Monday, February 23, 2009
Hamas letter calls Obama to "dialogue"
Even though the Hamas author of the letter reminds Obama, "There can be no peace without Hamas." At any rate, it appears the Hamas letter will be going to Obama, after all. But not to worry; Kerry insists this will not change policy. More on this story. "Kerry: Hamas letter doesn't change policy," from the Jerusalem Post, February 21 (thanks to Jeffrey Imm): The United States will not change its policy towards Hamas, despite a letter which will be passed to the new American president requesting that he engage the group in dialogue, Senator John Kerry said on Saturday.
"[The letter] doesn't change our policy in not dealing with terrorists," Kerry said during an interview with Channel 2. "We will deal with the Palestinian Authority government, with [PA President Mahmoud Abbas], and [PA Prime Minister Salaam Fayad]."
Hamas official Ahmed Yousef on Saturday said he wrote a letter to US President Barack Obama, which was received by Kerry during his visit to Gaza.
The letter was given to UN officials who passed it to the US senator during a one-day visit to Gaza on Thursday.
Yousef said that the letter was endorsed by the Hamas government.
The letter calls on Obama "to deal in a fair way with the Palestinian issue," he said, noting that many Palestinians believe that US foreign policy is biased in Israel's favor.[...]
At first, Hamas denied addressing a letter to Obama. One Palestinian official suggested that the letter was the private initiative of an adviser to the group, who wrote it without consulting with the organization's leaders.
However, according to the New York Times, Yousef, the letter's author, called on the new US administration to bring real change to the Middle East.
"There can be no peace without Hamas," Mr. Yousef told the Times that he had written.
"We also said that Mr. Kerry's visit to Gaza showed that the new administration has a clarity of vision and is not controlled by Israeli propaganda," Yousef was quoted by the newspaper as saying.