By Ted Belman
Ever since Hamas was elected a year ago, the US has pursued a policy whereby it sought to isolate Hamas and starve it for money while at the same time building up Abbas as the great white hope. It insisted that Hamas recognize Israel, forswear violence and agree to be bound by all previous agreements. It also provided money to Abbas and trained his security forces to take on Hamas.
Saudi Arabia engineered the Mecca Accords whereby they brought Hamas in from the cold, agreed to finance them to the tune of one billion a year and forced Abbas to turn his back on the US and join in with Hamas. Hamas was not required to change its policy one iota.
In one fell swoop, it gutted American foreign policy in the conflict and left them powerless.
“But while the Bush Administration may view the deal as a setback for the prospects of Middle East peace, many observers think it is really a setback for U.S. influence in the region â€” especially its goal of isolating Hamas.”
The NYT advises
“The United States will also be reluctant to dismiss the Saudisâ€™ accomplishments as brokers of the accord, given Washingtonâ€™s interest in creating a broader moderate Arab coalition, including Egypt, Jordan and the Persian Gulf countries, to confront Iranâ€™s nuclear ambitions and regional reach.”
Apparently we shouldn’t put much stock in the other idea involving a realignment of forces whereby the “moderates” were banding together to oppose the radicals. It now appears that the leading “moderate’, S. Arabia, has joined Hamas, one of the radicals.
Amir Taheri argues otherwise in ARABS ALLY VS. PERSIAN POWER. He believes that S. Arabia et al reclaimed Hamas, blocked Hezbollah, refused to use oil weapon if Iran was attacked and is now working on an accord between Sunnis and Shia in Iraq. Stay tuned.
Furthermore, since Hamas is openly dedicated to the destruction of Israel, one must now acknowledge that S. Arabia is too.