The Bush administration has come under some heat for its refusal to deal with Hamas ever since they won the elections in the Gaza Strip — and, more recently, took complete control by killing or driving off Fatah. Critics heap scorn on President Bush, saying that it is hypocritical for us to, on the one hand, loudly proclaim our support for democracy, while at the same time rejecting a democratically-elected government in the Palestinian Territories.
This tends to irritate me. The Bush administration has done nothing to discredit the election Hamas won. Rather, they simply said before the elections that Hamas is a terrorist organization and any electoral victories they won would not change that in the slightest. And as such, we would have no dealings with them, regardless of what hat they chose to wear.
This could be considered very short-sighted. Today’s terrorist, as they say, could be tomorrow’s statesman. Hamas could, eventually, rise above their terrorist roots and become responsible, mature, productive members of the global community.
But not any time soon.
We were reminded of that last week, when Israeli armed forces killed several Palestinians in an air strike — including children.
As horrific as that sounds, it’s nowhere near as appalling as the provocation that triggered it.
Palestinian terrorists set up a rocket launching site near the Israeli border, then fired several rockets into Israel. One of them struck a kindergarten — luckily, it was empty at the time. The terrorists immediately fled, but left their launcher behind — they know that Israel tends to blow them up whenever they see them.
But those launchers are valuable, so they sent some people to retreive it. “People” meaning children.
For Hamas, it’s a win-win situation. If the kids pull it off, they not only have their launcher back, but some new recruits who’ve had their first taste of danger and adventure. And if the kids get blown up along with the launcher, then they have a new “atrocity” to proclaim and some fresh martyrs to celebrate.
This is who Jimmy Carter and his ilk want to proclaim the legitimate government of the Palestinians, and they’re right.
But there is absolutely no compelling reason why we should play along that they are anywhere near civilized — or worthy of our having any dealings with them whatsoever.