Mahmoud Abbas serves in the ninth year of his four-year term as president of the Palestinian Authority. Having engineered the formation of a unity government that enlists the support of Hamas, he now brings to an apparent end the seven-year civil war that severed Gaza from his jurisdiction and placed it under the control of Hamas. Here is the beauty part: no members of Hamas itself participates in the newly formed government. The government appears to have been formed carefully to keep American cash and support flowing, perhaps with the connivance of the Obama administration itself.
The party line describes the newly formed government as one of “technocrats.” According to Abbas, “This is a technocrat government. It has nothing to do with Fatah, Hamas or any factions.” I’m not aware of “technocracy” having been invoked previously for purposes of terrorist propaganda. If anyone can give technocracy a bad name, it should be these people, but it will take more than that to alienate the Obama administration. The fig leaf is more than enough for Obama.
Is it enough for Israel? The Times of Israel reports that the Israeli government has yet to overcome its inordinate fear of Islamism:
Jerusalem on Monday night slammed the United States for announcing that it will work with the new Palestinian unity government, sworn in earlier Monday. In strikingly bitter comments, officials said that rather than cooperating with a government backed by a terror group, Washington ought to be urging Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to disband his pact with Hamas and resume peace negotiations with Israel.
“We are deeply disappointed by the comments of the State Department regarding working with the Palestinian unity government. This Palestinian government is a government backed by Hamas, which is a terror organization committed to Israel’s destruction,” Israeli government officials said. “If the US administration wanted to advance peace, it should be calling on Abbas to end his pact with Hamas and return to peace talks with Israel,” they added. “Instead, it is enabling Abbas to believe that it is acceptable to form a government with a terrorist organization.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office and the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem declined to comment on the record. Earlier Monday, Israel’s senior ministers decided to boycott the new government, since it is backed by Hamas, designated a terrorist organization by Israel and the US.
Earlier on Monday, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the US believes Abbas has “formed an interim technocratic government…that does not include members affiliated with Hamas.” Therefore, she added, “With what we know now, we will work with this government.”
It’s only Monday and it’s already been a big week for the Obama administration as it continues to make the world safe for Islamism.