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Talks with Hamas already?

Posted by Richard on November 11, 2008

Take this claim with a grain of salt. It comes from a terrorist organization leader talking to an Arab newspaper, so it's only slightly more credible than a CBS News story about a National Guard memo. But Haaretz reported it:

The Arab daily Al-Hayat on Tuesday quoted a senior Hamas official as saying that United States President-elect Barack Obama's advisors met with members of the Palestinian militant group before the U.S. presidential election.

Ahmed Yusuf, a political advisor to Hamas' Gaza leader Ismail Haniyeh, reportedly told the London-based paper that, "The connection was made via email and after that we met with them in Gaza."

Al-Hayat reported that Yusuf also said the relations were maintained after Obama's electoral victory last Tuesday. He said the president-elect's advisors requested that the relations be kept secret so as not to aid his rival, Senator John McCain.

Well, that part has a certain ring of truth to it.

During Obama's campaign, he pledged that his administration would only hold talks with Hamas if it renounced terrorism, recognized Israel's right to exist, and abided by past agreements.

Maybe Hamas leaders secretly renounced terrorism and recognized Israel's right to exist in their emails to the Obama campaign? Yeah, right. 

I've heard that Rahm Emmanuel is a strong supporter of Israel. If this story is true, I wonder what he thinks of it. I wonder if he knew about it.

BTW, if you see this reported in any American mainstream media outlets, drop a link in the comments. I tried searching Google News for obama hamas talks and obama hamas meet. I learned that, as Jerusalem Newswire put it, "Israel reverberates" with the news. But in the U.S. as of 10:30 PM Mountain Time, only Hot Air seemed interested.

UPDATE: P. David Hornik at PajamasMedia and Instapundit also noticed. Still waiting on the NYT, WaPo, AP, ABC, CBS, NBC, …

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3 Responses to “Talks with Hamas already?”

  1. RedPencil said

    NOT a MSM link — but the Hamas-Obama story almost certainly has to do with Robert Malley, “fired” by Obama in May for his blatant pro-Hamas activities. Arafat was literally an old family friend of Malley’s. Middle East newsline had a blurb on Malley’s recent activities that has been picked up in the blogosphere.

    http://www.menewsline.com/article-1902-Obama-Promises-Improved-Ties-With.aspx

    Malley has allegedly been visiting Syria and Egypt (on behalf of Obama? But with plausible deniability since Malley is not a paid staffer?) over the few weeks prior to the election. He may have visited Gaza in the course of this — or the Arab press may have exaggerated slightly and Malley met Hamasniks elsewhere in the Middle East.

    On Emmanuel: Wouldn’t get my hopes up.

  2. rgcombs said

    I suspect you’re right. I recall seeing a link to a story about Malley meeting with Bashar al-Assad last month in one of the Google searches I did, but I couldn’t be bothered — I mean, I didn’t have time to follow up on it.

    As for my hopes in relation to the incoming administration, they’re pretty much limited to this: maybe Obama will be Jimmy Carter II, and there will be a Reagan to rescue us after four years.

  3. RedPencil said

    I confess that I share that hope — but as appealing as such dialectical concepts are to the human psyche, the Nach Hitler Uns trope has not historically worked out well for the Antithesis crowd…

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