05 October '16..
Once again, the Europeans seem to be in Alice's Wonderland when they consider Palestinian affairs in particular and the Middle East in general. The renewed attempt by the European Union to remove the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas from its terrorism list is a case in point.
Recently, an advisor to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) recommended that Hamas be removed from the EU's terrorism blacklist. In 2014, the EU's second-highest court ruled that Hamas should be taken off the list on "technical" grounds. It argued that Hamas's listing was not based on evidence, but on "factual imputations derived from the press and the internet."
However, the European Council then appealed this judgement, arguing that Hamas should remain on the terrorism blacklist, citing a 2001 decision by the UK and the US that designated both Hamas and the Tamil Tigers as terrorist groups. But the recent opinion by the ECJ advisor dismisses this argument. "The council cannot rely on facts and evidence found in press articles and information from the internet," Advocate General Eleanor Sharpton said. She explained that the council could not rely on terrorist listings by countries (the UK and US) outside the EU.
This latest highly dangerous European attempt to strike Hamas from the terrorism blacklist will, as the EU knows perfectly well, only serve further to embolden the Islamist movement to replace Israel with an Islamic empire.
Removing Hamas from the terrorism list would obviously be seen as a severe blow to Hamas's rivals in the Western-backed and funded Palestinian Authority (PA), and to the efforts to revive any peace process between the Palestinians and Israel.
As this is not the EU's first attempt to do this, it is hard not to conclude what many Palestinians have suspected all along: that the EU and its affiliates do not care if the Palestinians and others in the area are overrun by Hamas terrorists and are forced to live under the rule of despotic Islamist militants.
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Khaled Abu Toameh, an award-winning journalist, is based in Jerusalem.
Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blog
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