It's true, as Abba Eban once said, "Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity."
This week, Congressman Eric Cantor, the third ranking Republican member of the House led a Congressional delegation to meet with the highest-ranking Israeli government
officials to discuss the US-Israeli relationship. Cantor's delegation also met
with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salaam Fayad.
Fayad assured the delegation that there would be no reconciliation with Hamas; when pressed on the point, Fayad made clear that there was no wavering in his position. The very next day the Jerusalem Post revealed that the Palestinian Authority had given U.S. taxpayer dollars to Hamas.
Fayad stared our representative directly in the face and lied to them about a fundamental question of national security.
According to the Jerusalem Post, Cantor wasn't happy about Fayad's deception:
The Palestinian Authority's payment of Hamas salaries on Wednesday - the day PA Prime Minister Salaam Fayad told American congressmen there would be no reconciliation with Hamas - was nothing less than a "slap in the face," said Eric Cantor, a Republican congressman from Virginia.Congressman Cantor had told Fayad "very strongly" that "the US will not support a Palestinian Authority that has as part of its coalition a terrorist organization."
Today Cantor sent the following letter to Fayad to highlight the consequences of what has occurred.
Prime Minister Fayad –
Thank you for meeting with me and the rest of the United States Congressional Republican delegation on Wednesday, August 8th. While I was pleased to hear your reassurances that the Palestinian Authority will continue to isolate Hamas, the events of the past twenty-four hours have given me reason to question your representations.
You can imagine my shock and disappointment the following morning, when our delegation learned from newspaper reports that your government is providing financial assistance to Hamas. This came less than twenty-four hours after you looked me and several other U.S. Congressmen in the eye and vowed that your government would not seek rapprochement with Hamas.
Hamas is a terrorist organization whose mission it is to murder innocent civilians and destroy the state of Israel. There is no place for Hamas in your government and no room for their ideology among the Palestinian people.
Without further explanation from you, I will feel compelled, upon returning to Washington, to forewarn my colleagues in the Congress that any visits with your government offer little value toward bringing peace and security to Palestinians and Israelis. Furthermore, I will help lead opposition in Congress to any proposed call for additional U.S. taxpayer dollars being sent to the Palestinian Authority.
Peace and security in the Middle East will never be achieved without trust. I am pained by these events, and sincerely hope you will end your involvement with the terrorist organization Hamas. I look forward to your timely response explaining the misuse of U.S. taxpayer dollars.
Chief Deputy Republican Whip
Yep, Palestinians never miss an opportunity ....