The U.S. continues to drift away from its hard line against terrorists and the states that support them. Caving to international pressure, the Bush administration has agreed to the creation of a system to transfer funds for salaries and humanitarian assistance to the Palestinians. The fig leaf here is the usual claim that the aid will bypass the Hamas-led Palestinian government and go directly to those in need. But it’s difficult to reconcile that claim (weak on its face) with the fact that we will be paying the salaries of P.A. employees. That sounds like a subsidy to Hamas.
Secretary of State Rice calls this move “a response to the needs of the Palestinian people.” That it is. But it’s also a response to the needs of Hamas. Why not use the money to respond to the needs of other populations in serious distress — ones that have not selected terrorists to govern them?