Carter May Meet Hamas Leader Mashaal

Jimmy Carter to Meet With Hamas Leader in Syria
Tuesday , April 08, 2008
By Joseph Abrams, Fox News

Former President Jimmy Carter is reportedly preparing an unprecedented meeting with the leader of Hamas, an organization that the U.S. government considers one of the leading terrorist threats in the world.

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 Khaled Meshal, the exiled head of the Palestinian terror group Hamas, on April 18.

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

“President Carter is planning a trip to the Mideast next week; however, we are still confirming details of the trip and will issue a press release by the end of this week,” wrote Congileo. “I cannot confirm any specific meetings at this point in time.”

Meshal, who lives in Syria to avoid being arrested by the Israeli government, leads Hamas from his seat in Damascus, where he is a guest of Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

The State Department has designated Hamas a “foreign terrorist organization,” and some groups hold Meshal personally responsible for ordering the kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack once said of the prospect of meeting with Meshal, “That’s not something that we could possibly conceive of.”

Some Carter critics called the latest reports typical of the ex-president.

“It’s about par for the course from President Carter, demonstrating a lack of judgment typical of what he does,” said John Bolton, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. “To go to Syria to visit Hamas at this point is just an ill-timed, ill-advised decision on his part.”….. Read rest

Ambassador Crocker on Syria's Role in Iraq

Syria plays an ambivalent role. We have seen evidence of efforts to interdict some foreign fighters seeking to transit Syria to Iraq, but others continue to cross the boarder. Syria also harbors individuals who finance and support the Iraqi insurgency.

Naji writes in the comment section:

The best commentary on yesterday’s Senate hearings came, as usual, from the inimitable Maureen Dowd in her column in today’ NYT:


Many words hovered Tuesday in the Senate — including some pointed ones by the woman and two men vying to be commander in chief. But the words seemed trapped in a labyrinth leading nowhere.

The Surge Twins were back, but the daylong testimony of David Petraeus and Ryan Crocker before two committees seemed more depressing this time. As the Bard writes in “Macbeth”: “From that spring whence comfort seemed to come, discomfort swells.”

They arrived on the heels of the Maliki debacle in Basra, which made it stunningly clear — after a cease-fire was brokered in Iran — that we’re spending $3 trillion as our own economy goes off a cliff so that Iran can have a dysfunctional little friend.


You know you’re in trouble when Barbara Boxer is the voice of reason.

“Why is it,” she asked, “after all we have given — 4,024 American lives, gone; more than half-a-trillion dollars spent; all this for the Iraqi people, but it’s the Iranian president who is greeted with kisses and flowers?”

She warmed to: “He got a red-carpet treatment, and we are losing our sons and daughters every single day for the Iraqis to be free. It is irritating is my point.”

Ambassador Crocker dryly assured the senator from California that he believed that Dick Cheney had also gotten kissed on his visit to Iraq.

Comments (210)

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201. Qifa Nabki said:




Idaf, seventeen year-old Rastafarian Lebanese girls don’t wear chadors, they carry these:


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April 12th, 2008, 8:02 pm


202. SimoHurtta said:


I think there’s room for the two approaches to work in concert and for sure different people are better able to influence their target audience in their own way.

No doubt about that Wizard. Of course it is good that the people of a conflicts different sides create personal bindings with each other and establish these “hand holding” operations. That is honourable activity. I am certainly not against it, but my opinion is, that is still marginal activity and has little influence to the masses. Sure I would want to be wrong.

I think this kind of discussion forum as a blog like SC comments section is, is more for “reasonable” opinions around the world than a chatting forum for creating personal “respectful” links between Israelis and Arabs in the way some seem to want. This is simply a wrong kind of media to do that personal “respectful” contact making, if it means that some times sore topics for some can’t be discussed or even not mentioned.

My target in writing these comments is trying to make people think that the problem is not simply Islamic terrorist and non democratic Arab regimes or better said not USA / Israel obeying non democratic Arab regimes. Certainly I know I can’t make AIG and Akbar change their opinion. Shai I managed to convince, now he doesn’t any more like his Nokia phone and Finland.

meanwhile, piss off!… who cares whether I use CAPITAL sometimes difficult LETTERs???? you weirdo….
maybe my left pinkie is tired when i type and so when I go fast I just skip it a lot.
I think you need to calm down.

I made the capital letter remark purely for reading reasons. I find it little difficult to read this kind of “modern” writing style where it are no clear chapters, differences between sentences are difficult to detect. It is difficult to read a less organized stream of consciousness. Well maybe I have a reading handicap.

