Graham decries Palestinian political merger

This came in this afternoon from Lindsey Graham:

Graham Statement on Palestinian Authority-Hamas Unity Government

 – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement on the Palestinian Authority-Hamas unity government.
“I’m extremely disappointed to hear that President Abbas, the leader of the Palestinian Authority, has decided to form a unity government with Hamas, a violent terrorist organization. This decision undercuts any hope of a viable peace process.
“I do not believe it is in our national security interest to begin a dialogue with a government that includes a terrorist organization committed to the destruction of the state of Israel.
“Secretary Kerry’s statement that the Obama Administration will continue to work with this new government is very disturbing and inappropriate. I will be joining Democrats and Republicans in efforts to suspend all aid to the Palestinian Authority as long as they continue this unity government or until Hamas recognizes the state of Israel and rejects terrorism.
“For our country to be supporting this new unity government sends the worst possible signal to terrorist organizations and is incredibly insensitive to the people of Israel.”

I share the senator’s concern, although I don’t know whether I think it’s “inappropriate” for the U.S. to deal with this disturbing new entity. I sort of want to know what the alternatives are.

The Palestinian Authority was our one and only Palestinian entity to talk peace with, while Hamas was the terrorists. What are we supposed to do now?

12 thoughts on “Graham decries Palestinian political merger

  1. Phillip

    The Administration, along with the EU and UN, seem to be pretty clear that their willingness to continue dialogue with the unity government is closely predicated upon that government’s continuing to follow Abbas & Fatah’s policy towards continued negotiations with Israel, and the principles of the “quartet.” Graham either doesn’t realize (or more likely, DOES realize but doesn’t want to happen) that ultimately the Palestinians were never going to be in a position to achieve the negotiated two-state solution without somehow bringing together their two most prominent factions, one of which has more international credibility, the other of which has significant domestic credibility in part due to its funding of “schools, orphanages, mosques, health clinics, soup kitchens, and sports leagues.” (Council on Foreign Relations).

    The US (and other nations) can easily reverse course on support and dialogue with this Palestinian government should things turn in a more troublesome direction. On the other hand, isn’t it just as possible that a more unified and more inclusive Palestinian government, formed seemingly by an ascendent Fatah and a somewhat weaker Hamas, could be a positive step for broader dialogue and the peace process? Isn’t that a chance worth taking, or an avenue worth exploring, before writing off Abbas’ assurances entirely?

    1. Doug Ross

      Philip – when you get one write-in vote for Senator in the primary, thank me. I expect to see you playing piano AND waxing political on Meet the Press in November.

        1. Phillip

          I have way too many skeletons in my closet (not to mention my religious agnosticism) to be a viable candidate, Doug, but I appreciate the vote of confidence!

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Ah, but see, Brad Hutto would say that’s the last thing we need — another senator constantly appearing on the Sunday talk shows.

        Of course, I disagree with him on that.

        I, too, would like to see Phillip representing us. Although I’d prefer he run against Scott, since I like Graham.

        And Phillip points to why we WON’T have a Senator Bush: In SC, he’s not electable. You have to be able to run to the right at election time to have a chance of getting up there to start with. Even I would find that hard; Phillip would find it harder…

  2. Kathryn Fenner

    I dunno, maybe younger voters would warm up to a guy who wears Hawaiian shirts! Sort of an updated Lamar Alexander!

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      But is he ready to walk across the state? That’s what Alexander did to win statewide the first time (the shirts were his costume for the walk — and I was there walking right behind him at one point).

      Actually, to match Alexander, he’d have to walk a couple or three times across SC. Tennessee is about 450 miles across.

      1. Kathryn Fenner

        I think Phillip would play his way across the state! I cannot imagine too many people resisting his charm and skill at the keys!

        1. Kathryn Fenner

          He has an adorable kid, too, and a cute, patient wife with a great smile! Perfect!

        2. Doug Ross

          For some parts of the state, Phillip might need a banjo player for accompaniment.

  3. Doug Ross

    Brad – can you offer some examples where Senator Graham has compromised on an issue related to foreign relations/military intervention? Because, as well all know, the true measure of a politician is his ability to compromise. I’d love to ask Lindsey to share with us those times where as the representative of ALL South Carolinians, he put aside his own personal beliefs regarding the role of the U.S. around the world in order to reach agreement on a matter of significance.

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