Well, it’s begun. The great walk-back from the “we won’t deal with terrorists” position of the West.
The human ability to practice denial is an amazing thing. Hamas has not changed one whit in the last year, since they decided to seek political power at the ballot box. That was not a fundamental shift in their policies or goals, just the addition of a new tactic to their bag of tricks.
It’s like the old riddle about “how many legs does an elephant have, if you call its tail a leg?”
A terrorist group manages to take control of a quasi-governmental body through legal and legitimate means. Does that make them stop being terrorists?
Well, let’s see. Have they renounced violence against civilians? Nope.
Have they agreed to abide by agreements made by their predecessors (in many cases, literally)? Nope.
Have they released the soldiers they kidnapped? Nope.
Have they stopped random, unguided missile attacks against civilians? Nope.
Have they stopped suicide bombings and attempts? Nope.
But Hamas won the elections, and Jimmy Carter himself certified those elections as legitimate! Quick, recognize them, establish relations with them, give them money, and gosh darn it, don’t they deserve a state of their own?
The so-called “unity government” between Hamas and Fatah can be distilled into one simple appeal that brought them together: “hey, let’s stop killing each other and get back to the REAL business of killing Israelis!” The end of the internecine fighting between the “moderate” Fatah (“We want to kill all the Jews!”) and the “militant” Hamas (“We want to kill all the Jews, then rip up their bodies, then dig up all the Jewish corpses and throw them into the ocean!”) was something that should have been permitted to go on — for the most part, they were killing each other and not innocents for a change. It was a modern-day version of the Iran-Iraq War — “when Hamas and Fatah fight, who wins? Everyone else!”
Before the elections that swept Hamas into power, the United States made its position clear: we will not deal with Hamas. Period. Not until they stop being terrorists. Their assuming of political power has not changed their fundamental nature one iota.
The Palestinian people, in what is pretty much established to have been a free and fair election, chose the terrorists. It should not be the place of the world to deprive them of that right — and the right to fully enjoy the consequences of that choice, consequences they knew when they cast their ballots.