The One was suddenly put into another sticky foreign policy “distraction” today. Poor Barry. Does he abandon his fringe base and cut off funding now that the reconciliation of Fatah (kinda-sorta terror group) and Hamas (super-duper terror group) is official? Or does he continue the trend of befriending America’s enemies while bus-tossing our allies. For the sake of consistency, I think the latter is the most likely scenario.
The Jerusalem Post reported:
Following a series of secret meetings in Cairo and Damascus over the past few weeks, Hamas and Fatah announced on Wednesday that they have struck a deal to form a “national unity” government and hold elections after one year.
The agreement, which has been hailed by both sides as “historic,” was reached under the auspices of the Egypt’s Foreign Ministry and General Intelligence Force.
This deal, if it is real, will be interpreted in Israel as a choice by Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas to make peace with Hamas rather than with Israel. It is hard to see how Israel could negotiate with a Palestinian government half or more of which represents a terrorist group dedicated to attacking the Jewish State. Formally, it is not the Palestinian Authority but the PLO that negotiates with Israel, but that formality will hold little political weight. As this deal does not appear to require Hamas to change one word of its violently anti-Semitic Charter, the new Palestinian government would hardly be a peace partner.
Other questions arise. Will Salam Fayyad, the current prime minister, maintain his post? If not, how will Congress and other donors feel about continuing the aid flow to the PA? Even if Fayyad remains, will Congress vote aid funds for this new half-Hamas government? What will lawyers at the Treasury and State Departments say about the participation of a terrorist group in the PA government? Will it even be legal to give funds to the PA?
We’ll all know more in the coming days, but this move by President Abbas vastly complicates U.S. efforts in the region and the Obama Administration’s current negotiations with Prime Minister Netanyahu. How can he be expected to lean far forward in seeking a deal with the Palestinian leadership just when it is leaning away from Israel and toward
UPDATE: Via Israel Matzav
Danielle Pletka points out that if this story is correct, the United States is required by law to cut off all aid to the ‘Palestinian Authority,’ because Hamas is considered a terror organization under US law.