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Thursday, April 14, 2005

White House: Democratically-elected Hamas should be respected

I've written before about wishful thinking overtaking common sense in the "peace process." The White House is not immune to this syndrome, as is clear from this exchange with WorldNetDaily. Here, we discover that the last Palestinian elections were "free and fair" and that Hamas members who get elected aren't terrorists:
WND: Scott, on the road map, can you identify even one Palestinian terrorist group that has been disarmed by the Palestinian Authority in accordance with the Bush administration's own road map? And I have a follow-up.

McCLELLAN: I think it's important to look at some of the steps that have been taken. And the president talked about President Abbas the other day in the news conference. We look forward to having President Abbas visit Washington again so the president can talk to him about what we can do to support them in their efforts to move forward on the two-state vision that he outlined. But there have been some steps taken to address the security situation.

It's important that they have a unified security structure. General Ward has been in the region working closely with the Palestinians to help put those security forces in place and have a unified structure to address some of these issues. But the road map is very clear in what it says. We've been very clear in what our views are, as well. And it's important that the parties meet their obligations.

WND: In the event that Hamas, a terrorist organization not yet disarmed by the Palestinian Authority, wins a majority in the legislative PA, will the Bush administration still send $350 million U.S. taxpayer dollars to the PA, or not?

McCLELLAN: Les, it's – the one thing that you see when people have elections that are free and fair is that they tend to choose people who are committed to improving their livelihood, not people who are committed to terrorist acts. And I think if you look back at the previous Palestinian elections, the people that were elected, while they might have been members of Hamas, they were business professionals. They were people that ran on talking about improving the quality of life for the Palestinian people and addressing their economic needs and addressing other needs that are important to them – not terrorists.