The Corner

Erdogan Insists Hamas Is Not a Terrorist Organization

Molly Wharton’s post recounts how, when pressed aggressively by Sean Hannity, an apologist for Palestinian jihadists refused to say whether he believed Hamas is a terrorist organization. This question, as we’ve observed here before, is one Islamic supremacists almost always dodge. But why, in the age of Obama, should we expect otherwise?

As Professor Abraham H. Miller notes in his moving column on the homepage today, “the Jew-hating, Islamist Turkish president Recep Erdogan [was] once one of President Barack Obama’s trusted allies in the Middle East.” We hear tell that that the bromance has chilled, but while it was still hot and heavy, Erdogan — the leader of a NATO “ally” – was unabashed in asserting that Hamas was not a terror organization. I provided the details in Spring Fever:

In 2011, moreover, Erdogan, made a startling pronouncement on Charlie Rose’s PBS program: “Let me give you a very clear message. I don’t see Hamas as a terror organization. Hamas is a political party. And it is an organization. It is a resistance movement trying to protect its country under occupation. So we should not mix terrorist organizations with such an organization.” Erdogan has since hosted Hamas’s leaders – both Ismail Haniyeh and Khaled Meshaal, on separate occasions – in Ankara. And in late 2011, a website belonging to Sheikh Qaradawi’s terrorist organization, the Union for Good, was ecstatic to announce the news that Erdogan had directed his finance ministry to donate $300 million to the government of Gaza. That is to say, Turkey is now bankrolling Hamas. Erdogan has taken his country from NATO ally to terror sponsor.

This was just a few months before Obama, reflecting on his then-close “friendship” (as he put it) with Erdogan, said, “The bottom line is that we find ourselves in frequent agreement upon a wide range of issues.” The Obama administration, it is worth remembering, has been aggressive in its support for the Muslim Brotherhood. Erdogan has deep, longstanding ties to the Brotherhood, whose Palestinian franchise is … Hamas.

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