Rätt att stoppa biståndet till Palestina

februari 22, 2006

James S. Robbins skriver i No Mas to Hamas om varför det är rätt att stoppa biståndet till den Palestinska Myndigheten:

Both the U.S. and Israel designate Hamas a terrorist organization, and have wisely chosen to cut all aid transfers (except for food and subsistence) until Hamas renounces violence, recognizes Israel, and makes other fundamental reforms. This move has brought charges of hypocrisy, to whit, that the U.S. seeks to build democracies abroad, but when the elections do not go the way we want, we attempt to reverse them.

Interesting argument, but missing the point. Promoting democracy only requires us to approve of the process; we need not be delighted with the results. And it is not hypocrisy to shift policies when foreign governments legitimately change hands. It happens all the time. For example, German Chancellor Angela Merkel enjoys a much better relationship with Washington than her predecessor Gerhard Schroeder. Furthermore, the United States is under no obligation to help underwrite the finances of a government that sponsors suicide bombings. It is bad enough that Hamas seeks to create a new terror state in the Middle East, it would be ludicrous for us to pay them to do it. If anything, cutting funds to Hamas shows more consistency than hypocrisy; their program is barely distinguishable from the Taliban’s, and lately we have not been on the best of terms.

Meanwhile European diplomats are trying to find language satisfactory to Hamas that will imply their acceptance of Israel’s existence. For example, if Hamas acknowledges the provisions of a 2002 Arab peace proposal (that Israel has denounced), one could argue that by implication they have recognized Israel, since Israel is included in the proposal. This fig leaf will make it easier for the Europeans to keep the aid spigots open to the Palestinians. But obscurantist diplomats are running into difficulties with the new frankness, the growing and refreshing willingness of radical leaders to say exactly what they think, and mean what they say. We see it in the mystical musings of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and the Khrushchevian bluster of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. So too from the Hamas leadership, there is a decided unwillingness to relinquish violence and recognize Israel. And why should they? Intransigence was their passport to power. If the Palestinian people wanted temporizing moderates they could have kept Fatah. Violence has worked well for Hamas. (Come to think of it, it worked for Fatah too, under Arafat’s leadership.) And if the Western countries cut aid there are always people like Ahmadinejad and Chavez to help keep the dream alive.

Robbins har helt rätt. Hamas är en terroristorganisation. Hamas vill utplåna Israel. Ändra detta och återkom gärna framöver, men räkna inte med en enda krona fram tills dess.

Men EU darrar på manschetten i vanlig ordning. Allt eftersom principlösheten uppdagas gång efter annan, så är det svårt att inte bli övertygad om att Europa lider av en genuin värdenihilism. I Europas värld finns inte rätt och fel, simple as that.

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