Monday, May 02, 2011


Jonathan Tobin reminds everybody about one of the most notorious images seen a decade ago on 9-11 in the middle east:
One of the enduring images of the post-9/11 agony was the way that many Palestinians cheered the news of the terrorist attacks. Veteran terrorist Yasir Arafat soon ordered an end to the demonstrations in Gaza and elsewhere but the willingness of Palestinians to identify with al Qaeda atrocities resonated for many Americans, including President George W. Bush, who challenged the world to declare which they side they were on in the conflict between America and terrorism.

It is worth remembering the Palestinian reaction to 9/11 on the morning after Osama bin Laden’s death at the hands of U.S. forces because a triumphant President Obama must soon make a critical decision that affects the future of a terrorist ally of bin Laden. The United States has always and quite rightly insisted that Hamas must be treated as a terrorist group, not a political party or a government, in spite of the fact that they are the de facto rulers of Gaza since the bloody coup in which they seized power in the strip from the Palestinian Authority in 2007. But by agreeing last week to join a coalition government with their Fatah rivals, Hamas is putting itself in position to benefit from the massive American aid that flows to the PA.

Many in Congress from both the Republican and Democratic parties have rightly put the Palestinians on notice that if the Fatah-Hamas alliance is signed, American financial support for the PA will cease. But the White House and the State Department, though mildly critical of the pact, have yet to enunciate the administration’s determination to go along with the will of Congress on this issue.
Or, more specifically, the will of the American people. The UK Telegraph reports that Hamas has condemned the killing of bin Laden, and if Obama acts oblivious to that, the public could certainly start to frown. Notice that the administration has only given slight reaction to the disturbing news of what Fatah and Hamas have done, and if they don't offer a clearer statement, then they're not helping themselves.

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