The ZOA has criticized the European Union (EU) for deciding this week to authorize $143 million in aid to the Hamas/Palestinian Authority (PA) terrorist regime. Hamas Charter calls for Israels destruction (Article 15) and the murder of Jews (Article 7). Hamas has killed not only Israelis but Americans and is connected to other Islamist terrorist groups. It has received funds from Iran and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal has already traveled to Iran to meet President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose regime is building nuclear weapons.
A senior Hamas official, Hassam El-Masalmeh, has said that Hamas plans to re-institute the humiliating jizya, a blood ransom Koranic poll-tax levied traditionally on non-Muslims in Muslim states. Hamas identifies with the goals of worldwide jihad promoted by its parent movement, the Muslim Brotherhood, and sees its conflict as part of a larger jihadist struggle in Iraq, Afghanistan and other places. A major Hamas poster featured during the Palestinian elections last month in Jenin and Hebron displayed images of Hamas figures including its founder, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, with other jihadists like Al Qaedas Osama Bin Laden and leaders of the Chechen mujahideen (terrorists from Chechnya involved in global jihad).
The EU claims that these funds for the PA will only be used on direct humanitarian support for Palestinians and to avoid the economic collapse of the interim government prior to Hamas taking control, but Hamas will come to control the PA coffers in a matter of weeks. Moreover, funds received by the PA are fungible and free up other sources of funds available to Hamas for terrorism.
The EU payment contradicts an understanding between the EU and Israel that unless Hamas recognizes Israel, disavows violence and accepts previous agreements signed with Israel by the PA, Hamas will not be considered a peace partner or eligible for international aid. The EU says it will make a halt to funding only after Hamas assumes office and if it fails to alter its major policies.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, Ever since Hamas won Palestinian elections last month, there has been a drift towards legitimizing and dealing with this essentially neo-Nazi, genocidal movement. Russia has stated that it does not regard Hamas as a terrorist movement and now the EU, which has not gone that far, still subverts its own stated opposition to dealing with Hamas until it reforms itself by continuing funding of the Hamas/PA. It should be obvious that this will only encourage others to continue funding the PA and weaken the resolve of donors to withhold funds.
Instead of rushing to find a Hamas-led PA, it should be understood by the Palestinians that there are consequences to their electing terrorists and extremists as their leaders. If Palestinians were truly interested in peace with Israel, they could not possibly have handed a huge election victory to Hamas. Palestinians knew what Hamas is and stands for when they chose to overwhelmingly to vote it into office. The world is not obligated to fund the further radicalization of Palestinian society and an increase in terrorism.
The ZOA strongly urges the Bush Administration to oppose loudly and clearly this unwarranted and damaging development which will undermine the war on terrorism and harm any chances for peace.