Monday, January 26, 2009

Europe May Finally Catching On To Hamas

Back on January 13th, Reuters reported that Europe was getting tired of paying the bill for the Palestinian Arabs:
Western donors who financed most of this [Gazan] infrastructure in the first place have grown weary of seeing it destroyed by the Israelis and then being asked to fund the rebuilding.

"We are pissed off," said a senior European diplomat based in the region. "We may end up paying again."
Oddly enough, it may be that Europe's anger is not resulting merely in the old knee-jerk condemnation of Israel:
Hamas bears full responsibility for the war in Gaza, a top EU official said Monday in the Strip, calling the group "a terrorist movement."

"At this time we have to also recall the overwhelming responsibility of Hamas," Louis Michel, European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, told reporters.

"I intentionally say this here - Hamas is a terrorist movement and it has to be denounced as such," Michel said as he visited the town of Jabalya in northern Gaza.

Reuters quoted the EU official as saying that the Islamic group had used civilians as "human shields" by placing operatives in residential areas, and said that the years of terrorist rocket-fire on southern Israel served as a "provocation."

The report also quoted Michel as saying that, "When you kill innocents, it is not resistance. It is terrorism."

"Public opinion is fed up to see that we are paying over and over again - be it the [European] commission, the member states or the major donors - for infrastructure that will be systematically destroyed," he said.
If Operation Cast Lead results in nothing more than the recognition--and open admission--that Hamas is a terrorist organization, that would be quite an accomplishment.

In any case, while the Israel government would like to see the PA in control of the reconstrution and eventually return to Gaza, it seems that it is not the Gazans themselves alone who may be opposed to the idea:
The aim would be to ensure that credit for reconstruction accrues to President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestinian Authority, and not to the Iranian-backed Islamists who won a 2006 Palestinian election and seized control of Gaza 18 months later.

A senior European diplomat involved in the discussions dismissed the idea "as a recipe for failure from the start."
Maybe Israel's operation in Gaza will not only serve to marginalize Hamas, but to a degree the PA as well. 

That is alot to hope for, but apparently when it comes to Europe, money speaks louder than Israeli Hasbara.

[Hat tip: Hot Air]

More on this at Memeorandum.

Technorati Tag: and and and .

No comments: