A US Shift on Hamas?
If true, and if it really does represent a shift in the US position toward Hamas, this may be the new century’s worst idea so far: Reluctant US shows signs of shift on Hamas.
But please note that it’s a report from al-Reuters, citing unnamed “officials,” “diplomats,” and “experts.”
CRAWFORD, Texas (Reuters) - The Bush administration is showing signs of easing its hard-line approach toward Hamas, in response to the militant group’s rising political clout in the Palestinian territories and appeals for flexibility from European allies, officials and diplomats said.
The White House acceded to Hamas running candidates in Palestinian elections, even though the group has refused to disarm and Washington lists it as a major terrorist organization.
Senior administration officials said they may be open to contacts with some of Hamas’ political affiliates, and would not rule out dealings with the group if it gave up its weapons and ended violence. …
While asserting that the United States will not deal directly with Hamas “terrorists,” a senior Bush administration official said it may be willing to have contact with politicians “affiliated with the group.”
There is “a big difference” between people who “may be members of organizations, but are not terrorists, versus terrorists, people who have blood on their hands,” White House spokesman Scott McClellan said in March.
In recent Palestinian elections, “you saw that there may have been people elected that may have been members of Hamas, but they weren’t terrorists,” he said.