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State Dept Embrace of PUG Won’t Be Group Hug

The State Department committed to embracing, at least initially, the new Palestinian Unity Government (PUG). Not all legislators were in agreement.
State Dept. Spokesperson Jen Psaki at Daily Briefing on June 2, 2014.

State Dept. Spokesperson Jen Psaki at Daily Briefing on June 2, 2014.
Photo Credit: video.state.gov screen capture

The official word from the State Department – the latest official word, anyway – is that the U.S. government intends to work with the newly-formed “Palestinian Unity Government” (PUG).  At least some U.S. legislators are expressing a very different opinion.

State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said at the daily briefing for reporters on Monday, the day the PUG was formed, that it would both continue to work with the new government and continue funding that government.

“At this point, it appears that President Abbas has formed an interim technocratic government that does not include ministers affiliated with Hamas,” Psaki told reporters.

“Moving forward, we will be judging this government by its actions. Based on what we know now, we intend to work with this government, but we’ll be watching closely to ensure that it upholds the principles that President Abbas reiterated today,” by which Psaki meant Abbas’s commitment to honor past peace deals and peace principles.

If that’s the standard the State Department intends to use, the only thing Hamas has to alter is its truthful approach. So long as the Hamas members are able to start saying in English that they support peace, it doesn’t matter what they actually do. That must be what Psaki meant.

However, senior legislative leaders were not quite so willing to buddy up with the new PUG.

Senior U.S. lawmakers said on Monday Washington should suspend aid to the new unity government until it is sure of the Islamist group’s commitment to pursuing peace with Israel, according to Reuters.

That would be because U.S. law currently prohibits this government from providing aid to “any entity effectively controlled by Hamas, any power-sharing government of which Hamas is a member, or that results from an agreement with Hamas and over which Hamas exercises undue influence.”

Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called on world leaders to reject the PUG. Instead, one of the first phone calls he received about the PUG was from Secretary of State Kerry, stating that the U.S. intends to treat the PUG just as it has been treating the PA government under Abbas.

The Hamas Charter calls for all Muslims to “fight and kill the Jews,” and that all of historic Palestine belongs to Islam, as does any land ever conquered by Muslims (such as Spain). This is a religious, non-negotiable imperative.

Article 13 of the Hamas Charter specifically rejects the notion of peace negotiations, conferences or initiatives.

Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement. Abusing any part of Palestine is abuse directed against part of religion. Nationalism of the Islamic Resistance Movement is part of its religion. Its members have been fed on that. For the sake of hoisting the banner of Allah over their homeland they fight.

The only path for Hamas is jihad.

There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors. The Palestinian people know better than to consent to having their future, rights and fate toyed with.

The Hamas Charter also requires every Muslim to fight to liberate the land referred to as Palestine. In Article Twenty, the Charter refers to Jews as Nazis.

At least one member of the U.S. Congress issued a statement rejecting the idea of embracing the PUG.

On the same day that the PUG was formed, June 2, Republican Congressman Doug Lamborn, representative of Colorado’s fifth congressional district, released a statement. Lamborn had this to say about the new Palestinian unity government:

The United States must immediately suspend our aid to the Palestinian government following the creation of a unity government which includes the Hamas terror organization. This move would be in keeping with US law barring the transfer of US funds to a terror organization. To date, Hamas — which has carried out scores of suicide bombing against Israeli civilians resulting in the deaths of hundreds of Israelis — refuses to recognize Israel, renounce violence or accept past peace agreements. A facade of bureaucrats cannot hide the fact that this is a Palestinian government that supports terrorism.

Lamborn is one of the co-chairs of the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus. The other co-chairs are Cong. Brad Sherman (D)(CA-30), Cong. Eliot Engel (D)(NY-16), and Cong. Trent Franks (R)(AZ-8).

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.


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10 Responses to “State Dept Embrace of PUG Won’t Be Group Hug”

  1. Rachmiel Ben Ariel says:

    "There are subterranean vital forces now come to the surface of the world" (Edman, Irwin. Introduction to Bergson’s Creative Evolution, Modern Library—Random House, 1944, xvii).

  2. Lets shout — Loud and clear — The President of the United States has gone on record as supporting the new unity Gov called "PUG" . In their charter it says, Every Muslim must fight to liberate the land refered to as Palistine". In order to do this they have declared war on Israel. It's in their Charter. OK let J Street unravel their support for Obama .. HA !

  3. Bravo for Lamborn….calling a spade a spade and holding to our laws. It is refreshing to hear there is still some resemblance of sanity in DC.

  4. Lloyd Bergner says:

    The State Dept has a new smiling liar, who joins a long list of pathetic muslim acolytes

  5. Indeed finally is comming the real truth from Obama/Kerry's plan, after the peace agreement feilure to use plan "B", so can again start a new peace agreement now with PUG-Israel, but it will never happen.

  6. Judith Dowla says:

    It may not be a hug, but perhaps a nod of the head and even a hand shake. It is a start and a start can begin all kinds of things and situations that may require a mediator as time goes by.

  7. IT'S TIME TO STOP ALL TREASONOUS TALK OF APPEASEMENT AND ACCOMMODATION.SUCH IS SUICIDAL THINKING! DID APPEASEMENT EVER BRING ANY REAL PEACE EVER IN HISTORY? EVER?

  8. Marty Torrez says:

    This is starting to look like one of those movies where USA gets invaded by the enemy and local leaders side with them and help them in exchange for protection and the promise of a place in the new government that's taking over only to find out they were lied too and end up killed! "Classic Red Dawn" scenario!

  9. Maynard Miller says:

    I hope that no one is surprised that Kerry wants to hug those terrorists. Why doesn't congress throw this creep out? He does everything he can against both Israel and the US

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