UK Boycott of Hamas 'Counterproductive'?
The UK's Hamas boycott is 'counterproductive'? According to a new British House of Commons Foreign Affairs committee it is.
Britain's refusal to speak to the Islamist group Hamas is counterproductive, a parliamentary committee said.
Efforts should be made to form a new unity Palestinian government in the West Bank and Gaza, the Westminster committee said in a report on the Middle East.
Pursuing a "West Bank first policy" - where Britain deals with the West Bank, which is run by the more secular Fatah group, and isolates the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip - would further jeopardise peace, the House of Commons' Foreign Affairs Committee said."Given the failure of the boycott to deliver results, we recommend the government should urgently consider ways of engaging politically with moderate elements within Hamas," the all-party group of MPs said.
Failure of the boycott to deliver results? Perhaps 'results' in Gaza and the West Bank is not entirely up to Britain's boycott or its well-intended parliament.
It gets even more incredulous.
Hamas has been isolated because of its refusal to meet three criteria laid down by the Quartet - recognition of Israel's right to exist, renunciation of violence and adherence to interim peace agreements with Israel. The parliamentary report also recommended Britain press President Mahmoud Abbas, whose Fatah group is backed by the West, into negotiations with Hamas to re-establish "a national unity government across the occupied Palestinian territories".
So here's the tally:
1. Hamas refuses to recognize Israel or renounce terrorism.
2. Hamas stockpiles weapons and ammo from Iran in Gaza.
3. Hamas essentially declares war on Fatah.4. Hamas kills Fatah members in bloody street battles and ejects them from Gaza.
And the British House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee seeks to compel Prime Minister Brown into applying pressure instead to Fatah and Abbas to force them to negotiate reconciliation with the terrorist group that forcefully ejected them from the Palestinian Territory of Gaza.
Not yet satisfied, the committee also recommends on top of it all that the British Government and the Quartet (US, EU, UN, Russia) to politically engage "moderate elements within Hamas."
Perhaps we might wait first for "moderate elements within Hamas" to appear. It's simply not up to Britain, any member of the Quartet or any other body to determine. This turn of events would be up to Hamas and "elements" that would seek to become "moderate." And to what ends a hypothetical engagement of yet-unmaterialized "moderate elements within Hamas" might occur without aiding the parent terrorist organization is, of course, unarticulated.
Truly, Neville Chamberlain lives.