By Ryan Jones

Despite Hamas’ unswerving dedication to Israel’s destruction, the international community is ignoring Israel’s pleas to block the terror group’s participation in upcoming “Palestinian” elections and a subsequent diplomatic role in the “peace” process.

The European Union officially classifies Hamas as a terrorist organization, and will not conduct official ties with the group. But that has not stopped the Europeans from meeting with Hamas members who will be candidates in the Palestinian Legislative Council election, or who have already won local elections, Israeli diplomatic sources told Ha’aretz.

US President George W. Bush similarly sees Hamas as a terrorist organization, but has declined, as primary sponsor of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, to make Hamas’ participation in the Palestinian Authority a sticking point in negotiations.

Bush doesn’t “think [Hamas terrorists are] going to get elected” anyway, because, according to the president, “Palestinian moms want their children to grow up in peace just like American moms want their children to grow up in peace.”

In other words, the extent of Hamas’ political role will be left to Palestinian Arab voters — the same public from which Hamas so successfully recruits “suicide” bombers.

For its part, Israel says it would accept Hamas running for election if the group first disarmed, and if it annulled its charter which calls for the eradication of the Jewish state through armed violence.

Last month, PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas insisted that if Israel and the US truly believe in democracy they must accept Hamas as it comes.

“We believe in the principles of democracy. So if we want to build a democracy, we must accept the consequences of democracy” by allowing everyone to participate, Abbas told France’s La Liberation.

Hamas has repeatedly vowed it will not lay down its arms, will seek to slaughter as many Israeli Jews as possible in order to “liberate Palestine,” and will hold fast to its virulent charter.

The group’s participation in the January 21, 2006 PLC poll would violate Annex II, Article II of Israel’s Interim Agreement with the PA.