Thursday, February 02, 2006

Not One Dime For Hamas

Jimmy Carter appeared on ”Larry King Live” last night and offered this bit of advice on dealing with Hamas:

(CNN) -- Hamas deserves to be recognized by the international community, and despite the group's militant history, there is a chance the soon-to-be Palestinian leaders could turn away from violence, former President Jimmy Carter said Wednesday.

Carter, who monitored last week's Palestinian elections in which Hamas handily toppled the ruling Fatah, added that the United States should not cut off aid to the Palestinian people, but rather funnel it through third parties like the U.N.

"If you sponsor an election or promote democracy and freedom around the world, then when people make their own decision about their leaders, I think that all the governments should recognize that administration and let them form their government," Carter said.

"If there are prohibitions -- like, for instance, in the United States, against giving any money to a government that is controlled by Hamas -- then the United States could channel the same amount of money to the Palestinian people through the United Nations, through the refugee fund, through UNICEF, things of that kind," he added.

I think it’s time for a wake-up call, Mr. President!

Hamas is no different today than they’ve always been. They are a terrorist organization and nothing more. They didn’t win an election and suddenly morph into a peace-loving group that now recognizes Israel’s right to exist. In fact, they have stated the exact opposite: They desire the total elimination of Israel.

It would be irresponsible, and in fact hypocritical given our stance on terrorism, for the United States or any of its allies to continue providing aid under these circumstances. It would be the equivalent of fighting terrorism on one front while funding it on another.

Freedom-loving nations have the duty and the responsibility to distinguish between those who desire peace and those who desire evil and they must respond accordingly. It is, in fact, irresponsible to recognize the legitimacy of any government based solely on vote totals. The legitimacy of a government is determined by what that vote total represents.

In this case it represents not only a victory for Hamas, but also an overwhelming one. The will of the people does not make for a legitimate government if that will indicates support for a leadership that is hostile toward Israel. Israel is our ally; Hamas is a terrorist organization. I would think President Carter could make that distinction.

President Carter proposes an end run around Hamas by funneling humanitarian aid through the UN or UNICEF, but he completely misses the obvious: Giving money to the UN to distribute = money in the bank for Hamas. Does Oil-for-Food ring a bell?

The money doesn’t have to go directly to Hamas for them to take control of it. They will take it directly from the people, the people will freely give it to them, or they will find a way to skim it from whatever account it goes into. The UN has a history of enabling thugs and dictators, so the latter shouldn’t pose much of a problem. In reality, President Carter’s proposal is nothing more than a run straight up the middle with a greasy ball.

Finally, President Carter misses the most obvious fact of all: Any aid to the Palestinian people, regardless of source, is by definition aid to Hamas. They have chosen this government; it was not forced upon them. The government they have chosen is terrorism. If President Carter wants this government to be recognized, then he should be willing to recognize it for what it is.

Elections not only involve numbers, they also involve consequences.

Cross posted at RedState

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