Tarry for the Nonce

January 30, 2006

A Disputed Design Choice

Filed under: News — lmwalker @ 12:12 pm

Hamas is exercising its new political muscle by demanding . . . that Israel change its flag?

Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar said from Gaza that Israel must change its flag. “Israel must remove the two blue stripes from its national flag”, said Zahar. “The stripes on the flag are symbols of occupation. They signify Israel’s borders stretching from the River Euphrates to the River Nile.”

Israel’s national flag, a blue Star of David set between two blue stripes, was designed to resemble a Jewish prayer shawl which traditionally has stripes . . .

[Defense Minister Shaul] Mofaz said the government’s policy towards Hamas must be clear. The Hamas, he said, “must annul their charter and disarm, and then we’ll be facing a clearer reality,” Mofaz said. The Hamas charter calls for the destruction of Israel.

In related news, the United States will have none of it:

[Secretary of State Condoleezza] Rice ruled out any U.S. financial assistance to a Hamas government.

Humanitarian help to the Palestinians, many of whom are poor and unemployed, is likely on a “case-by-case basis,” Rice said Sunday. She indicated that the administration would follow through on aid promised to the current, U.S.-backed Palestinian government led by President Mahmoud Abbas.

“The United States is not prepared to fund an organization that advocates the destruction of Israel, that advocates violence and that refuses its obligations,” under an international framework for eventual Mideast peace, Rice said . . .

U.S. aid is a small part of the $1.6 billion annual budget of the Palestinian Authority.

About $1 billion comes from overseas donors – more than half of that from European nations. The rest is a mix of funds from international donor agencies, Arab and Asian governments, and the U.S., which gave $70 million in direct aid to the Palestinian Authority last year.

Separately, the U.S. spent $225 million for humanitarian projects through the U.S. Agency for International Development last year, and gave $88 million for refugee assistance.

Good thing U.S. aid is such a “small part” of the budget. It will hardly be missed.

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2 Comments

  1. I don’t have anything to add to the flag “story,” but I just thought I’d quote from this awesome Boston Globe editorial on the subject of recent PA elections. In response to some feel-gooder tripe from Bush, the author says:

    Spare us, Mr. President… Palestinians are not stupid, and it insults their intelligence to pretend that when they vote to empower a genocidal organization with a platform straight out of “Mein Kampf,” what they’re really after is better healthcare… If Palestinians turned out en masse to elect a party that unapologetically stands for hatred and mass murder, it’s a safe bet that hatred and mass murder had something to do with the turnout.

    Comment by Toly — January 30, 2006 @ 1:28 pm

  2. HA! Either that or the election was rigged.

    Comment by Andrew P. — February 1, 2006 @ 4:31 am


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