Cliff May

Hamas supporters in Gaza even held a march in support of al-Bashir who recently expelled 13 aid agencies that had been attempting to assist Darfurians - not by constructing new buildings but simply by providing food and water, which are in very short supply in Darfur right now. Shocked by this defense of an oppressor and against his victims, the Arab League and the Organization of the Islamic Conference issued statements sharply critical of Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran.

Actually, that's not correct either. The Arab League and the Organization of the Islamic Conference said not a word critical of Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran. On the contrary, the Arab League said it would send a delegation to the United Nations to argue for the suspension of an international arrest warrant against al-Bashir.

It's worth noting: There is one nation in the Middle East that has opened its borders to refugees from Darfur. That nation is Israel. Perhaps Israelis see a parallel between Darfur - which has been undergoing genocide - and their nation, which was created after the genocide known as the Holocaust, and which is under genocidal threaten from Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas.

I don't mean to seem callous about the hardships being endured by Gazans. But I do mean to emphasize their responsibility - and the fact that unlike the Darfurians they could alleviate their suffering by tolerating Israel's existence, and pursuing peace.

So long as they are led by Hamas, however, they must be guided by the Hamas Charter which not only pledges to "obliterate" Israel, but also states plainly that "there is no solution to the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors." With the exception, perhaps, of conferences that put dollars and Euros in their pockets.

Why should it be so difficult for international donors to say to Gazans: "Look, you can have reconstruction, or you can have perpetual war, but you cannot have both. If you launch missiles at Israelis, kidnap Israelis and hold them captive (Gilad Shalit was kidnapped and has been held since 2006 without access even to the Red Cross), plot terrorist attacks and vow to ethnically cleanse every inch of land between the Mediterranean and the River Jordan, you have to expect that Israelis may lash out from time to time - and that means any buildings we construct now are likely to be rubble next year."

At the conference in Egypt, the U.S. pledged $900 million: $300 million in humanitarian aid for Gaza and about $600 million in development aid to the Palestinian Authority that runs the West Bank and would like to have more clout in Gaza but has been no match for Hamas in that territory.

The intention is to use the funds to strengthen Palestinian moderates but if money flows into Gaza before Hamas at least agrees to a complete and prolonged ceasefire, it will appear that Hamas has been rewarded.

Actually, it may be more than just an appearance: Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) has noted that Hamas has a habit of appropriating aid intended for others. "To route $900 million to this area, and let's say Hamas was only able to steal 10 percent of that, we would still become Hamas' second-largest funder after Iran," Kirk told a reporter.

Nevertheless, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the donors' conference "very productive" and said it could lead to a "comprehensive peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors." But, she added, that can only happen when Palestinians desire peace more than conquest, when they love their children more than they hate Israelis, and when they give up their attachment to the radical, supremacist and belligerent versions of Islam practiced by those who rule Sudan, Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah and al-Qaeda.

No, she didn't really add that. But let's hope she knows it's true.


Cliff May

Clifford D. May is the President of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.



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