Friday, January 20, 2006

Jimmah Carter says Hamas just some good ole boys

Israel: There is that whole Israel should disappear while killing Jews and being a terrorist organization. But its just growing pains.

Former US president Jimmy Carter expressed optimism Friday over Hamas's participation in next week's Palestinian parliamentary elections. Carter told CNN in an interview that although Hamas were "so-called terrorists," so far "there have been no complaints of corruption against [their] elected officials." He conceded that "there is an element within Hamas who deny Israel's right to exist," but compared the current situation to negotiations with the PLO, which was still outlawed as a terrorist organization during his presidency. He drew an additional comparison with Menachem Begin's rise to Israel's premiership in the seventies. "The Irgun, to which Begin belonged, was also characterized as a terrorist organization," he noted.
and suicide bombing is just letting off a little steam. Update# via Harry's Place, maybe Jimmy is just caught up in the Hamas PR blitz.

Hamas is paying a spin doctor $180,000 (£100,000) to persuade Europeans and Americans that it is not a group of religious fanatics who relish suicide bombings and hate Jews. The organisation, also known as the Islamic Resistance Movement, has hired a media consultant, Nashat Aqtash, to improve its image at home and abroad because it expects to emerge from next week's Palestinian general election as a major political force, and wants recognition and acceptance by the US and EU. "Hamas has an image problem. The Israelis were able to create a very bad image of the Palestinians in general and particularly Muslims and Hamas. My contract is to project the right image," said Mr Aqtash, who also teaches media at Birzeit University in Ramallah. "We don't need the international community to accept Hamas ideology, we need it to accept the facts on the ground. We are not killing people because we love to kill. People view Hamas as loving sending people to die. We don't love death, we like life." Mr Aqtash, who describes himself as opposed to violence and "believing in the Gandhi route", has advised Hamas leaders to change their image by explaining that they do not hate Israelis because they are Jews. And he is attempting to persuade influential foreigners that Hamas is essentially a peaceful organisation that was forced to fight, but is now committed to pressing its cause through politics, not violence. "Hamas does not believe in terrorism or killing civilians. But Ariel Sharon pressed buttons to make people angry. Sometimes we are innocent enough to react in a way that the Israelis use the reaction against us," he said.

Next week Mr Aqtash says he will address the former US president Jimmy Carter and former Swedish prime minister Carl Bildt, and other prominent foreigners monitoring the election. But he admits he and his small team working from an office in Ramallah have their work cut out. Hamas is responsible for scores of suicide bombings, killing and maiming hundreds of civilians (many of them children), although not for yesterday's attack in Tel Aviv.

You already got Jimmah, waste of resources at this point.

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