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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Americans secretly meeting with Hamas?

The only source for this story is the bizarro Iranian news agency IRNA, but they don't usually make things up out of thin air. And it is altogether possible that they have sources in the PA that others do not.
Several European and Western diplomats have secretly been meeting with leaders of the Islamic Resistance Group, Hamas lately, Palestinian Islamic sources said.

The sources intimated that American, British, French and Scandinavian diplomats met lately with Hamas leaders, including newly-elected lawmakers, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Hamas leader and elected lawmaker Muhammed Abu Tir was quoted as saying on Tuesday that he had met with a British diplomat who is close to British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Abu Tir did not reveal the identity of the diplomat nor did he say when the meeting took place.

Last week, a number of British diplomats as well as several former American diplomats met with Hamas leaders in the Hebron area as well as the northern part of the West Bank.

The two sides reportedly discussed Hamas's political outlook following its resounding victory over Fatah in the January 25 elections.

Hamas, observers say, has been displaying moderation.
(I wasn't kidding when I said "bizarro.")

The story is somewhat believable. I could see a former US ambassador to some Arab state talking to Hamas with unofficial US approval.

The Western desire to do something, anything to make it look like there is progress in the moribund "peace process" means that they will inevitably inch towards dealing with Hamas. There is zero chance that the West will throw up their hands and admit that there will be no peace with Hamas in power. The strong instinct for wishful thinking will kick in soon enough, and that means that any absence of outright calls for genocide on the part of Hamas will require pressure on Israel to reciprocate with money or land to reward Hamas' "pragmatism."