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Jimmy Carter: Let’s Give OBL-Mourning Hamas a Chance!


Former president Jimmy Carter, writing in the Washington Post today:

Palestine’s two major political movements — Fatah and Hamas — are signing a reconciliation agreement on Wednesday that will permit both to contest elections for the presidency and legislature within a year. If the United States and the international community support this effort, they can help Palestinian democracy and establish the basis for a unified Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza that can make a secure peace with Israel. If they remain aloof or undermine the agreement, the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory may deteriorate with a new round of violence against Israel. Support for the interim government is critical, and the United States needs to take the lead . . .

In my talks with Hamas leader Khaled Meshal, he said Hamas would accept a two-state agreement that is approved in a Palestinian referendum. Such an agreement could provide mutual recognition — Israel would recognize an independent Palestinian state and Palestine would recognize Israel. In other words, an agreement will include Hamas’s recognition of Israel.

Suspicions of Hamas stem from its charter, which calls for Israel’s destruction. I find the charter repugnant. Yet it is worth remembering that Israel negotiated the Oslo Accords with the Palestine Liberation Organization while its charter had similar provisions. It took five more years before the PLO Charter was altered.

Mr. Carter, American suspicions of Hamas may stem from other factors. To take just one recent example:

The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas has praised Osama bin Laden as an “Arab holy warrior” and condemned his killing by American forces in Pakistan.

You know, if you praise bin Laden and condemn his killing, I have a Cee Lo Green song title for you.

Tags: Jimmy Carter


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