The Edmond Sun

Opinion

June 9, 2014

OTHER VIEW: Los Angeles Times: Hamas now supports the Palestinian Authority. How should the U.S. respond?

LOS ANGELES — The Obama administration has angered Israel by saying that it will continue to work with, and provide assistance to, the Palestinian Authority even after a reconciliation between President Mahmoud Abbas and the Islamist movement Hamas. But the administration makes a persuasive case that, despite having the support of Hamas, the new Palestinian administration consists of moderate officials who recognize Israel’s right to exist and the necessity of a two-state solution.

As Secretary of State John F. Kerry bluntly noted Wednesday: “Hamas is a terrorist organization. It has not accepted the Quartet principles (a reference to a peace initiative launched by the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations). It continues to call for the destruction of Israel.” But Hamas is not a force that can be easily ignored. Since 2007 — a year after it won a majority in elections for the Palestinian parliament — it has controlled the Gaza Strip, while much of the West Bank has been governed by Abbas’ Fatah movement.

That political division has weakened Abbas’ influence, including his ability to negotiate a peace agreement with Israel.

Even as he accepted Hamas’ support, Abbas insisted that negotiations with Israel would remain the responsibility of the Palestine Liberation Organization. (Those talks are in abeyance after the collapse of Kerry’s most recent efforts.)

As for the new Palestinian Cabinet, it is dominated by “technocrats” with no political affiliations whose priority is economic development. Indeed, most of the key officials — including Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah — have served in their positions before. None is affiliated with Hamas.

Israel insists that in courting the support of Hamas, Abbas has aligned himself with terrorists. Given the number of civilians brutally killed by Hamas rockets and suicide bombs, Israel’s concerns are understandable. It worries that the Palestinian Authority’s cooperation with Israel on security in the West Bank will suffer because Abbas is now beholden to Hamas. Not unreasonably, Israel has said that it will hold the Authority responsible for any attacks, whether they originate in the West Bank or Gaza.

Israel is obviously free to frame its own response to the unity government, though it would be self-defeating for it to rush to cut ties with the Palestinian Authority before it’s clear that Abbas isn’t abiding by his assurances. For the U.S., continued aid to the authority — which amounts to $500 million a year — is conditioned on proof that Hamas doesn’t exert “undue influence” over the government. So long as that remains true, the U.S. should continue to support the authority even as it insists that Hamas abandon its rejectionism and renounce terror.

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Opinion
  • Film critic Turan produces book

    Kenneth Turan, who is the film critic for National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition,” has written a book “Not to be Missed, Fifty-Four Favorites from a Life Time of Film.” His list of movies span the gamut from the beginnings of filmmaking through the present day.
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    July 28, 2014

  • Logan County’s disputed zone

    Watchers of “Star Trek” may recall the episode from the original series entitled, “Day of the Dove.” In this episode, Captain Kirk and his crew are forced by a series of circumstances into a confrontation with the Klingons. The conflict eventually resolves after Kirk realizes that the circumstances have been intentionally designed by an alien force which feeds off negative emotions, especially fear and anger. Kirk and his crew communicate this fact to the Klingons and the conflict subsides. No longer feeding upon confrontation, the alien force is weakened and successfully driven away.

    July 28, 2014

  • Russell leads in Sun poll

    Polling results of an unscientific poll at www.edmondsun.com show that Steve Russell, GOP candidate for the 5th District congressional seat, is in the lead with 57 percent of the vote ahead of the Aug. 26 runoff election. Thirty readers participated in the online poll.

    July 28, 2014

  • Healthier and Wealthier? Not in Oklahoma

    Increased copays, decreased coverage, diminished health care access, reduced provider budgets and increased frustration are all the outcomes of the Legislature’s 2014 health care funding decisions. Unlike some years in the past when a languishing state economy forced legislators into making cuts, the undesirable outcomes this year could easily have been avoided.

    July 26, 2014

  • Medicaid reform a necessity

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    July 25, 2014

  • Remembering lessons from 1974

    This week marks the 40th anniversary of an important milestone in America’s constitutional history. On July 24, 1974, the Supreme Court voted 8-0 to order the Nixon White House to turn over audiotapes that would prove the president and his close aides were guilty of criminal violations. This ruling established with crystal clarity that the executive branch could not hide behind the shield of executive privilege to protect itself from the consequences of illegal behavior. It was a triumph for the continued vitality of our constitutional form of government.

    July 25, 2014

  • RedBlueAmerica: Is parenting being criminalized in America?

    Debra Harrell was arrested recently after the McDonald’s employee let her daughter spend the day playing in a nearby park while she worked her shift. The South Carolina woman says her daughter had a cell phone in case of danger, and critics say that children once were given the independence to spend a few unsupervised hours in a park.
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    July 24, 2014

  • Technology that will stimulate journalism’s future is now here

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    July 23, 2014

  • New Orleans features its own “Running of the Bulls”

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    July 22, 2014

  • OTHER VIEW: Newsday: Lapses on deadly diseases demand explanation

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    July 22, 2014

Poll

If the Republican runoff for the 5th District congressional seat were today, which candidate would you vote for?

Patrice Douglas
Steve Russell
Undecided
     View Results