Hamas says asked by US to keep silent on talks

Hamas says asked by US to keep silent on talks

Islamist group source says senior American officials request contacts remain secret ‘so as not to rouse Jewish lobby’
Roee Nahmias

 A senior Hamas figure said Friday that official and unofficial US sources have asked the Islamist group to refrain from making any statements regarding contacts with Washington, this following reports that a senior American official is due to arrive in an Arab country in the coming days to relay a telegram from the Obama Administration.

 The Hamas figure told the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper that the Americans fear discussing the talks publicly would “rouse the Jewish lobby and other pressure groups in the US and cause them to pressure the administration to suspend all talks with Hamas.”

 The Hamas figure, who is close to Ismail Haniyeh, the prime minister of the government in Gaza, added, “This is a sensitive subject. The Americans don’t want anyone to comment on it because this would catch the attention of pressure groups (in the US) and cause problems.”

 He said Hamas’ exiled leadership in Damascus is overseeing the contacts behind closed doors.

 On Wednesday a Washington-based Arabic newspaper quoted a senior official as saying that an American envoy is scheduled to meet with Hamas representatives in an Arab country and hand them a letter from the Obama Administration.

 According to the report, the official said Washington has no choice but to work with Hamas due to its influence in the Arab and Islamic world.

Rep. Mike Pence Has a Question for the President “Mr. President, Whose Side Are You On?”

“Mr. President, Whose Side Are You On?”

By Doug Powers  •  June 10, 2010 04:22 PM

**Written by guest-blogger Doug Powers

In light of the fact that all problems are solved in the United States and our debt and spending are under control, President Obama yesterday pledged $400 million in U.S. aid to the Palestinian territories. The money was pledged during a meeting between Obama and Mahmoud Abbas.

Obama said he would not meet with the CEO of BP because “he’s going to say all the right things to me, I’m not interested in words, I’m interested in actions,” so it’s nice to see him have such confidence in Abbas to be honest and forthright in his ultimately successful attempt to get his hands on hundreds of millions of American taxpayer dollars.

Cassy Fiano calls it a “terrorist stimulus package,” and if it is, the only reason for optimism is the hope that a terrorist stimulus will work as well as the stimulus package. If Sheriff Biden is in charge of making sure the aid works as intended, Abbas is screwed.

But remember, the $400 million is just a “down payment”:

The Obama administration’s promise of aid includes money to increase access to clean drinking water, create jobs and build schools and affordable housing. State Department officials called the projects “a down payment” on the U.S. commitment to improving life in Gaza.

Last year, U.S. officials pledged a total of $900 million for Gaza and the West Bank, but acknowledged the difficulty of distributing the funds, especially because Hamas controls Gaza and is considered a terrorist organization. The aid announced Wednesday may be distributed through organizations performing relief work, State Department officials said.

Sure. This aid will be different… it won’t be handed to the guys in the “Hamas” shirts, but rather to the nice folks wearing the “samaH” shirts (inability to recognize a t-shirt turned inside-out is a time-honored skill that’s been handed down through generations of United Nations aid distributors).

Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana isn’t happy with any of this, and asks Obama what I’d consider the rhetorical question of the week: “Whose side are you on?” (h/t Cubachi):

“Mr. President, Whose Side Are You On?”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c09RyJC0JqI&feature=player_embedded

Here are some things the media doesn’t report about Gaza. It ain’t all misery and Israeli-induced dispair.

According to exit polling on election day 2008, 78% of Jewish voters went for the US presidential candidate with a background that suggested he would empathize with the Muslim point of view (and I’m putting that so mildly that it borders on beyond sarcasm). I’m not Jewish, so if three-quarters of American Jewish folks don’t mind, maybe I shouldn’t be as concerned as I am. We’ll see what the numbers look like after the 2012 election.

**Written by guest-blogger Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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