likewise show no Israel.
The somber news of the Fatah-Hamas deal came out of Cairo. Apparently, the post-Mubarak government is being strongly influenced by the Muslim Brotherhood. Hamas
is merely the Palestinian branch of the MB. So this is the “Arab Spring” we’ve heard so much about?
Look at the map of Israel. You can still find it on our maps. With Hamas firmly in control in Gaza, Israel’s main population centers are now within easy range of their missile fire.
Add the threat of Fatah to the threat of Hamas, and you see Israelis caught in a lethal crossfire.
The Israeli government’s response to these menacing moves was sober and restrained: “The Palestinian Authority (Fatah) must choose either peace with Israel or peace with Hamas.”
Our U.S. response was terribly weak: “The United States supports Palestinian reconciliation on terms which promote the cause of peace. Hamas, however, is a terrorist organization which targets civilians.”
It’s time to put teeth into U.S. policy. Yasser Arafat was the man who invented airline hijacking for terror purposes. He murdered Americans. It was never a good idea to trust his word or to trust any organization formed by him. We have gotten nothing for the billions we have showered on him and his corrupt and murderous cronies.
What we see with the Hamas-Fatah rapprochement is merely the open and brazen acknowledgment of what has always been the case: Both Hamas and Fatah are terrorist organizations. Only now has Fatah dropped its mask.
Secretary Clinton urged us to send Fatah another $160 million on top of the $600 million.
Here’s a fine candidate for cuts. Let’s cut off all U.S. support to these organizations. And we should press our European allies to do the same. It’s time to follow up the brave actions of our U.S. Navy SEALs with brave action in the diplomatic arena.
Ken Blackwell, a former U.S. ambassador to the U.N., is on the board of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and is a Senior Fellow at the Family Research Council.