Charles W. Freeman Jr. In His Own Words
Posted: March 25, 2009
Charles Freeman has referred to the terrorist group Hamas as a "legitimate movement for Palestinian independence" that has shown "principled and disciplined restraint." He has said that Hamas has the legitimacy of an election victory. He has said that the United States "should have been talking to Hamas, regardless of what we think of its ideological stance or its charter."
In His Own Words:
"We should have been talking to Hamas, regardless of what we think of its ideological stance or its charter. And it's very notable that the administration came in and, in the confirmation hearings for the secretary of state-designate, she spoke eloquently of the need for there to be dialogue with people we disagree with, like Iran, but ruled Hamas out as an appropriate subject of such a dialogue, saying that for her, Hamas had to meet certain preconditions, which are well known. And that this for her was an absolute. If it is an absolute, then I think the prospect for effective American diplomacy on the issues we've been discussing about is greatly diminished, because even before the bombing boosted solidarity behind Hamas among Palestinians, which seems to be its primary effect to date, Hamas had the legitimacy of an election victory behind it, and therefore, the ability to negotiate on behalf of Palestinians, which Abu Mazen, clearly, has not had." -- January 16, 2009, Washington, D.C.
"Many see Hamas as a pure villain. It has been branded by Israel, the United States, and some others as a terrorist organization rather than a legitimate movement fort Palestinian independence or resistance against occupation. It is widely seen as extremist, and yet on many instances it has shown principled and disciplined restraint." -- April 11, 2008, Washington, D.C.