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Monday, January 16, 2006 

US government appears to be backing down from opposition to Hamas

No surprise, really. The State Dept. is very questionable in what it does. From Israel National News:
Though U.S. Sec'y of State Rice has said that PA terrorist groups have “no place in the political process,” Israel is receiving hints that the U.S. is seeking to accept Hamas in the PA leadership.

Arutz-7's Haggai Huberman has learned that Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's office has received hints to this effect. One proposal is to inform Abu Mazen that if he does not include Hamas representatives in his Cabinet, the United States will not cut off its support and ties with the PA - even if Hamas does well in the upcoming elections.

[...]

Bush Administration officials have made clear, over the past weeks, their displeasure with Hamas and its participation in the election, but always stopped short of demanding that the PA ban Hamas from taking part. State Department spokesman repeatedly said that though Hamas is an outlawed terrorist organization, its participation in PA elections is a "local" issue.

Similarly, the U.S. pressured Israel into toning down its own opposition. Now, with a strong Hamas showing imminent, the U.S. is faced with dealing with the fruits of this approach.

Just four weeks ago, 73 U.S. Senators signed a letter to President George W. Bush recommending a reassessment of American ties with the PA in the event that Hamas is integrated into the PA leadership. The letter stated, "If terrorist groups achieve significant presence in the Palestinian legislature, it will be much harder, if not impossible, to achieve any type of progress in the Road Map..."

The letter followed by a few days a House of Representatives resolution, passed by a 397-17 vote, warning the Palestinian Authority that it could face a cut in U.S. aid if it does not require Hamas and other terrorist organizations to disarm. The resolution also urged the PA not to allow a still-armed Hamas terror organization to run in the election.

Israel understood that the letter and the resolution rule out U.S. cooperation with the PA in the event that Hamas is elected to the PA legislature. Now, however, Huberman reports, Israel has room to fear that the Bush Administration will provide a new interpretation to the events. It appears that Bush and Rice will overlook a strong Hamas presence in the legislature, as long as it is not integrated into the PA government.
Well if the Dubya administration is going to overlook any Hamas presence in the PLO's dictatorship, isn't that also going against the wishes of the US Congress, to say nothing of the American electorate? What then should be done from a legal perspective to protest?

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