If there's one political silver lining for the Obama administration in the ongoing firestorm over handing the Taliban a substantial victory to retrieve a probable American deserter, it's that the pundit class has been all but ignoring the supreme foolishness of administration policy in Palestine. Is the State Department actually justifying its embrace of the new Palestinian "unity government" (that includes Hamas, a designated foreign terrorist organization) by claiming that the PA is really run by "technocrats?"
Why, yes it is.
Hamas certainly has a long history of complying with the rule of law, supporting an independent civil service, and overall policy wonkery, doesn't it? What's next, a Palestinian technocrat blog on Vox? Complete with charts?
Never fear, even if these technocrats have Hamas bosses, the State Department assures us that its eyes are wide open, and it will judge the new government by its "actions."
Will it really? After all, Hamas's record is already decades long, and it includes launching hundreds of rockets at Israeli civilians, including children. Is the State Department wiping away a generation of actions in the hopes that Hamas has turned over a new leaf?
If so, how does it react to the most recent "action" — Sunday night's rocket launch against Israel? Fortunately the technocrats had poor aim, and the rockets missed their civilian targets.
And of course there are the recent reports that Palestinians are openly bragging about lying to Americans and Israelis about their real intentions. Hamas is not moderating, Fatah has never been moderate, and the only peace they want is the "peace" that would follow Israel's destruction and the expulsion of Jews from the Holy Land.
In other news, Mosul is apparently falling to Islamist insurgents.
At the heart of the Obama administration's folly is a set of unshakeable convictions — gained through long-term exposure to the total nonsense that passes for foreign-policy analysis in America-hating quarters of elite academia — that jihadi rage is ultimately grounded in a series of legitimate complaints against America and Israel (rather than in its own dedication to Islamic supremacy), that concessions improve relations, and that the right kind of tone and respect for Islam will soothe hurt feelings and build bridges of trust. In reality, the jihadi mindset can be summed up in eight simple words: "Give them nothing, but take from them everything."
Our foreign policy would be far more effective — and ultimately even more humane — if we reciprocated the sentiment.
David French is a Senior Counsel at the American Center for Law and Justice.
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