The New York Times article, “U.N. Charts High Jobless Rate in Gaza, Despite Israel’s Easing of Blockade” (emphasis added), discusses a recent UN report on the condition of the Gazan economy.
Referring to the economic blockade of Gaza, which was done by both Israel and Egypt, the article states that “The policy of weakening Hamas seems to have failed, but the policy has been highly successful at punishing the people of Gaza.” The article cites the Palestinian Authority as the largest source of income to Gazans, paying 65,000 of them to not work but instead to protest the fact that Hamas ousted Fatah from power in Gaza in 2007; and Hamas as the second largest source of jobs but also as the fastest growing source. The Times should stop casually citing Hamas as though it was the Walmart of the Gaza Strip. Hamas is a terrorist organization.
President Obama acknowledged as much in his speech at the State Department on May 19th, also known as Cairo II. In that speech Obama said, “How can one negotiate with a party that has shown itself unwilling to recognize your right to exist?” He was referring to Hamas’ refusal to recognize Israel’s right to exist, and Israel’s refusal to negotiate with them as part of the Palestinian government. But just a couple of weeks later, he was reportedly pressing Israel to do so anyway. The Washington Times reported on June 12th that “The White House is pressing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to publicly adopt President Obama’s view that Israel’s pre-1967 borders should be the basis for future peace talks.