Will Obama’s Administration Reconsider its Hamas Stance
|Sunday, May 3,2009 16:29|
Despite its declared attitude towards Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas, the new US administration hasn"t made any change in the stance towards the movement when compared with former president Bush era. It still declines to with a government headed by or includes the movement so long as it doesn"t recognize the international "Quartet". However, some observers see that this attitude is not final and some changes may occur in president Obama"s era, according to recommendations of US and Western politicians.
Invoking Lebanese model
Although US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is skeptical of reaching a Palestinian consensus on forming a national unity government, demanding that any coming Palestinian government should abide by conditions of the "international Quartet", emphasizing that no US aid will be transferred to Gaza, but observers noticed that Clinton"s talk was originally in a long hearing in the Congress Allocations Committee.
This talks was a part of a response to US MPs criticisms to its administration of "a flexibility " that Washington shows with its approving to deal with a unity government that may include Hamas members (It is legally bane in the United States to send any aids to any Palestinian authority they may include Hamas.
News agencies and international newspapers reported that Clinton defended- during the session- offering 900 million dollars in aid to the Palestinian Authority, saying:" We doubt that there is any unity government deal. No agreement is looming, but we do not want to hand bound in case such an agreement reached", referring to the US administration possible approval to deal with a national unity government that includes Hamas Movement although it restricted this with conditions of the international Quartet, saying: It must abide by the Quartet conditions so that the US administration deals with it.
Clinton noticeably cited the Lebanese model to justify this formula, indicating that Washington nowadays offers aid to Lebanese government that includes Hezbollah members " because it is to the interest of the United States to back a government that fights the spread of extremism", she said.
More Pragmatic Approach towards Hamas
Observers see that there are indications- though not clear or certain for the time being- about a possible reconsideration of the attitude towards Hamas. This has recurred since US President Obama assumed office. Some see that there is a change of mood.
In this regard, BBC Arabic website reported that Paul Falker, a top economic advisor of president Obama signed a document that included " more practical approach" towards Hamas, among several other political recommendations.
Harry Sigman, chairman of the think tank that prepared the recommendations, thinks that there are indications that prove that the new US administration may listen to these recommendations specially regarding stopping "dissuading other parties" from dealing with Hamas. Sigman says that the feedback was positive a recent meeting attended by a number of top officials in the US administration including president Obama"s envoy to the Middle East , George Mitchell.
Meanwhile, Martin Indick, the former US ambassador to the Hebrew State and an advisor to Hillary Clinton during her election campaign- said in a recently published book he coauthored that a peace process without Hamas is "doomed to fail".
This book said also that the United States should deal with a Palestinian national unity government and that "it should allow for direct meetings at the lowest level with Hamas" if a truce is maintained between Hamas and Israel and if Hamas and Fatah reach a reconciliation".
European visits, attitudes
In the same course, observers noticed increasing visits of European parliamentary delegations to Hamas leadership in Damascus , including the delegation of the UK House of Commons. Hamas political bureau chief Khalid Mashaal has addressed the House of Commons for the first time days ago, and a delegation from the Palestinian Legislative Council is to visit the European parliament in the first week of next month after receiving an official invitation months ago but this invitation was recently canceled because of intervention of Fatah leaders who advised the parliament not to open up to Hamas, according to Quds Press report.
Analysts see that the increasing but for the US green light, visits of delegates from European countries in Obama"s era- visits not restricted to Norwegian government"s delegates- wouldn"t have been carried out .
The observers link the Western authorities" conviction of holding dialogues with Hamas with ruling out the idea of militarily eliminating it especially after the war on Gaza that the Zionist entity launched in late December 2008, and that it can"t be sidelined at the same time, considering the issue of opening wider channels in this respect is only a matter of time.
Despite extending its hands for dialogue with the international community, Hamas Movement is seemingly confident of its weight in the Palestinian equation. It insists on not offering concessions in national constants demanded by the former US administration as a condition for a political recognition and diplomatic relations: The concessions include conceding its right to resist occupation through all possible means, recognizing the Zionist entity and approving the settlement agreements that the Palestinian Liberation Organization signed with occupation since Oslo agreement.
The movement saw the latest statements of the US Secretary of State- of refusing to fund or recognize any government that includes Hamas unless it abides by conditions of the international Quartet- as a kind of political blackmail and a contradiction in the US administration behaviour" as it talks about opening up to the region while it tries to impose conditions on this region", making the US administration an "unfair arty" in the solving the Palestinian cause, according to statements of Osama Hamdan, Hamas leader in Lebanon.
Out of point
In the same context, Mohamed Nazzal, a member of Hamas political bureau lamented that the US envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell excluded Hamas Movement from his latest visit to the Palestinian territories, saying:" Mitchell should realize that his visit is to the occupied Palestinian territories while excluding Hamas means that he is out of point, that he is moving away from solving the Palestinian cause because no party can exclude Hamas from the regional equation".
There is still the question: Will the new US administration led by Obama practically deal with Hamas Movement as an integral part of the fabric of the Palestinian society and its national struggle and consider its real weight among people who gave it a majority in the parliamentary elections without any pre-conditions that it wants to force the movement to adhere to. Or will it- the US administration- commit the same mistakes committed by the former US administration, seeing Hamas as a terrorist movement. The answer will emerge in the coming days and through the policies followed by the administration of Obama and his State Secretary Clinton, although the declared attitude shows that there will be no informing that there will be no serious or important change in this regard, due to the influence of the Zionist lobby in the United States or due to ignoring the nature of the Palestinian reality.