Sunday, February 22, 2009

Did Obama Send a Letter to Hamas via a Congressional delegation?

Last week, a UN official in Gaza gave Sen. John Kerry a letter from Hamas to deliver to President Obama.

Initially, a spokesman for Hamas denied that the terrorist organization had sent a letter to Obama. But eventually Ahmed Yousef, chief political adviser to Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyeh, admitted that he had penned the letter with the endorsement of the "Hamas government".

On Saturday, Fox news reported that U.S. officials were "outraged at the UN relief agency for apparently handing the letter off to Kerry," saying the incident had "raised security concerns over how much Hamas knew about Kerry's travel plans."

But of course, this so-called "outrage" on the part of US officials seems dubious at best, considering the Gaza Strip and its security apparatus is controlled by Hamas, thus, it is inconceivable for US officials to have assumed that Hamas would not have had prior knowledge of Kerry's visit.

Meanwhile, a Kerry spokesman told FOX News that "the Democratic senator was not aware that the letter was from Hamas when he accepted it from the UN official."

However, according to the MEMRI blog, "Palestinian sources told the Filastin daily, which is close to Hamas, that the American delegation that visited Gaza brought with it a letter from President Barack Obama to Hamas, and that the Hamas movement had authorized one of its ministers in Gaza to receive the letter and to respond".

Here's an excerpt from the Filastin daily's article translated by Google [Keep in mind, Google's translation, like all web based translations, makes the text a bit incoherent]:

The article is entitled: "Exchange of letters between the Department for Obama and Hamas, Is it a New Policy in the US?"
This comes in the context of the modern so-called "diplomatic exchange of letters", which was heading to visit a U.S. Senate delegation to the Gaza Strip, which was the first visit of its kind in the Gaza Strip, since the control of the "Hamas in Gaza.

The State Department official said, on Friday, Senator John Kerry, who recently visited Gaza, received a letter from the "Hamas" addressed to U.S. President Barack Obama, and denied "Hamas" the news.

The private sources of "Palestine", yesterday, [said that] Obama sent a letter to the "Hamas" movement across the American delegation.
Like I said, the English translation is a bit incoherent, but the implication of the article and it's title is quite clear. And undoubtedly, Memri read the article in its original Arabic form.

Okay, so the question arises: Who's telling the truth? Hamas or Obama and company?

Well, admittedly, it's difficult to discern the truth, since both sides seem to be prevaricating over the matter.

I will also admit, however, that it's difficult to imagine that Obama, with his political savviness, would actually send a letter to Hamas, knowing full well that Hamas was liable to disclose the matter publicly. Thus, it's possible that Hamas is simply concocting the story to defend its recent overtures [the letter it had written] to Obama.

In November it was reported that former Obama adviser, Robert Malley [who had previously been sacked by Obama during the presidential campaign after the media disclosed he had met with Hamas officials] met with Hamas officials on behalf of the president-elect shortly after the election. Obama however, denied that Malley had acted on his behalf. And undoubtedly, he will also deny the Filastin daily's report concerning his alleged letter to Hamas.

But one thing is clear: Hamas likes Barack Obama! The venerable Ahmed Yousef even went so far as to extoll Obama during the presidential campaign, comparing him to John F. Kennedy and stating: "We like Mr. Obama and we hope that he will win the election...."

And with Obama currently shifting US foreign policy in support of a Hamas-Fatah unity government, you can be sure that Hamas is totally infatuated with him right now!

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