Since the Hamas majo…
Since the Hamas majority victory in the Palestinian elections, it’s been interesting to see how the EU has had to upend it’s policies. It shouldn’t have caused so much turmoil for them, since one set of terrorists were simply replaced with another, but the EU’s (and the UN’s) refusal to see what was so obvious has caused it. When the Fatah guys were siphoning off all the aid they were getting, and undoubtedly sending some to their Hamas buddies, these august world bodies could use the excuse the Hamas was just an extremist organization and didn’t represent the view of the Palestinian people. The vote, however, put them in a difficult situation.

Some flip-flops, however, aren’t as strange as they look. The recent election of German Chancellor Angela Merkel moved Germany to the right, and their policy change is consistent with conservatives elsewhere; treat terrorists like terrorists.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has threatened to cut vital European Union aid to the Palestinians, said on Monday President Mahmoud Abbas should urge Hamas to recognize Israel and renounce violence.

“The Palestinian president has a huge responsibility and I will tell him this when I meet him today,” Merkel said after talks in Jerusalem with Israeli President Moshe Katsav.

“As a president, he should urge Hamas to respect certain principles,” she said, citing recognition of Israel, which the Islamist militant group has sworn to destroy, and abandoning violence.

Merkel, who was to meet Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah, is the first EU leader to visit the area since Hamas swept to victory over the moderate leader’s long-dominant Fatah faction in a parliamentary election on Wednesday.

The first step in “negotiating with terrorists” is getting them to renounce terrorism. Then you can negotiate peace. This needs to be the free world’s policy regarding Hamas. And I’m not just talking about a press conference; I’d want to see the Hamas charter–which is now essentially a political platform–rewritten to respect the existence of the state of Israel. Without that change, there can be no negotiations regarding the Palestinian situation. You can’t negotiate a peaceful settlement between two parties if the charter of one insists on the destruction of the other. Treating terrorists like terrorists means, as a first step, getting Hamas to renounce its terroristic goals.

This actually puts conservatives in a good situation with regards to the Palestinian situation. If Hamas refuses to denounce terrorism, it demonstrates to the UN, the EU and other liberal organizations that their denouncements and blaming of Israel while ignoring Palestinian atrocities has been as misguided as conservatives have said all along. Israel has not been as pure as the driven snow, to be sure, but you might assume the Palestinians, who have specifically targeted civilians, were indeed supremely innocent if you only looked at UN resolutions. Thus, if Hamas won’t officially renounce the terror of their ways, they are exposed for those yet willing to see.

If, however, they do officially denounce terrorism, they become, so some extent, defanged. Even if such a denouncement is simply a facade, they demoralize and anger their base among the Palestinians in Gaza. Their majority could very well be in jeopardy following that.

So now that Hamas is the official face of the Palestinian people, it puts them in a difficult situation, one in which they could have avoided by staying in the minority. While the election results may have been surprising to most (possibly even to Hamas itself), the ultimate diplomatic position it creates can, at least in the short term, help Israel and the Middle East. It’s disheartening to see how much of Gaza buys into the idea of the destruction of Israel, but now that Hamas has been pushed to the fore, their awkward situation can be used against them as another blow to terrorism.

(Cross-posted at Stones Cry Out, Blogger News Network and Redstate. Comments welcome.)

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