Jimmy Carter Talks With Hamas Leaders In Damascus

Former President Jimmy Carter met with exiled Hamas leader, Khaled Mshaal in the Syrian captial despite angry protests from Israel and the United States. the meeting is designed to discvuss ways in which a truce can be arranged between Hamas and Israel as well as issues related to the release of a captured Israeli soldier and Palestinian prisoners held in Israel jails. The two men expressed their hope “their support for dialogue in arriving at politcal solutions to problems.” Carter was refused permission to meet Hamas leaders in Gaza and had to dialogue with them in Cairo.

US Assistant Secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs, David Welch, denoun ced the Carter discussions and wanted to make clear that Carter did not represent the United States. “We see no intention on the part of Hamas” to pursue the path to peace. Ironically, Israeli Minister Eli Yishai said he would meet with Hamas leaders to discuss the issue of release of prisoners.

Israel and American politicians who denounced Jimmy Carter for talking with Hamas leaders are unable to explain how their approach to dealing with that organization has produced any beneficial results other than more violence and death.