Thursday, April 10, 2008

Carter plans meeting with Mashaal

From Ynet News, 10/4/08, by Yitzhak Benhorin:

According to reports Carter to visit Syria in April, possibly meet with exiled Hamas leader. Head of Jewish group objects, claiming Carter's meeting with terrorist organization head unacceptable

Jimmy Carter
Photo: AFP

WASHINGTON – US network Fox reported Wednesday that former US president Jimmy Carter was preparing for an unprecedented meeting with Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal.
The Arabic-language newspaper Al-Hayat reported Tuesday that Carter was planning a trip to Syria for mid-April, during which he would meet with Mashaal, the exiled head of the Islamist group, on April 18....

.... Deanna Congileo, Carter’s press secretary, confirmed in an e-mail to FOX network that Carter will be in the Mideast in April. Pressed for comment, Congileo did not deny that the former president is considering visiting Mashaal.

The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) responded to the reports by calling upon presidential candidates John McCain, Barack Obama, and Hilary Clinton to object to Carter's plan to meet with Mashaal, claiming that as head of a terrorist organization it would be illegal for an American official to meet with him.

In a press statement, Executive Director of the RJC Matthew Brooks slammed the reported meeting, saying that it was unacceptable for a former American president to glorify a terrorist organization by meeting with its leader.

He said that Hamas denies Israel's right to exist, and is involved with the kidnapping of its soldiers, in addition to which it led celebrations in the streets of Gaza following the 9/11 attacks. He added that Mashaal has praised the Iranian president for his 'bravery' in denying the Holocaust.

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