Friday, February 20, 2009

Does The US Prefers Hamas To Netanyahu?

I can understand that the US believes that Avigdor Lieberman is too right-wing, especially since Obama wants to go along the same path as his predeccessors, pushing for a second Palestinian state. Therefore, I am not surprised to read this:
Kurtzer: Netanyahu-Lieberman is 'bad combination' for U.S.

Daniel Kurtzer, the former U.S. ambassador to Israel, said on Tuesday that a government led by Benjamin Netanyahu that also included Yisrael Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Lieberman would be a "bad combination for American interests." 

"It would be much more difficult for the right-wing even with determined American leadership to advance the peace process," Kurtzer said. "Not impossible, but very difficult."
But if Lieberman is so radical and the US feels it cannot pursue peace--at least not easily--with Lieberman as part of the government, then by what logic would the US look favorably on including a terrorist group that has pledged to destroy Israel in a Palestinian "unity" coalition? Is that going to encourage peace?

Yet, according to George Mitchell, the US is prepared to support a Palestinian government that includes the terrorist group Hamas:
Mitchell expressed support for Egyptian efforts to forge a Palestinian national unity government, indicating that America could take a new tack on Fatah-Hamas reconciliation.

Mitchell said that Hamas would still need to adhere to the Quartet’s demands that it halt violence, recognize Israel and accept previous Palestinian-Israeli agreements in such a government.
Let's assume that Obama will keep to that proviso--just what kind of message is he trying to send Gazans? Is he giving an excuse to start talking to Hamas without having to do so privately as Europe is doing?

If Obama is offering a carrot to Hamas in order to bring them into the fold, what is he willing to do for Israel? Would he be willing to pardon Jonathan Pollard?

After all, before the inevitable confidence building measure of releasing Arab terrorists that Israel is encouraged--if not forced--to do, why shouldn't the US make a meaningful gesture towards Israel to inspire confidence in the new Administration?

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