Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Obama wants to aid Palestinians even with Hamas in power

A roundup of just a few of the highlights since January 20:

• Obama's DHS quietly dropped the term “war on terror.” Janet Napolitano even went so far as to say that she preferred to refer not to acts of “terrorism” but to “man-caused disasters.” • Obama named Los Angeles Times columnist Rosa Brooks as an adviser to the undersecretary of Defense for policy; Brooks is venomously anti-Israel and once wrote that al-Qaeda was “little more than an obscure group of extremist thugs,” and that the Bush Administration had only imagined that it was a “vast global threat.”
Obama has tabbed Harold Koh to become the legal adviser for the State Department. Koh has said that he had no objection to Sharia being applied to “an appropriate case” in the United States.
• Obama invited the head of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, a 56-nation body that has declared its intention to compel the United Nations to criminalize all criticism of Islam, to the White House.
• Obama has declared his determination to open negotiations with “moderate elements” of the Taliban, despite the fact that no such people have ever been found.
• Obama has declared his determination to close Guantanamo, despite the fact that over 60 former Gitmo detainees have returned to the jihad.

And now this.

"Report: Obama wants aid to go to PA even if Hamas joins government," from Haaretz, April 27 (thanks to Vaughan):

The Obama administration has asked Congress to amend U.S. law to enable the Palestinians to receive federal aid even if it forms a unity coalition with Hamas, the L.A. Times reported on Monday.

Hamas, which seized control of the Gaza Strip from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' forces in a bloody 2007 coup, has been deemed a terrorist organization by the U.S. and therefore cannot not legally receive U.S. government aid.

The U.S. has presented an $830.4-billion emergency spending bill, comprising funding for its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The bill would also allocate $840 million to the Palestinian Authority and for reconstruction in the Gaza Strip following Israel's three-week offensive there earlier this year.

Because none of the Gaza aid can legally reach Hamas, it will be difficult to ensure its delivery to the coastal territory.

The U.S. has refused to grant aid to Hamas unless the group agrees to recognize Israel, renounce violence and agreeing to follow past accords secured between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

The administration's request for the minor changes to aid measures is unlikely to come into fruition, as no concrete plans are yet underway for a Palestinian unity government. Reconciliation talks between Hamas and Fatah have been ongoing, but have so far yielded no results.

Still, the move has stirred controversy among pro-Israel U.S. officials, according to the L.A. Times.

Republican Representative Mark Steven Kirk told Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a House hearing last week that the proposal was tantamount to supporting a government with "only has a few Nazis in it," the L.A. Times said....


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