Relations between the Palestinian Authority and the rest of the world seem to be headed for a head-on collision. Israel and the rest of the world seem resolved to bring down the elected Palestinian government.
The hidden and not-so-hidden intention is to cause complete chaos in the PA that would then force President Mahmoud Abbas to disband parliament and call new elections.
During the short period since the swearing-in of the Hamas government, the U.S. administration and Congress have cut off commercial, economic and foreign aid ties with Palestine. The European Union has yet to take that step, but there, too, senior officials have refused monetary aid and have broken economic or diplomatic ties with official and semi-official PA institutions, and international aid organizations have quietly begun pulling their workers out of PA areas and halting many joint activities with the PA.
Add to all this another blow: Israeli banks have announced they would stop providing services to Palestinian banks, businessmen and Israeli and foreign companies requiring financial mediation with the Palestinians.
The Israeli banks announced they would cut ties because of laws prohibiting money laundering that could finance terrorism. The large Arab banks, including some that served the Palestinian Authority in the past, "disengaged" from the Palestinians even before the Israeli ones. In this situation, it's not just that the Palestinian treasury is empty. It has no treasury.
At the same time Israel has upped its military pressure on Hamas and expanded the attacks and targeted assassinations (including, but not limited to, in response to the onslaught of Qassam rockets). These attacks are meant not only to prevent the restoration of a severely limited terrorist infrastructure, but also to send a clear message to the new Palestinian administration: From Israel's perspective, Hamas remains a terrorist organization, period.
Nature of Hamas
Hamas, for its part, has responded to the international excommunication exactly like an organization of its ilk would be expected to do: By fogging over its message to the outside world, while refusing to compromise its diplomatic and religious principles domestically.
The organization has refused to use any of broad powers assumed by predecessor Yasser Arafat, and it folks in the face of Hamas, whether out of fear for their personal safety or fear for "Palestinian unity."
Under the camouflage of "unity", there is an Iran-like administration gaining ground in the PA. True, Ramallah is still no little Tehran – but it is on the way. It's got a figurehead president; there is a government whose main function is to employ public workers and to expand an already over inflated public sector.
The real rulers are the security and terror organizations, who themselves are subservient to highly secrete authorities. In Iran, they are called "Revolutionary Guards" and "Modesty Patrols" and violent gangs that the administration nurtures for its own purposes. In the PA they are called "Popular Committees" and "Martyr's Brigades" and the like.
The (polite) refusal of the Hamas leadership to respond to international demands stems from the very nature of that organization, from its world view and intellectual conclusions: Hamas won the elections because of its ideological positions. If it can manage to hold on to power long enough to create a manageable economic reality, get rid of Fatah activists, give out jobs to party supporters and to win a minimum of international and Arab recognition, it will be able to position itself as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people for years to come.
The earlier Israel and the international community work to bring down the Hamas government, the better it will be for everyone. Hamas must not be allowed to function, or even raise its head.
Preventing the Iranization of the Palestinian Authority is not just an Israeli interest. It is an interest of the entire Middle East, and of the entire world. The Hamas revolution will not stop at the border crossings of Gaza and the West Bank.