I’m confused (1)

The US Consul in Jerusalem, Jacob Walles, speaking on BBC Radio 4 PM today:

…In terms of our own policy and our own law, Hamas is considered to be a terrorist organization and we do not engage with terrorist organisations, we don’t have meetings with them, so as long as that remains the case we are not going to be having contacts with them …

Now that Hamas is the elected Government, how can it be a "terrorist organisation"?   How are we now definining "terrorist"?

 

4 thoughts on “I’m confused (1)”

  1. It is interesting to compare the US reaction to Hamas’ electoral victory with the US administration’s attitude to Sinn Fein while they were still the "political wing" of the IRA. This was best exemplified by the granting of a visa to Gerry Adams in 1994, after 25 years of denying him one, at a time that actors were voicing his words on British television.This visionary (and highly controversial) move by the Clinton administration was one of the factors that led to the IRA cease fire, the Good Friday Agreement, the short-lived presence of Sinn Fein in a democratic Northern Ireland Executive, and maybe even the (controversial again!) disarming of the IRA*, and conversion of the Republican movement from "the armalite and the ballot box" to the ballot box alone. Maybe the Bush administration needs to take a similar risk with Hamas now?

    *Very interesting to Google "IRA disarmament" and find articles entitled "Should Americans support IRA disarmament?"… what would happen to a US citizen today who wrote an article entitled "Should Americans support Hamas disarmament?"? 

  2. We are now defining "terrorist organisation" as anone that disagrees with Bush, Blair and Israel broadly. No joke.With fundamentalists in charge of all the parties there is little room for compromise. 

  3. It might have something to do with Sinn Fein/IRA realising after much horror and bloodshed that violence wasn’t getting them anywhere, and negotiation might (not to mention that Adams and McGuinness weren’t as young as they were, with all that entailed in leading a movement reliant upon the armalite). Since their election, Hamas have shown no sign whatsoever of a)knowing what on earth to do with their unexpected, perhaps unwelcome, elevation to office b)acknowledging that Israel has a right to exist – bit of a block to negotiations and progress, that, one would have thought c)any intention to cease the use of violence, and by so doing, to become a political party instead of a private army that happens to put up candidates.As for Hamas "disagreeing" with Bush, Blair and Israel, Jeremy, you fail to state the nature of the disagreement, which renders your comment almost meaningless . Interesting use of the "we", there; unlike people such as myself who have no doubt had the wool pulled over our eyes, you have a far more sophisticated and nuanced definition of terrorist organisation than Bush, Blair or Israel. But you don’t state that, either.

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