AIPAC Statement on the Palestinian Elections

"The emergence of Hamas as the majority in the Palestinian legislature is a major setback for peace and
democracy in the Middle East.

"Hamas is recognized by the United States and the European Union as a terrorist organization, whose
involvement in the political process has not altered its stated goal of destroying Israel.

"A government dominated by a terrorist organization undermines efforts to establish a democratic, nonviolent society and jeopardizes efforts to achieve a lasting peace between the Palestinians and Israel.

"The United States must not recognize Hamas as a legitimate party in the democratic process until it agrees
to renounce and end violence, dismantle the terrorist infrastructure, recognize Israel's right to exist, and
agree to conduct direct negotiations with Israel.

"AIPAC calls on the United States and its allies to uphold their policy of not dealing with Hamas and other
terrorist groups.

"We commend President Bush's statement earlier today that 'a political party that articulates the destruction
of Israel as part of a platform is a party with which we will not deal.'

"The ultimate responsibility now rests with the Palestinian Authority which is bound by its commitment to
dismantle the terrorist infrastructure."