Colin Powell: Talk to Hamas July 20 (LPAC)–Former Secretary of State Colin Powell declared that the only way to move the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians was to engage Hamas. This was in sharp contrast to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Her Majesty’s former prime minister Tony Blair who, speaking at a meeting of the Quartet of Middle East mediators in Lisbon declared there refusal to deal with Hamas. Rice demanded that Hamas recognize the right for Israel to exist and renounce violence in order to achieve “international respectability” before she would talk to them.
“I don’t think you can just cast them into outer darkness and try to find a solution to the problems of the region without taking into account the standing that Hamas has in the Palestinian community,” Powell said in a radio interview reported in today’s International Herald Tribune. Pointing out that Hamas has considerable support with the Palestinian population and controls the Gaza strip, he said,
This bit is hilarious: talk about hitting the nail on the head
“They won an election that we insisted upon having,” and having won, they needed to be engaged,
then he goes back to normal
“as unpleasant a group they may be and as distasteful as I find some of their positions.”