April 2, 2010, - 1:19 pm
Remember all of those openly anti-Israel Obama advisors, whom the President “fired” during the 2008 campaign? Well, they’ve all resurfaced. As I noted before, they weren’t really “fired,” so much as they were placed in an “unofficial” capacity to engage HAMAS. And that poisonous engagement is being ramped up at the direction of the Obama administration.
It’s all quite scary, but then it’s nothing I and others didn’t warn you about during the election campaign. Obama was talking to HAMAS then, and he’s stepping it up in his talks with this avowed terrorist group, now. And don’t forget that HAMAS, several times, vowed to target Americans. The group is no different than Al-Qaeda, and in fact, frequently works together with Qaeda.
Several high-profile former U.S. officials, some with close ties to the Obama administration, met with leaders of the Palestinian militant group Hamas in recent months, raising hope inside the group that its views are being heard at the White House.
Yup, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is now a satellite office of an Islamic terrorist group. 1600 Falesteen-Silwan Ave. Has a nice halal ring to it.
White House officials and participants in the talks emphasize the meetings weren’t sanctioned by Washington. U.S. officials say there has been no change to Washington’s insistence that Hamas take a number of steps before official dialogue can begin.
Uh-huh. Not sanctioned. Sure. PUH-LEEZE. The meetings wouldn’t be happening if they weren’t sanctioned. Indeed, they are. And this is the balloon float, to see what the public reaction is (not that public reaction actually influences what Obama does–as in ObamaCare).
Still, the talks have been interpreted by some officials inside Hamas, Israel and the Palestinian Authority, which is run by the Palestinian Fatah party—a rival to Hamas—as a sign Washington may be softening its position toward Hamas. . . .
Such informal “track two” meetings aren’t uncommon between former U.S. officials and Hamas. But the ex-officials involved in recent talks are seen as higher-profile figures in Washington’s diplomatic establishment. They are also seen as enjoying more foreign-policy heft with the administration than U.S. officials in the past.
“This administration is different from the previous administration,” said Hamas’ deputy foreign minister, Ahmed Yussuf, said in an interview. “We believe Hamas’s message is reaching its destination.”
“There were many meetings like this” in the past, Mr. Yussuf said. “But now, we know the people coming to see us are so much more connected to the White House.”
Warned ya two-plus years ago about this, repeatedly.
In a separate move, the U.S. State Department last month gave a rare green light to a senior U.S. diplomat, on sabbatical at a think tank, to publicly debate Osama Hamdan, one of Hamas’s leaders, in a forum in Doha, Qatar.
The recent meetings between Hamas and ex-U.S. officials were held in Zurich, Damascus and other cities, according to current and former Israeli, Palestinian and U.S. officials familiar with the talks. While the talks weren’t sanctioned by the White House, their contents have been shared with Obama administration officials, say participants and administration officials.
“To refuse to listen—particularly if the visitor is seen as an experienced individual who knows what he/she is talking about—would be negligent in my view,” a senior Obama administration official said in an emailresponse to questions about the meetings.
Yup, Obama worldview: Let’s listen to terrorists. Anything else is “negligent.”
In a meeting last summer in Zurich, Thomas Pickering, a former undersecretary of state and U.S. ambassador to Israel and Jordan, and Rob Malley, a top Mideast adviser to President Bill Clinton, met with Hamas’s foreign minister, Mahmud Zahar, and Mr. Hamdan, the movement’s top official in Lebanon. Recently retired European officials also were present. The meeting, detailed in minutes reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, was confirmed by Messrs. Pickering and Malley.
The meeting focused largely on practical issues, such as scenarios for how Hamas could meet the three Quartet conditions, according to the minutes—which participants said accurately reflected the meeting. Participants also focused on how to establish a mechanism to ease the Israeli siege of the Gaza Strip, an Obama priority.
“It was an effort to clarify what Washington’s policy is and understand what Hamas’s views are,” Mr. Malley said.
HUH? They don’t “understand” what HAMAS’ views are? Try reading the group’s charter, numbskull. It’s quite clear what the views are. There’s no “understanding” needed.
Mr. Malley is currently director of the Mideast and North Africa program at the International Crisis Group, a Brussels-based think tank. Mr. Pickering is co-chairman of the group’s board, a post previously held by George Mitchell, the Obama administration’s envoy to the Mideast peace talks.
As a special assistant to then-President Clinton on Arab-Israeli affairs, Mr. Malley worked closely with people who are now advisers to Mr. Obama. He attended law school with Mr. Obama and advised him on foreign policy during the campaign. He severed ties with the Obama team after his previous contact with Hamas, during his work with ICG, became a campaign issue.
In a separate move that raised eyebrows in the region, U.S. diplomat Rachel Schneller met Hamas’s Mr. Hamdan in Doha last month for a debate sponsored by the Doha-based al Jazeera television channel. Ms. Schneller is on sabbatical from the State Department at the Council on Foreign Relations, a New York-based think tank.
Ms. Schneller said she alerted the State Department to the invitation, and Washington approved it. “They gave me permission to go, which I found interesting,” she said. After the debate, she met one-on-one with Mr. Hamdan over tea, Ms. Schneller said.
Ah, tea and crumpets with a mass murderer. How charming. Classy, indeed. When does Charles Manson get an invite? When he converts to Islam, apparently, and blows people up by the dozens in one shot, instead of killing them one by one.
“He was really genuinely interested in how to make a breakthrough in negotiations and how to engage constructively with the United States,” she said.
Sickening. The only thing Hamdan was “really genuinely interested in” is how to say the right lies and further amputate Israel out of existence.
Any other interpretation is that of a fool. And, sadly, our country is run by plenty of the foolish, led by the Clown-in-Chief.
Tags: Ahmed Yussuf, Barack Obama, Hamas, Mahmud Zahar, Obama, Osama Hamdan, Rachel Schneller, Rob Malley, Robert Malley, Thomas Pickering, White House