If democracy makes leaders accountable to the people who elect them, it works the other way as well: People are also accountable for their elected leaders. Which is why the United States, in agreeing to provide a $10 million care package to the Palestinian Authority (PA), is so dangerously wrong in failing to hold the people of the PA accountable for the democratically elected terror chieftains of Hamas.
Here's what Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said this week when she announced the United States would provide medical and other supplies to the PA, which, after two months of no American or European Union aid, has run desperately low on such necessities: "The Hamas-run Palestinian Authority government bears sole responsibility for the hardships facing the Palestinian people and the international isolation that the PA is now experiencing due to its refusal to recognize Israel, renounce terrorism, and abide by previous agreements and obligations."
That's a lot of refusal, but never mind. The real here question is, Why does the Hamas-run government bear "sole" responsibility? What about its supporters, i.e. the Palestinian voters who gave that Hamas-run government a landslide victory? In the world according to the Bush administration, they remain voiceless victims even after exercising their political will at the ballot box, voting into power an outlaw organization whose charter unfolds under a statement by Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna: "Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it." Regardless of whether this heinous call to jihad leaves any peace for the so-called "Quartet" to process, Rice continued: "Hamas' policies and actions should not deprive the Palestinian people of their legitimate humanitarian needs."
Why ever not? Why shouldn't Hamas' "policies and actions," driven by a Hitlerian plan to "obliterate" Israel, deprive Hamas constituents of their "needs," humanitarian or otherwise -- and particularly when it comes to support from civilized nation-states spilling blood and treasure to fend off Islamic jihad in the so-called "war on terror"? There is a strategic and moral senselessness to the administration's willful disconnect. After all, the United States and the European Union cut off aid to the PA two months ago in order to extract concessions -- like, for instance, on Israel's right to exist. Hamas' response? No concessions.