A senior official in the Obama administration announced Tuesday that the United States is ready to engage the newly unified Fatah-Hamas Palestinian government.
The senior White House official told the Haaretz newspaper that the US is ready to embrace Hamas as part of a legitimate government. The official said the unity government must abide by certain conditions. What exactly those conditions demand remains unclear.
“We want a Palestinian government that upholds those principles. In terms of how they build this government, we are not able to orchestrate that for the Palestinians. We are not going to be able to engineer every member of this government,” said the senior official.
A precedent established by the US congress mandated that the United States would not recognize Hamas until it committed to dropping its continuing de facto jihad against Israel and the West. To date, the United States lists Hamas as a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization.
Hamas continues to be a part of the global Muslim Brotherhood network. Article 2 of its charter explicitly states Hamas is “one of the wings of the Muslim Brotherhood.”
Egypt and Saudi Arabia have recently recognized the Muslim Brotherhood as a serious threat to civil society and democracy. Following violent acts in Egypt and elsewhere, the two Muslim-majority states have both designated the MB as a terrorist group.
Hamas’s founding principles, expressed in its charter, have never been amended since its inception in 1988. Some highlights from the Hamas charter are as follows:
From the preamble: “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.”
From Article 7: “The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.”
From Article 13: “There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.”
In March, Hamas Chairman Khaled Mashaal discussed his organization’s founding principles. He reaffirmed his organization’s sole initiative was to promote two principles; one’s most honorable purpose in life is to die a martyr, and one should actively seek the destruction of Israel.
On Sunday, reports confirmed by senior administration officials suggest President Obama has placed blame for the loss of momentum of the “peace process” primarily on Israeli settlement building in the West Bank.