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Arab League Will Not Fund Hamas' Palestinian Authority

While the United States and the EU are roundly criticized in the region for suggesting that they will cut off funding to the Palestinian Authority so long as it is led by Hamas, recognized by both as a terrorist organization, a news conference in Algiers with the Arab League’s secretary-general, Amr Moussa, reveals that the organization comprised of 20 Arab governments will not provide aid to the Hamas-led PA. Only three of the twenty governments have contributed to the call for funds, according to the group’s head. Which three nations were the contributors he did not make public. The Arab League consists of the governments of the following:

  • Jordan
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Bahrain
  • Tunisia
  • Algeria
  • Djibouti
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Somalia
  • Iraq
  • Oman
  • Palestine
  • Qatar
  • Islamic Republic Of Comoros
  • Kuwait
  • Lebanon
  • Libya
  • Egypt
  • Morocco

The Arab League secretary-general also urged Hamas to recognize Israel and back the ‘2002 Arab peace formula’ which calls for a two-state solution. “The Arab initiative is the proper door for Hamas to recognize the peace process in general with all its tenets,” Amr Moussa said.

But coming to the rescue is non-Arab Iran, who has long believed in fighting Israel right down to the last Palestinian. While in Tehran soliciting desperately needed funds, Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal said that his Iranian hosts would have a “major role in Palestine”. “We trust Iran to help us deal with the challenges we are facing today,” Mashaal said.

Hamas faces two primary challenges in its eyes: Israel and money.

Iran will certainly be the primary regional contributor in its efforts to exert maximum influence in the day-to-day and strategic battles with Israel. Ahmadinejad’s statement that Israel should be ‘wiped off the map’ is a clear indication of how Iran intends to exert its newly enhanced influence. With regards to their approach to Israel, the ideology behind the Iranian Shi’ite Islamic state and the Palestinian Sunni Hamas are indistinguishable.

The Palestinian cause is championed by many in the region, including Arab heads of state, al-Qaeda, Iran and Islamic clerics nearly universally. But for many of them, it is a fair question to ask whether their concern is compassion for the Palestinian people or ire for the state of Israel. Is there any doubt that, should there ever be an achieved Islamic Caliphate, that the Shi’ite theocracy of Iran and the Sunni Hamas (and others) would be then turned against each other as competitors for the future of Islam?

Witness today’s bombing of the al-Askariya “Golden Mosque” in Samarra, Iraq, carried out by terrorists dressed in Iraqi police uniforms. Sunni terrorists in Iraq are trying to foment a civil war with Iraqi Shi’ites for the purposes of destabilizing the Iraqi government. Can there be any doubt that, with a Caliphate free of American or Israeli presence, there would be war between Sunni and Shi’ite for control of that Caliphate?

But, we are left with today’s alliance of convenience between the Shi’ite Iranian theocracy and the Sunni Hamas-led Palestinian Authority.

Yet, for all of the criticism thrown in the direction of the United States and the European Union regarding (not) funding a Hamas-led PA, the very Arab nations who so loudly and rhetorically have historically championed the Palestinian cause have yet to tangibly step up to the fiscal plate. Perhaps this is because the Arab states largely recognize a realistic two-state solution, as stated by Amr Moussa, rather than their historical stances for the destruction of Israel.

Whatever the root cause, the silence from the Arab League member states is deafening.

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Perhaps they fear winding up on the wrong side in the GWOT, not wanting to push too hard against the US and Israel. Or would they fear a nuclear-armed Iran even more?