The American and European diplomats said there was no open break over the demands being made of Hamas. Rather, they said, what has emerged is an underlying difference in approach. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak on the record about the difficulties of maintaining unity on this issue.
A call for Hamas to renounce its past positions came last month from the United States and its partners in the so-called Quartet — Russia, the United Nations and the European Union — which has overseen Middle East negotiations since 2002.
But there was no explicit vow in their statement to cut off aid, only a suggestion that individual donors would "review" their assistance if Hamas did not renounce violence, recognize Israel and accept existing agreements with Israel, including the pledge to negotiate establishment of a Palestinian state living at peace with Israel.
Where the American administration is issuing warnings, the European Union hopes for a solution that would avert a confrontation with the West. On Thursday, for example, Javier Solana, the top foreign policy envoy of the European Union, said in Ramallah, the provisional Palestinian capital: "I wish to underline that the European Union will not abandon the Palestinian people. We have never done so and we never will."
Note the abandoning phrase.
Doesn't Solana know the "Palestinian people" have abandoned him, abandoned Europe, abandoned America, human decency, internationalized recognized treaties and agreements?
What is this, the neighborhood schoolyard?
And we have an Ehud Olmert/Tzippi Livni/Shaul Mofaz/Shimon Peres government right now.
Advocating Israel at times like this can't win you any prizes.