While largely unnoticed in American discourse on the topic, much has been said and written to debunk the sanctions regime imposed on Hamas government administrations since its resounding victory in the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) elections of January 2006. These calls and reports show with compelling logic that the sanctions regime is wrong and misguided and, equally important, that it is a reaction to the excessively intense pressure that the U.S. administration has exercised over other nations to induce them to boycott and besiege a government democratically elected by the people and to punish the Palestinians for their democratic choice. The Quartet has been spearheading this campaign of isolation against Hamas, and in the process is advancing a U.S.-Israeli agenda whose goal is to delegitimize Hamas and prevent it from exercising its right to lead the Palestinian people, even though the latter have elected it in a transparent, internationally monitored electoral process. A variety of underhanded methods, both internal and external, have been used to undermine the Hamas-led government, including destabilization from within the fragile Palestinian political system. [complete article]
Editor’s Comment — According to the “West Bank first” fable, Israeli and Western support for the “moderate” Abbas regime would pave the way for peace and something vaguely resembling a Palestinian state. But even while Condoleezza Rice endeavors to add delicate strokes to her picture of a political horizon, the Israelis, rather than dismantling roadblocks — one of the specified gestures intended to serve as a sign post pointing to that political horizon — have instead been busy constructing dozens of new roadblocks.