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Aides: Obama Prepared To Talk To Hamas

Hope springs eternal in the UK’s anti-Semitic, terrorist-loving, America-hating Guardian:

Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal (L) shakes hands with Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani before a meeting at the Iranian embassy in Damascus January 7, 2009.

Obama camp ‘prepared to talk to Hamas’

Incoming administration will abandon Bush’s isolation of Islamist group to initiate low-level diplomacy, say transition sources

The incoming Obama administration is prepared to abandon George Bush’s ­doctrine of isolating Hamas by establishing a channel to the Islamist organisation, sources close to the transition team say.

The move to open contacts with Hamas, which could be initiated through the US intelligence services, would represent a definitive break with the Bush ­presidency’s ostracising of the group. The state department has designated Hamas a terrorist organisation, and in 2006 ­Congress passed a law banning US financial aid to the group.

The Guardian has spoken to three ­people with knowledge of the discussions in the Obama camp. There is no talk of Obama approving direct diplomatic negotiations with Hamas early on, but he is being urged by advisers to initiate low-level or clandestine approaches, and there is growing recognition in Washington that the policy of ostracising Hamas is counter-productive. A tested course would be to start ­contacts through Hamas and the US intelligence services, similar to the secret process through which the US engaged with the PLO in the 1970s. Israel did not become aware of the contacts until much later.

A UN resolution was agreed last night at the UN, calling for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire between Hamas and Israeli forces in Gaza. The resolution was passed, though the US, represented by secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, abstained.

Richard Haass, a diplomat under both Bush presidents who was named by a number of news organisations this week as Obama’s choice for Middle East envoy, supports low-level contacts with Hamas provided there is a ceasefire in place and a Hamas-Fatah reconciliation emerges.

Another potential contender for a ­foreign policy role in the Obama administration suggested that the president-elect would not be bound by the Bush doctrine of isolating Hamas.

"This is going to be an administration that is committed to negotiating with ­critical parties on critical issues," the source said

Obama has said repeatedly that ­restoring America’s image in the world would rank among the top priorities of his administration, and there has been widespread praise for his choice of Clinton as secretary of state and Jim Jones, the former Marine Corps commandant, as his national security adviser.

He is expected to demonstrate that commitment to charting a new foreign policy within days when he is expected to name a roster of envoys to take charge of key foreign policy areas: Iran, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, India-Pakistan, and North Korea.

Obama has frustrated and confused those who had been looking for a more evenhanded approach to the Israeli-­Palestinian conflict by his refusal to make any substantive comment on Israel’s ­military campaign on Gaza, nearly two weeks on.

He said on Wednesday: "We cannot be sending a message to the world that there are two different administrations conducting foreign policy.

"Until I take office, it would be ­imprudent of me to start sending out ­signals that somehow we are running ­foreign policy when I am not legally authorised to do so."

We hope this isn’t true. Which is possible, since it is appearing in the Guardian.

But, alas, it probably is.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, January 9th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

9 Responses to “Aides: Obama Prepared To Talk To Hamas”

  1. Confucius says:

    Well, now we know why Hamas wanted the cease-fire. We also know why Israel hasn’t stopped.

    And since when was talking to terrorists a “new foreign policy”? Or “productive”? Stage left to Madeline Albright, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.

  2. David says:

    So it is illegal to give aid to Hamas, so we wait until after their first set of negotiations and anything offered either in trade or just to get Hamas to the table should fall under “high crimes and misdemeanors” right?

  3. VMAN says:

    Remember the old commercial “this is your brain, this is your brain on drugs”? We need to make a new one only substitute “Drugs” for “Obama presidency” .

  4. GuppyNblue says:

    “Until I take office, it would be imprudent of me to start sending out signals that somehow we are running foreign policy when I am not legally authorised to do so.”

    Does anyone believe that he isn’t wise to what “sources close to the transition team say”? He’s reassuring Zawahiri and Hamas since they don’t seem to have the patience to wait 10 more days.

    Hamas is very clear on their part – nothing but the death of Israel will do. It’s not about diplomacy but about the US, under Obama, switching sides.

    The only thing I can appreciate about Obama is his sense of urgency. I’m so sick of decades of cowardly gradualism and would prefer to get this BS over.

  5. 12 Gauge Rage says:

    You can’t negotiate with bullies nor terrorists because they only view such gestures on your part as pure spinelessness. Not to mention the extreme contempt they hold for such appeasers. Trying to negotiate with Hamas is like trying to reason with a hungry lion after it’s clamped it’s jaws around your neck. The only thing Hamas has a healthy respect for is a strong show of force

    • JohnMG says:

      Great! “Honest Obe” will end up getting his ass shot off for his trouble leaving us with the prospect of “Plugs” Biden as POTUS. Then the only thing to trump that would be jumping Pelosi to the VP slot, once again by-passing HRC in the line of succession.

      They’ll wind up killing each other off if we’re not careful.

  6. 12 Gauge Rage says:

    The democratic party is not as unified as they would have you believe. Behind their deceitful mask of solidarity is a party rife with factionalism. And just as the Soviets of the past used powerful figures to keep everyone in line, so it is with the democrats.

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