Israel fears Obama will meet with, legitimize Hamas

Tuesday, November 04, 2008 |  Israel Today Staff

A Tuesday editorial in Israel's largest daily newspaper, Yediot Ahronot, raised concerns that if elected, US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama will open up lines of communication with Hamas and any other anti-Israel terrorist organization.

"One can assume that the ban on American representatives from holding contacts with Hamas leaders will be rescinded" by an Obama White House, read the article.

Obama has repeatedly suggested on the campaign trail that he would not shun direct communications with any people, movements or nations, regardless of their outlook.

Many fear that even if Obama holds talks with groups like Hamas in order to coerce them to change their ways, ultimately all he will do is legitimize them.

By contrast, President George W. Bush outlawed Hamas as a terrorist organization, and even refused to meet with former Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat.

Similarly, Republican presidential candidate John McCain did not meet with any of the current Palestinian leadership during his recent campaign visit to Israel.

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