THE Palestinians have delivered a resounding vote against peace calling , in their election, for a continuation of the savage and sanguinary war against Israel. This sharp reversal in the peace process should not go without a vigorous response from Washington.
President Bush is correct to cut off all dealings with the Palestinian Authority until Hamas renounces and reins in its campaign of terror against Israel. But the United States should go futher and cut off all direct and indirect assistance to the PA or to Palestinian refugee groups until Hamas makes the requisite declarations.
The U.S. taxpayer is the foremost financial supporter of the Palestinian community, now set to come under Hamas management. Last year, America gave $81 million directly to Palestinians in Gaza and on the West Bank and was responsible for a considerable share of the almost $1 billion in aid to the PA from the United Nations and its relief organizations.
The United States should:
1) Cut off all direct subsidy of the Palestinian refugee population or its political or charitable organs.
2) Demand that the United Nations follow suit.
3) Immediately suspend all payments to the United Nations until it does so.
After all, Israel is a U.N. member. How can the United Nations subsidize an entity that is dedicated to the destruction of one of its members?
By a direct and aggressive response to the Palestinian vote, the United States will assure that it is not placed in the incongruous position of funding the deadly adversary of its ally, Israel.
Some will argue that we allowed aid to flow under Yasser Arafat. But we did not do that until he pledged to work with Israel and to cease his efforts to destroy it. When it became clear that he was double dealing and, in fact, winking at terrorist attacks on Israel, the United States set in motion a series of events that led to a new democratic PA (aided by Arafat's death, of course).
Now the United States should ratchet up its pressure on the PA: Cut off all funding.