Pallin’ around with terrorists?


The incoming Obama administration is prepared to abandon George Bush’s ­doctrine of isolating Hamas by establishing a channel to the Islamist organisation, sources close to the transition team say.
The move to open contacts with Hamas, which could be initiated through the US intelligence services, would represent a definitive break with the Bush ­presidency’s ostracising of the group. The state department has designated Hamas a terrorist organisation, and in 2006 ­Congress passed a law banning US financial aid to the group.

To begin with, it appears to me that the editors at the Guardian have pushed their lede beyond anything substantiated by the story below it. They’re hyping it in classic Fleet Street fashion, in other words. Assuming that Obama denies it (and he will), then it would be wrong to excoriate Obama for a fundamentally bogus story by the Guardian. So let’s give him the benefit of the doubt, and don’t indict him for irrresponsible chatter by “sources close to the transition team.”

On the other hand, Allahpundit notes that Obama denounced Hamas in April, but that such a denunciation may have been merely strategic:

[W]ith the election over, Obama no longer needs Hamas as a fig leaf for his policy of dialogue with Iran. , , , The three reasons he gave in April for not chatting with them — terrorism, rejectionism, and dealbreaking — apply equally well to Iran, but meeting with Iran is the cornerstone of the foreign policy Change he promised. How then to prove his Zionist credentials to pro-Israel voters? Simple — draw a meaningless artificial distinction between Iran and Hamas based on the fact that one’s a sovereign state and the other isn’t. He’ll talk to terrorist states threatening Israel with nuclear weapons, but terrorist groups threatening them with Qassam rockets? Why, he’s far too much of a Likudnik for that. Except of course he’s not, which is why that meaningless artificial distinction is now reportedly — and quietly — being discarded.

This attributes to Obama a degree of cynical arrogance that, if true, could prove his undoing. In the famous words of Marty Peretz: “Don’t fuck with the Jews.” Obama was elected with 78% support among Jewish voters, and if they should ever come to believe that they’ve been bamboozled, and Israel betrayed, by Obama, there will be holy unshirted hell to pay.

(Now that I’m thinking about it, shouldn’t Peretz’s DFWTJ principle have an exemption for self-haters like Glenn Greenwald? Is it anti-Semitism to hate a self-hater?)

UPDATE: Welcome Instapundit readers.

UPDATE II: Linked by Walter Alarkon at The Hill. Thanks.

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