Monday, April 14, 2008

Jimmy Carter, Hamas and Israel

So former President Jimmy Carter decided to meet with Hamas while visiting the region.

Now, Israel and Hamas aren't exactly the best of friends. Hamas claims a divine right to the land Israel is composed of:

Hamas considers all of pre-1948 Palestine to be the Palestinian homeland. This includes present-day State of Israel — as well as the Gaza Strip and the West Bank — as an inalienable Islamic waqf or religious bequest, which can never be surrendered to non-Muslims. It asserts that struggle (jihad) to regain control of the land from Israel is the religious duty of every Muslim (fard `ain).

Hamas does not recognize Israel as a sovereign state, unlike the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which has recognized it since 1988, and calls it the "Zionist entity". Its charter calls for an end to Israel.

So it's not like they're open to negotiation with Israel. Kinda hard to when your god is telling you to wipe them out.

In response to this, Israel has refused to provide security for former President Carter.

JERUSALEM, April 14 (Reuters) - Israeli leaders shunned former U.S. President Jimmy Carter during a visit because of his plans to meet Hamas and Israel's secret service declined to assist U.S. agents guarding him, U.S. sources said on Monday.

"They're not getting support from local security," one of the sources said, on condition of anonymity.

Now, for it's part Israel is saying in effect it's a paperwork error:

An Israeli security source said the Shin Bet security service provided no protection to Carter during his visit to the Jewish state because no request was made.

However, if Israel deliberately decided to withhold protection, I wouldn't be surprised.

Negotiation doesn't seem to have a point, as Hamas doesn't seem like they're going to rescind a key part of their identity in order to peacefully coexist with Israel. Given that, what exactly is the point of meeting with Hamas if not to antagonize Israel? If antagonism is the point... why should Israel help Carter?

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