FROM WND'S JERUSALEM BUREAU
4th time in recent months Condi avoids terrorist label in unscripted remarks
Posted: November 12, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern
By Aaron Klein
© 2007 WorldNetDaily.com
JERUSALEM – U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has again referred to Hamas as a "resistance" movement during a meeting with reporters from the Dallas Morning News, WND has learned.
Rice's remarks, transcribed in full on the State Department website, mark at least the fourth time in recent months America's top diplomat has used that terminology for Hamas during unscripted remarks with reporters.
Meeting with his paper's editorial board Friday, a Dallas reporter asked Rice whether supporting democracy in the Middle East was really in U.S. interests, citing Palestinian elections last year which Hamas dominated.
Rice replied: " ... And what you've at least got now in Palestine and what you've at least got in Iraq now is contestation between healthy political forces and more radical forces.
"Hamas loved it when it could run the streets, faces covered, toting a few guns, and no responsibility for what happened to the Palestinian people. They were the great resistance force, and their only purpose in life was to threaten Israel."
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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."
Rice is currently mediating between Israeli and the Palestinian Authority ahead of a U.S.-sponsored summit later this month at which Israel is widely expected to outline a Palestinian state in most of the West Bank. Hamas officials repeatedly have stated they would take over the West Bank if Israel evacuates the strategic territory.
Rice has at other times referred to Hamas as a "resistance movement."
WND reported that during a June interview with the New York Daily News editorial board, Rice was also 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."
She then referred to Hamas as a resistance movement a second time during the same 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, but instead called them the group's "military wing."
Hamas' so-called military wing regularly carries out terror attacks, including suicide bombings, deadly shootings and the regular firing of rockets into Jewish population centers.
A State Department spokesman could not explain why Rice called Hamas a "resistance movement." The spokesman confirmed the department had not changed its policy of classifying Hamas as a terror organization.
Rice's Daily News interview followed an impromptu news conference she held in Berlin five months earlier in which WND reported Rice also called Hamas a "resistance movement."
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."
At the time, a State Department spokesman claimed Rice "forgot" to use the word terrorist when describing Hamas.
Rice's January remarks at the time prompted some U.S. Jewish groups to demand an apology to victims of Hamas terror.