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Aiding Hamas

I've been searching in vain for a an unequivocal statement from Secretary Rice that that the United States will cut off aid to the Palestinian Authority at the time when Hamas (who won the recent elections) forms its government.

I haven't found what I'm looking for — diplomatic speak being what it is — but I have managed to find two things that, when put together, strongly imply that we're going to do the right thing:

SECRETARY RICE: We are going to review all of our programs and we are doing that. Obviously, this is a changing and evolving situation. The very best outcome would be if any new Palestinian government, whatever its composition, accepts the requirements that the international community is putting forward. There simply has to be a recognition of the state of Israel's right to exist. It simply has to be. Israel is a member of the United Nations. It cannot be that you have a government that does not accept even its right to exist that then says that it wants the international community's support for its programs. [source]

Plus this, a few days later:

MR. SCHIEFFER: Let me ask you this, Madame Secretary, and it has to do with Mr. Putin of Russia. When you moved this to the United Nations, it's my understanding that you slowed down the UN taking any action on it for a month or so at the request of the Russians. More and more, we see Putin taking positions that are different than those of the United States. On Hamas, when they took over and won the parliamentary elections, in Israel. Mr. Putin says he's going to invite them to come to Moscow. Israel says that's a stab in the back because everybody and the others in the West are saying, you know, we're not going to give them any aid until they announce that Israel has a right to exist and so on and so on.

SECRETARY RICE: Let me be very clear. Hamas is a terrorist organization for us and for the European Union. But Russia is signed on to a Quartet statement, the Quartet being the UN, the United States, the EU and Russia, that is the sort of guardian of the roadmap process in the Middle East; that the Quartet has signed on to the statement that says a Palestinian government must recognize Israel's right to exist, must give up violence, must accept the two-state solution and so on. [source]

I want to trust Condi. I really, really do. But I fear there will be some sort of political outcry that lengthens the review and causes us to extend foreign aid by default. Please, please, Condi, don't let that happen.

The United States must not send even one dollar to Hamas. It would be the highest hypocrisy for the State Department to fund an officially designated terrorist organization.

Besides, wouldn't it be illegal?

Hmm… I'll let the lawyers speculate over whether that could be a useful way induce turnover at the State Department.

Tiny Island