JERUSALEM – U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice twice referred to Hamas as a “resistance movement” during a meeting with reporters from the New York Daily News earlier this month, but the newspaper did not report her remarks, WND has learned.
Rice’s interview is transcribed in full on the State Department website.
Rice’s statements mark the second documented time in recent months she called Hamas a “resistance movement” during unscripted chats with journalists.
Hamas is responsible for scores of suicide bombings, shooting attacks and rocket firings. It’s classified by the State Department as a terror organization. The group’s official charter calls for the murder of Jews and quotes widely from the anti-Semitic creed, the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”
During the interview June 8 with the editorial board of the Daily News, Rice was asked about the recent history of democratic elections in the Middle East resulting in the rise to power of terror groups, such as Hamas.
Rice told the paper it was “very interesting to see Hamas trying to come to terms with no longer being really a resistance movement, but having to deal with politics.”
Rice then referred to Hamas as a resistance movement a second time during then interview.
“A moderate Palestinian friend of mine said, ‘You know, they (Hamas) used to be the great resistance, running the streets with their faces covered and going after Israel. And now, they look like a bunch of politicians who also can’t make the sewer system work.’”
She went on to reference Hamas’ terror cells, calling them the group’s “military wing,” which regularly carries out terror attacks, including shootings and firing of rockets into Jewish population centers.
“And they’re (Hamas) clearly uncomfortable in that framework, which is part of why I think you see the military wing of Hamas trying to make this again about Israel and the Palestinians, not about the contestation of politics inside the Palestinian territories,” Rice said.
Rice’s remarks were not challenged by the Daily News editors. Much of the interview was conducted by Daily News Chairman Mort Zuckerman, who is also a prominent Jewish leader.
Reached for comment, Zuckerman told WND, “The U S government officially refers to Hamas as a terrorist organization, and I can’t imagine that isn’t her policy as well.”
A State Department spokesman could not explain why Rice called Hamas a “resistance movement.” The spokesman confirmed the State Department had not changed its policy of classifying Hamas as a terror organization.
Rice’s Daily News interview was the second recorded time in recent months she called Hamas a “resistance movement.”
WND reported Rice, speaking to reporters in Berlin Jan. 18 about the situation of Palestinians prior to 2000, commented, “You had Hamas, of course, sitting out as a resistance movement, not at all, by the way, involved in the politics at all.”
Rice’s remarks at the time prompted some U.S. Jewish groups to demand an apology to victims of Hamas terror.
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