I would love to know what this is all about......http://www.larouchepac.com/news/2009/01/25/top-state-department-veterans-say-talk-hamas.htmlTop State Department Veterans Say: Talk to Hamas
January 24, 2009 (LPAC)-- Two top former State Department officials, ex-Secretary of State James Baker III and ex-Middle East chief Richard Murphy, have both come out in interviews in recent days, saying that the United States and Israel must directly talk and negotiate with Hamas, if there is to be any successful resolution of the Israel-Palestine crisis
. In an interview which will appear Jan. 26 in Newsweek magazine, Baker said, flat out, ``You have to get Hamas involved, because you cannot negotiate peace with only half the Palestinian policy at the table.'
' Baker proposed that Hamas designate negotiators to deal with the U.S. and Israel, who were not formally members of Hamas, but who were known to take orders from the group's leaders. Baker explained that this was how he and the Israelis got around the ban on talking to the PLO, at the time of the Madrid peace conference in 1992. Richard Murphy was much more explicit, asserting that it is ``inevitable'' that the U.S. and Israel will talk to Hamas.
In a Jan. 21 interview with Bernard Gwertzman, for the Council on Foreign Relations' website, Murphy declared, ``I don't think it will happen quickly, but I think it is inevitable. Hamas is, in my opinion, a legitimate representative of part of the Palestinian community.''
These two interviews came right after noted Jewish-American activist Henry Siegman, an early Obama backer, penned a piece in the Jan. 29 issue of the London Review of Books, tearing into the lies about the recent Israeli Gaza invasion, and putting the blame 100 percent on Israel for breaking the ceasefire.
-Some Signs of Progress on Gaza Truce-
According to the Arab daily newspaper Asharq Al Awsat today, Hamas has indicated a willingness to allow Gaza-based members of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah, to be part of the security forces at the crossings between Gaza and Israel. The news of the Hamas position came out of Cairo, where ongoing talks between Fatah and Hamas are being brokered by Egypt's security chief, Omar Suleiman, and where talks are also under way between Hamas and Israel, over the extension of the truce. The Cairo talks are aimed at producing a working paper, and at reaching a long-term truce (``hudna''). According to the Jerusalem Post, the talks include negotiations for the release of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, who is being held by Hamas. In addition, Hamas negotiators in Cairo are pushing for Turkish observers to be included in a European observer force, that would also monitor the ceasefire implementation. In a related development, reported on Saturday in Ha'aretz, French President Nicolas Sarkozy ordered a frigate into the coastal waters off Gaza, to combat weapons trafficking into the Gaza Strip; he further announced plans to dispatch a helicopter carrier into the area, as part of the efforts, along with Egypt and Israel, to shut off the arms flow. This, while being couched in humanitarian and peacekeeping language, could, in fact, create the kind of confrontation with Iran, which is accused of being the main supplier of arms and rockets to Hamas in Gaza, that London would just love to provoke.