Israel's supposedly "moderate" peace partner, Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, insisted last week that rival faction Hamas is not a terrorist organization.
Speaking to Russia's RT news network, Abbas said Europe was wrong to debate whether or not Hamas is a terrorist movement, and must not label it as such.
Ignoring ongoing attacks and preparations for attacks, and sidestepping last November's Gaza war, Abbas was adamant that Hamas leaders "no longer support armed resistance."
Abbas said proclamations to the contrary by Hamas leaders should be paid no attention.
Of course, Abbas thinks his own Fatah movement is no longer engaged in violence against Israel, or at least that's what he keeps telling the international community. Israeli security officials who thwart dozens of would-be attacks every week would argue otherwise.
The reason for this deception is that so long as Palestinian groups are engaged in violence against Israel, then the Jewish state has every reason to reject making compromises with its security.
Israelis argue that it doesn't matter how moderate Abbas himself might be, if he cannot effectively control his people then he's not a viable peace partner. Unfortunately, Western leaders are so anxious to oversee a peace agreement that they are willing to turn a blind eye to actual violence so long as Abbas and Hamas are saying the right words.
It also seems to matter little to the international community that even if Hamas halts its terrorist ways for a while, the group's ultimate goal remains the destruction of the Jewish state. And Hamas has no trouble saying so as plainly as possible.
The Hamas Charter to this day contains the following clause (Article 7): "The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight Jews and kill them."
Is it any wonder why Israel feels it cannot make peace with these people?