Sunday, April 20, 2008

Newshour: Mark Perry squares off with Robert Satloff on engaging Hamas ...

MARGARET WARNER: Mark Perry, should Jimmy Carter have met with Khaled Mashal and, if so, to what end?

MARK PERRY, Conflicts Forum: Absolutely he should have met with him, and here’s why. There are three very good reasons.

First, Hamas won an election in January 2006 in the Palestinian Authority, and it wasn’t even close, and it was the most transparent, open and fair elections in Arab world history.

Second, they retain prestige among the Palestinian people. All polls show that they retain their strength.

And, third, most recently, their leaders have been showing real moderation. They want an opening to the United States. This is their opportunity, and Jimmy Carter is capitalizing on that. We should be talking to Hamas.

MARGARET WARNER: So what’s the harm?

ROBERT SATLOFF, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy: This is a grave mistake. Jimmy Carter may be a fairly marginal political actor in the United States, but abroad he’s viewed as an ex-president and a Nobel Peace Prize-winner. He lends the credibility of his office to meeting with a terrorist organization.... (more here)

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