An EU Court has ruled that Hamas should be removed from its list of designated terrorist organizations. The EU insists it is a technical matter and that in order for an organization to be classified as a terrorist entity, it had to be based on on Hamas’ actions rather than “factual imputations derived from the press and the internet”.
Apparently firing rockets targeting civilians in Israel, using their own people as human shields and wantonly attacking commuters at bus and train stations don’t meet the EU’s standards of what they consider to be a terrorist organization. Then again, Hamas actions are directed against Israel. As with the UN, the EU singles out Israel for the kind of criticism it will not level against other countries.
The EU insists that it abides by the principles of The Quartet that there be no recognition of Hamas unless it renounces terrorism, normalizes relations with Israel and recognizes previous agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Federica Mogherini, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Policy & Security says the EU may appeal the decision. Her words don’t mean a hell of a lot given that Mogherini once had her picture taken with the late Yasser Arafat.
In view of the fact that the Obama Administration had no trouble with Fatah and Hamas joining forces last April does not inspire my confidence that EU member states won’t recognize Hamas. Given that various parliaments across Europe have granted recognition of a Palestinian state, who can say these same parliaments won’t pass resolutions conferring legitimacy upon Hamas?
UPDATE: Over at NRO, Iain Murray notes that this same court made an identical ruling concerning the Tamil Tigers earlier this year. Murray writes, “The technocrats of the European Court have asserted a power over foreign policy that does not exist in the EU founding treaties.” Read his piece here.
But even if the EU Courts had a legitimate say in these matters, if Hamas and the Tamil Tigers don’t meet the EU standard for terrorism then who does?
UPDATE II: The EU Parliament has now voted to recognize a Palestinian state. Can recognition of Hamas be far behind?