Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Obama to open a dialogue with Hamas?

A reminder of a promise:

“We must not negotiate with a terrorist group intent on Israel’s destruction. We should only sit down with Hamas if they renounce terrorism, recognize Israel’s right to exist and abide by past agreements.”

“Hamas is not a state. Hamas is a terrorist organization,” he said.

(HT to Allahpundit for the reminder.)

In today's Guardian, it looks like Obama's promise is going under the bus:

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. ...

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.

"All statements from Barack Obama come with an expiration date" is an understatement this time around. He said during the primaries that any talks with Hamas had to come when the organization renounced terrorism, recognize Israel's right to exist, and abide by previous agreements. That's what he said. I'm not making that quote up at all.

To even contemplate or announce any sort of clandestine talks with Hamas undermines America's position. It sends a signal that the incoming administration is willing to reward this terrorist group for it's violent and aggressive approach to Israel. Remember, they agreed to a truce, and during that truce they fired an average of 59 rockets into Israel each week while that "truce" was in effect. They ended the truce by launching over 200 rockets into Israel. Barack Obama's administration will reward Hamas with recognition if any envoys are sent to conduct talks with Hamas.

As much as Obama's statements come with an expiration date so do Hamas' promises. To them, any agreement reached with the West and with Israel is nothing more than ink on a piece of paper; that piece of paper will be used as toilet paper later.

The easiest way to circumvent this farcical and asinine idea is for Israel to finish off Hamas before 20 January. After that, all bets are off. Israel won't be able to count on the incoming administration to defend their right to defend themselves so Israel has two options: Take Hamas down now, or watch Obama's emissaries come in, and give Hamas time to regroup and rearm for another day.

We urge the Israelis to ignore the West and to ignore the UN, and finish the job once and for all.

Publius II


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