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Mashal knows that Israel will not negotiate with Hamas for these and many other reasons, but by bluffing to the Western media that Hamas is open to peace, he hopes that Israelis will be portrayed as obstructionists. And if the past is any indication, the strategy will work.
The first indication of whether Hamas will eventually gain acceptance by the international community is what happens with aid to the Palestinians. And on that front, the signs are already troubling.
At first, even Europeans threatened to cut off aid to Hamas. But on Friday, France joined Russia’s call for diplomatic talks with the terrorist group.
In a revealing interview with the Times of London last month, Hamas’s Zahar made comments that suggest that any talk by European leaders about cutting off aid will disappear once the dust clears. “The European people came to me in the last month and they said within six months they are going to do their best to change the attitudes of their administration, because they do not accept Hamas is a terrorist organization,” Zahar said.
So far, President Bush has said the right things about withholding aid, but his statements have been made carefully enough to allow for the possibility that U.S. funding would eventually make it into the Palestinian territories, perhaps through other channels.
Now is a rare moment of moral clarity for the Western world. The Palestinian people have created a terror state. Anything short of a universal rejection of the new government and immediate suspension of all aid is a capitulation to terrorism, pure and simple.
Making even the tiniest of compromises while the Hamas government is in its infancy will only set the stage for greater concessions down the road. Then one day a leader of Hamas will join the ranks of Teddy Roosevelt, Mother Teresa and Yasser Arafat by winning a Nobel Peace Prize.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?