I must say that these “peace people” have a remarkable short fuse. 🙂 Even Akbar and AIG do not get so easily agitated from my opinions.


Naji I have every now and then had those spam filter problems (though not lately). Then I send Alex an email and Alex “releases” the text.

Always before sending the text to SC’s comments I copy it to the clipboard. So I do not have to see the trouble of writing the comment again if problems occur.

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April 12th, 2008, 9:47 pm


203. Naji said:

A graceful and meaningful response by Simo… That’s why he is everyone’s hero…! 🙂

Now, your turn to be nice, Zeno…! 🙂

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April 12th, 2008, 10:11 pm


204. Zenobia said:

I don’t think that i have been not nice.
I have been plenty diplomatic in my response. But I also refuse to be bullied around by somebody who seems to think that he has the authority to say what this blog comment section is for and what kind of media it is appropriate for, and that he determines what is “reasonable” discussion and what is “chatting”..

Not only is he presumptuous, but he would be wrong.

However, I don’t recall anyone saying there are things that “can’t” be discussed or “even mentioned”. I certainly didn’t say that they couldn’t…if that is what people want.
If people want to write for fifty more posts about whether Israelis are like Nazis – go ahead.
I can always tune out for that, easily. I can also give an extensive opinion on why I find that material to be quite ridiculous “chatter”… and put forward what I think is ‘reasonable’ discussion.

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April 12th, 2008, 10:59 pm


205. norman said:

Simo’s notes are the most direct and to the point he says things as they are no sugar coating , while I and some others try to be diplomatic and to forget the past and look for the future he puts things as they really are ,

I am listening to the book ( the Israeli Lobby ), I feel bad for president Bush , they overwhelmed him with their hate for Syria.

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April 12th, 2008, 11:46 pm


206. Enlightened said:


My wifes secretary sent us a very funny email the other day about a Arab Man photographing six women in Chador, with the Ninja cover over their faces, with an explanation saying the one on the left is my mum, next to her is my wife, then my sister, then my aunt

oh no I made a mistake wAS IT MY WIFE FIRST, then my sister

it went on and on and on, it was funny

The secretary was over our place last night for dinner with her husband and asked if i received the email, I gave her a stone cold look and told her that I would have sacked her if she worked for me, it took her ten seconds to realize I was joking, and she burst out with laughter.

The moral to the story is that AIG should take up the offer!

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April 13th, 2008, 1:52 am


207. annie said:

Josh, why is the comments section closed for the last postings ?
Chou al ahbar ?

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April 13th, 2008, 4:52 am


208. SimoHurtta said:

I don’t think that i have been not nice.
I have been plenty diplomatic in my response. But I also refuse to be bullied around by somebody who seems to think that he has the authority to say what this blog comment section is for and what kind of media it is appropriate for, and that he determines what is “reasonable” discussion and what is “chatting”.

Well let me try again to make my point. When a comment section advances to a stage where there are tens or hundreds of comments like, did you get my mail, I got your mail, now I am going eating etc with no or little additional meaningful arguments, the discussion has became rather irrelevant for outsiders (not members of the inner core). I do not claim that SC’s comments section is in anyway near that “stage”. I am not against personal messages, but I would like people to use their common sense what is the right media for them. Is it relevant to inform all others that comment writer X has send or will send an email to writer Y?

I used to follow the famous blog’s, Iraq the Model, comments when the blog appeared shortly after Saddam’s fall. First there was lively discussion both against and for US policy and achievements in Iraq. Little by little pro Bush red necks turned it to a chatting forum where the main interest is to tell how bad Islamic sand niggers are, give advice like “nuke Mecca” and make an astonishing amount of personal greetings to each other with the same kind of opinion. Who wants to read such nonsense for five years? Also finding the few relevant / interesting comments among hundreds of irrelevant comments became so boring, that I like most of other “not Bush admirers” stopped to read the comments. The pro-Bush people did win, but the blog lost most of its audience.

I personally like to read here comments made from different points of view and which meaningful arguments. I “like” when Lebanese debate with the different Syrian “opinion trends”. I “like” when different Syrians with adverse opinions debate. Especially much I like when Israelis give their advices how to change Arab societies. What I do not like is when an Israeli demands that about Israel’s problems is not allowed to discuss, because it “hurts his feelings” , is “undiplomatic” or anti-Semitic. I see it only as an attempt to trying to control and limit the discussion in order to hide the reality as I see it.

There is a clear difference between expressing one’s view of a certain topic even using a less diplomatic style and to begin a row of meaningless or very poorly fitting personal insults if one doesn’t like the others opinions.

