The EU Must Not Fund Terrorism

(Jerusalem Post) Charles Tannock - * Not all of us in Brussels are shocked by the emergence of Hamas as a democratically elected political party. For more than a decade the Palestinian Authority under Fatah allowed the Palestinian elite to pocket aid money at will. The EU knew that plunder was endemic in the PA, and chose to ignore it. * The fact that the EU sent $350 million every year to the PA makes Brussels a party to this corruption and indirectly responsible for the situation we now find ourselves in with Hamas. * Back in 2003, I and other MEPs raised this issue with the European Commission, which is responsible for distributing aid money. We called for an investigation into the wanton misappropriation of Palestinian funds. There was huge resistance from the commission, which has always been sympathetic to the Palestinians and seen itself as a counterbalance to America's support for Israel. We did get our inquiry, hamstrung though it was by a diluted mandate. The outcome was a whitewash, and we were not allowed to debate the inquiry's findings. * The EU sees the election of Hamas as a dilemma. I don't consider it a dilemma, whether or not to negotiate with and fund a terrorist group committed to Israel's annihilation. We in the EU need to have faith in our core values. Hamas is committed to a global jihad through violence comparable to the suicide bombings that killed 52 people in July last year in London, the city I represent. Hamas may have won power democratically, but it seeks the creation of a global Islamic theocracy under Shari'a law. * Would any European Union country allow such a party to participate in national elections? Of course not. To deal with and subsidize a Hamas which stirs up violence and preaches death to Israel would be to show the EU as a soft touch on terrorism. We would be storing up immense trouble for ourselves in the future. The writer, a member of the European Parliament, is Foreign Affairs Spokesman for the UK Conservative delegation and Vice-President of the Parliament's Human Rights subcommittee.

2006-02-13 00:00:00

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