In Time, Tony Karon argues that refusing aid to the Palestinian Authority in hopes that it will cause enough misery to force Hamas to recognize Israel is not a good policy, because any recognition Hamas makes under these cricumstances would be meaningless and it’s cruel to the Palestinian people.
I agree with part of that statement. Getting Hamas to verbally recognize Israel is pointless unless the group actually abandons terrorism as well. But, I don’t think withholding aid from the Palestinian government is merely about making Palestinians miserable so that they will reject Hamas. The decision to withhold aid arises because Hamas is considered a terrorist group by the United States and Europe, and there are policies in place against funding terrorist groups.
And I don’t think it’s cruel to the Palestinians to withhold aid because they democratically elected a terrorist group. In the days of Arafat, the excuse for the Palestinian people was that Arafat was not elected and doesn’t represent the views of most Palestinians, who just want peace. But a recent poll, cited by Karon, found that 67 percent of Palestinians opposed recognizing Israel.