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The extraordinary naïveté of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee

August 13, 2007

I know this is a bit of a departure from my regular fare of berating Vista, but I have to speak out in the face of such crass detachment from reality by a bunch of MPs who should know better.

I’m talking about the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee’s Eighth Report, published on-line here.

Here are some snippets:

“Given the failure of the boycott to deliver results, the government should urgently consider ways of engaging politically with moderate elements within Hamas as a way of encouraging it to meet the three Quartet principles.”

What moderate elements within Hamas? When you sign up to Hamas you sign up to a fight to destroy Israel or die trying. Compromise is not in their vocabulary. Anything they will give you in a negotiation is only as a trade for something they think can help them destroy Israel.

Treating with them is just a signal that terrorism works, and encourages more terrorism. Blair was right on this one.

“The government should engage with moderate Hezbollah parliamentarians”

See above.

What is the matter with these people? They think that because they sit around on comfy chairs drinking tea and discussing cricket that everyone will be reasonable if you ring them up for a friendly chat.

Maybe some of these MPs need to spend a week in a Hizbullah training camp and know what they’re dealing with before expressing their views.

Regarding the creation of a unity government between Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas in February:

“A national unity government could and should have been established much earlier than the spring of 2007”

This really sums it up. Have they somehow missed the absurdity of this? Have they not noticed how the “unity government” was a desperate and doomed attempt to paper over cracks in the tensions between Hamas and Fatah? Have they not noticed the Palestinians shearing irreversibly into Hamastine and Fatastine?

For the record, the individuals who need to answer for this nonsense are:

Mike Gapes (Labour, Ilford South), Chairman

Mr Fabian Hamilton (Labour, Leeds North East)

Rt Hon Mr David Heathcoat-Amory (Conservative, Wells)

Mr John Horam (Conservative, Orpington)

Mr Eric Illsley (Labour, Barnsley Central)

Mr Paul Keetch (Liberal Democrat, Hereford)

Andrew Mackinlay (Labour, Thurrock)

Mr Malcolm Moss (Conservative, North East Cambridgeshire)

Sandra Osborne (Labour, Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock)

Mr Greg Pope (Labour, Hyndburn)

Mr Ken Purchase (Labour, Wolverhampton North East)

Rt Hon Sir John Stanley (Conservative, Tonbridge and Malling)

Ms Gisela Stuart (Labour, Birmingham Edgbaston)

Richard Younger-Ross (Liberal Democrat, Teignbridge)

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