Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Obama to Congress:Give Money to Hamas/Fatah Unity Govt

When President Obama said that he was going to reach out to Muslims he was not kidding. What he did not tell us was that the reaching out included funding an Islamic terrorist group.

Hat tip to the Munz at Munz's Place.

Israel worried over US move on PA gov't

Senior Israeli officials said Monday they were "concerned" at the prospect that the US may approve funding for a Palestinian Authority government that includes Hamas.

The concern arose after it became known that the Obama administration had asked Congress for minor changes in US law that would allow the continued provision of funds to the PA even if Hamas officials became part of a Palestinian unity government.

The Jerusalem Post has learned from a highly placed source that Israeli officials are very troubled by the possibility of US funds going to a government that includes Hamas.

"Israel would be very concerned about any international funding that reaches Hamas," a senior government official said on condition of anonymity.

Israel believes that a Fatah-Hamas unity government would be harmful first and foremost to the PA's current leadership. Officials also believe that Egypt, which is hosting unity talks between the two Palestinian factions, is making a mistake in trying to achieve a unity government. Such a government won't bring the Fatah-controlled PA to Gaza, but rather Hamas rule to the West Bank, officials say.

The Post reported Sunday that some congressional supporters of Israel were dismayed by the move, quoting Rep. Mark Steven Kirk (R-Illinois) as telling US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a House hearing last week that it was akin to agreeing to support a government that "only has a few Nazis in it."

"You're going to lose this battle," Kirk warned the administration in a conversation with the Post Monday. He noted that key Democrats on the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee were also concerned about the changes the administration would like to see.

The Obama administration requested the changes this month as part of an $83.4 billion emergency spending bill that also includes funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The bill would provide $840 million for the PA and for rebuilding Gaza post-Operation Cast Lead, but the administration is trying to work out how to deliver the aid to Gaza in light of federal restrictions on dealing with Hamas.

US officials claimed that the new proposal didn't constitute recognition of Hamas or aiding to the group. Under law, any US aid would require that the PA government recognize Israel, renounce violence and agree to abide by past Israeli-Palestinian agreements.

Even if Hamas doesn't meet those criteria, the Obama administration wants to be able to provide aid to a Palestinian unity government, if one is established, as long as the government as a whole - including its Hamas-backed ministers - does.

Last week, speaking to the Appropriations Committee, Clinton indicated that the US would not necessarily cut funding to the Palestinians even if Hamas joined a unity government and failed to meet the three conditions, noting that the US continued to provide funds to Lebanon, whose government included Hizbullah.

"We are doing that because we think, on balance, it is in the interest of the United States," she said.

Clinton said that the US did not want to "bind our hands" in the event that a Hamas-Fatah unity agreement was reached, as long as "the government that they are part of agrees to our principles."

Link to Article

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