June 1, 2008


Ex-U.S Diplomats With Anti-Israel Group Meet Hamas In Gaza

Retired U.S. diplomats who are member of a vehemently anti-Israel lobbying group on Washington, D.C. met with Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniya in the Gaza Strip today.

The anti-Israel lobby, Council for the National Interest (CNI), included Richard Viets, a retired former number two U.S. diplomat in Israel in its contingent. Viets was also U.S. ambassador to Jordan in the early 1980s.

The ‘meeting’ is nothing more than a public relations stint by Hamas’ Haniyah, a man who once called a Hamas suicide attack that killed 9 civilians in Tel Aviv “an act of self-defense.”

Did the INC tell Hamas to free Israel’s Gilad Shalit, the kidnapped Israel soldier who was taken by Hamas while on guard duty inside Israel? Did it denounce Hamas’ terror, weapons, and financial ties to Iran?

Don’t bet on it. Viets was quoted as saying that the anti-Israel group went to Gaza to “educat[e] ourselves better about the situation here in order to return home and to explain to our countrymen the reaction and the views of what we heard.” In other words, to act as P.R. spokesmen for a group which has remained on the U.S. State Department’s list of designated terrorist groups for years.

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