The Washington Times reports this morning that Hamas, a Sunni terrorist group (as designated by the U.S. State Department) which is controlled by Shiite Iran, says they made no deal with private citizen former President Jimmy Carter:
Hamas said yesterday it was prepared to accept a Palestinian state within 1967 borders, but contradicted a statement by former President Jimmy Carter that it would accept Israel’s right to exist if that was the will of the Palestinian people.
State Department officials said the Hamas statement fell far short of what was needed for the militant movement to play a constructive role in the administration’s drive for a Middle East peace deal before President Bush leaves office.
Hamas “said they would accept a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders if approved by Palestinians, and that they would accept the right of Israel to live as a neighbor in peace, provided the agreements negotiated by [Palestinian Authority] President [Mahmoud] Abbas were submitted to the Palestinians,” Mr. Carter said.
However, State Department spokesman Tom Casey said in Washington that it was clear “nothing has changed in terms of Hamas’ basic views about Israel and about peace in the region.”
“They still refuse to acknowledge or recognize any of the basic Quartet principles, including recognizing Israel’s right to exist, renouncing terrorism and acknowledging all the previous agreements that have been made between the Palestinian Authority and Israel itself.
“I think,” he said, “if you look back at the history of the rhetoric from Hamas, you see… language about truces and other kinds of issues.
“But the bottom line is, Hamas still believes in the destruction of the state of Israel. They don’t believe Israel has a right to exist. And it’s pretty hard to see how Hamas becomes any kind of legitimate partner for Israel or for President Abbas, for that matter, as long as its fundamental view is that the person that you would achieve a peace agreement with doesn’t have a right to exist.”
Go home, President Carter, and please stay there; you are not helping.