By Ted Belman
On behalf of the State Department, Jen Psaki said,
“At this point, it appears that President Abbas has formed an interim technocratic government that does not include ministers affiliated with Hamas,”
“Based on what we know now, we intend to work with this government, but will be watching closely to ensure that it upholds principles that President Abbas reiterated today.”
“It does (mean the aid will flow), but we will continue to evaluate the composition and policies of the new government and calibrate our approach accordingly.”
Probably the use of the word “technocrat” was dreamed up by the State Department and communicated to Abbas for use in describing the new government, so that the US could ignore the law and reality and “work with “ the new government.
The law is quite clear on the matter. The U.S. aid may not benefit Hamas “or any entity effectively controlled by Hamas, any power-sharing government of which Hamas is a member, or that results from an agreement with Hamas and over which Hamas exercises undue influence.” Whether or not the Ministers are described as technocrats is irrelevant to the law. There is no question but that Hamas is pulling the strings of these technocrats and that the aid should be denied. Once again Abbas can do whatever he likes and the US will still find a way to work with him.
Israel’s response to the new government and the US’s willingness to work with it, is full of sound and fury but signifies nothing.
She did nothing about the application of the PA for admittance to 15 groups in the UN even though this was a violation of the Oslo Accords.
She did nothing about the reconciliation agreement other than refer the question of our response to a Ministerial committee. And Livni is still able to meet with Abbas subject to Netanyahu’s permission.
Israel still accepts Fatah as a negotiating party knowing that its charter calls for Israel’s destruction just as Hamas’ does and that Hamas and Fatah both support the resistance and glorify terror. Although the PA has agreed to recognize Israel, reject violence and abide by all agreements, in practice she has not rejected violence, not complied with all agreements and refuses to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
This same commitment is being asked of the new government but not directly of Hamas. Of what value is it if the agreement isn’t enforced? Terror will continue, illegal construction in Area C will continue and recognition of Israel will be postponed to a time when an agreement is negotiated which will be never. In the meantime Hamas and Fatah will continue to enjoy their new status and the continuation of the aid flow. Both will not disarm.
PM Netanyahu recently acknowledged that Pres Obama demanded that Israel stop building east of the greenline and demanded that Israel even stop the planning process for future construction. Netanyahu complied due to unseemly pressure no doubt. Obviously the reason Obama and Kerry blamed the breakdown on talks on Israel’s settlement plans was to justify these demands and threats. You will recall that five years ago Obama forced Israel to agree to such a freeze for 10 months in the hope of getting negotiations started. Then a year ago, Netanyahu rejected an upfront freeze and a freeze as part of the terms of starting negotiations and opted for a controversial release of 104 murders. Those negotiations went nowhere and were ended by the PA. Now were back to a freeze of unlimited duration, if Obama has his way, even before negotiations start and with no starting date in sight.
If negotiations do start, they will be futile. Even without Hamas in the government there was no chance of an agreement because the goal of the PA is not achieve a Palestinian State but to eradicate the Jewish state. With Hamas in the government the chances will be less than zero. So what’s the point?
Joanathan Tobin, in Commentary writes much the same:
“Yesterday’s decision by the Obama administration to continue funding for the Palestinian Authority despite its alliance with Hamas terrorists was a blow to the cause of peace as well as a slap in the face to the state of Israel. The administration thinks it can hide behind the pretense that such aid isn’t going to Hamas because it is shielded by a Cabinet of technocrats that have been appointed by PA leader Mahmoud Abbas won’t include a member of the terror group. But no one is fooled by this scam. Hamas is now an integral part of the PA apparatus. Since Hamas has not dropped its call for Israel’s destruction and the slaughter of its population, arguments that it has been co-opted by the supposedly more moderate Fatah can’t be taken seriously. The unity agreement is based on a common abhorrence for peace that is shared by the rank and file of both major Palestinian movements, a point that is proved by Fatah’s repeated rejection of Israeli peace offers and decision to strike a deal with Hamas rather than Israel.
This is a body blow to the cause of peace since without U.S. pressure or even a gesture in the direction of accountability, it’s clear the Palestinian leadership will never recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter where its borders are drawn.”