President Barack Obama listens during a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House March 11. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
JERUSALEM – The chief of Hamas in the Gaza Strip has some political advice for President Obama: get your house in order before mediating talks between Israel and the Palestinians.
“He is unable to do anything in the region (Middle East) before he restores his dignity and the trust of his own people,” Mahmoud al-Zahar, Hamas chief in Gaza, told WND in an interview yesterday.
Zahar noticed Obama’s slipping domestic poll numbers and also claimed the people of the Middle East have lost confidence in the man who once inspired hope in the likes of Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.
Zahar also advised Obama to “restore his balance concerning the nature of this conflict between the Israeli government and the administration. Obama’s problem is not in his attitude but in his ability to actually get anything done in the region.”
The Hamas chieftain’s rhetoric is in marked contrast to statements from his Islamist group during the 2008 presidential campaign.
At that time, Hamas’ chief political adviser in Gaza, Ahmed Yousef, stated in a joint interview with WND and the “John Batchelor Show” of New York’s WABC Radio that he “hoped” Obama would win the presidential election.
“We like Mr. Obama, and we hope that he will win the elections,” stated Yousef.
“I hope Mr. Obama and the Democrats will change the political discourse. … I do believe [Obama] is like John Kennedy, a great man with a great principle. And he has a vision to change America to make it in a position to lead the world community, but not with humiliation and arrogance,” Yousef said.
Yousef’s regard toward Obama became a talking point of the 2008 campaign, with both Obama and Republican challenger Sen. John McCain trading repeated barbs over the Hamas statements.
Hamas is responsible for scores of suicide bombs, shootings and rocket attacks against Israeli civilians. The group’s charter calls for the murder of Jews and destruction of Israel.