Certainly I have no authority (neither I have done it) to demand what is said here or how the comment section is used. I only would like SC’s comments to be a forum were different well written and relevant “clashing” opinions can be expressed. I certainly would not like to see SC’s comments to develop in diplomatically kosher direction were “friendly” people avoid speaking about the reality as it is.

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April 13th, 2008, 7:46 am


209. wizart said:


I think you made excellent points as usual. As for me I notice my tolerance level has increased and I am not getting “hurt” as easily as I used to in days past. In my view I think women in general require more support and can take insults more personal than guys. I’m impressed by AIG’s ability to withstand what has been thrown at him and he’s still around contributing to more heating discussions.

I used to get more offended. Now I channel my anger in a more positive way. I think you’re one of the most valuable contributors to this blog as I noticed you had a very informative discussion with Ehsane2 about public companies in Syria as far back as 2006. Thanks for your loyalty and I have already encouraged Zenobia (by email) to invite more of her diverse family to join the blog. I encourage you and others who enjoy the blog to invite their friends and relatives to. Welcome everyone to this marvelous age of the internet where even Israeli Arabs can hope to join the discussion when they get a chance to have internet access in their home.

I’m going to buy a new Nokia this year. There’s also a huge market for used Nokia in developing markets so anybody can afford one 🙂

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April 13th, 2008, 8:30 am


210. syr_chi said:

From the Economist:

Let there be justice for all – America and Israel
12 April 2008

Restitution for Arab Jews

America’s Israel lobby scores another questionable victory

ONE of the thorniest questions in an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, if it ever happens, will be what recompense to give the 4.5m Palestinian refugees and their descendants, of whom only a tiny minority, if any, are likely to be allowed to return to what is now Israel. But now a coalition of Jewish organisations has managed to get a no less thorny problem onto the agenda: compensation for Jews who fled the Arab world.

Some 850,000 Jews were living in Arab countries by the early 20th century but began leaving as Arab attitudes to them soured in the wake of Jewish immigration to Palestine and the later creation of Israel. Often they fled after being attacked or stripped of their property and citizenship. Around 700,000 Palestinians fled or were forced out of Israel at the state’s birth. But while most of the Palestinians have remained stateless, living in refugee camps scattered around the Arab world, the Jews all ended up as citizens of Israel and other countries in Europe and the Americas.

Five years of work by Justice for Jews from Arab Countries, a lobby group based in Washington, paid off earlier this month in the form of a resolution passed by America’s House of Representatives, which calls on the government to make a policy of insisting on restitution for Jewish refugees as well as Palestinian ones. Though non-binding, the resolution is a big symbolic step for the campaign.

Its advocates claim that putting Jewish restitution on the table is not only a question of justice, but could help solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by leading to mutual recognition of the plight of each side’s refugees. “Dealing with [both refugee issues] honestly and upfront will increase the odds of a peaceful resolution,” says Jerrold Nadler, a Democrat congressman who was one of the bill’s sponsors.

But he also mentioned another goal: to show how Arab leaders, by keeping the Palestinian refugees in misery while the West accepted Jewish ones, have used the Palestinians as pawns to whip up anti-Israel feeling. Though true, it makes this look like little more than an effort to reduce the cost to Israel of a peace deal. Certainly, Palestinians will see it as a way to cancel out any restitution they might get. And to Jewish critics of the campaign it looks like just an attempt to derail the peace process. “To say that there is a Jewish refugee problem is to negate the success of Israel as the refuge for all Jews who choose to live there,” says M. J. Rosenberg of the Israel Policy Forum, a doveish think-tank in Washington.

Mr Rosenberg is optimistic that the resolution, being non-binding, will “disappear from view”. Restitution for Arab Jews is not a hot topic in Israel, where the press largely ignored the congressional vote, though a group of prominent Israelis has started a campaign to publicise the issue. The government is avoiding it for now, for fear of jeopardising the current fragile talks with the Palestinian leadership. In any case, restitution would have to be resolved not with the Palestinians but with Arab countries where Jews used to live; up to now, Israel has not demanded it from countries such as Egypt and Morocco, with which it has long had diplomatic relations.

But the fact that a resolution of doubtful value even to Israel’s government, let alone American foreign policy, passed with bipartisan support shows once more the power of the pro-Israel lobby in Washington. The lobby’s critics often complain that it represents not Israel but the Israeli right wing. This month a more left-wing Israel lobby group dubbed the “J-Street Project” is due to be launched, based on the premise that unstinting support for Israel’s hardliners that exacerbates its confrontations with the Arab world is not actually in Israel’s best interests. Whether it can dent the power of the existing lobby on America’s Congress remains to be seen.

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April 14th, 2008, 9:45 pm


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