16 March 2009

Obama Urged to Talk to HAMAS

Well, I’ve seen this before. Irish Republicans will recognise this tactic very well. Renounce violence and come into politics. The USA really is modelling the ME peace process after the NI peace process to quite a degree so far I must say. Hamas needs to make sure they don’t allow FATAH to give everything away and control all the negotiations. We faced much the same here when the US and England attempted to make deals with the soft Nationalist party the SDLP, our version of FATAH. Not until they learned the hard way, after many more ended ceasefires by the IRA, that they had to talk to Sinn Fein, who had a huge elected mandate (Like HAMAS) Only then, did they ever get anywhere. A peace process is just that, a "process" and a very LONG process at that! Our war with England has lasted for hundreds of years, and the Peace Process only started 13 years ago after 30 years of a well targeted war by the IRA. This, after many failed attemtps, and the actual decommissioning of weapons dumps only just ended this many years later. Yet even today we still have problems, like I said, it's a process.........

Barack Obama adviser urges talks with Hamas

Paul Volcker, a senior adviser to President Barack Obama, has urged him to break with US policy and open talks with Hamas in order to test the militant group's willingness to join a unified Palestinian government.

Mr Volcker, a former Federal Reserve chairman who was picked by the president to head his new economic recovery advisory board, signed a letter with nine other Washington veterans and senior ex-officials urging him to open dialogue.
Other signatories of the letter, delivered to the president days before he took office, include Brent Scowcroft, national security adviser to the first George Bush, and Zbigniew Brzezinski, who performed the same role under Jimmy Carter.
The group is expected to be granted an audience at the White House as early as this week to make their case that lines of communication should be opened with the group

They are likely to make a forceful case given their personal experience of tortuous Middle East negotiations. "I see no reason not to talk to Hamas," Mr Scowcroft told the Boston Globe. "The main gist is that you need to push hard on the Palestinian peace process. Don't move it to end of your agenda and say you have too much to do."

Mr Obama has made peace in the Middle East a central goal of his presidency. Within days of taking office he appointed former senator George Mitchell, a heavy-hitting veteran of the Northern Ireland peace process, as a special envoy to the region.
Some in Washington see a rare opportunity to open talks with Hamas now that the group is discussing a unity government with Fatah, the more moderate Palestinian faction. Hamas was elected to power in Gaza in 2007 and has been shunned by the US for its refusal to renounce violence or recognize Israel's legitimacy.

Only HAMAS will know if it is the right time for political negotiations. Only HAMAS will know during any negotiations if they have enough concessions to go forward politically. In Ireland, our people have gone to Gaza and met with both ABBAS and HAMAS in an attempt for them to learn from Sinn Fein and the IRA's political strategy and negotiations. During this last visit as expected, Israel was not amused and refused to meet with Adams because Adams was talking to HAMAS. Video's below of interview with Ahmad Yousuf after meeting with Sinn Fein and another very short recent video with Adams on the Middle East conflict vs the Irish conflict.