Obama should vow to block aid to any Palestinian government that includes Hamas 

I'm here at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's annual policy conference awaiting President Obama's speech. As our editorial elaborates, Obama stirred up a hornets' nest last Thursday when he raised the prospect of Israel returning to its indefensible 1967 lines.

If Obama wants to fix this diplomatic dustup, he should deliver a clear statement today that the United States would cut off aid to any Palestinian government that includes Hamas. This would help the peace process and send a strong signal that America stands with its ally.

It isn't enough to talk about how Hamas should renounce violence -- whatever Hamas's leaders say publicly means nothing when stacked against its long campaign of suicide bombings and rocket attacks.

Of course, I don't expect Obama to do anything of the sort. The administration seems to be waiting in hopes that the current agreement beween Fatah and Hamas won't actually go through. If it did, members of Congress have made clear they would force Obama's hand in cutting off aid. So why would Obama lead from the front when he could lead from behind?

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Philip Klein

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