UPDATE #4: Skynews has just released the complete video of the interview. Jamie Rubin lied, and the Washington Post provided him the megaphone. Please write Fred Hiatt’s at the Washington Post and demand demand a full retraction: firstname.lastname@example.org
UPDATE #3: And, finally, new video definitively shows Sen. McCain's position was not to negotiate with Hamas without preconditions, which is Sen. Obama's approach. The full quote to CNN on the same day in Davos: “Well, hopefully, that Hamas now that they are going to govern, will be motivated to renounce this commitment to the extinction of the state of Israel. Then we can do business again, we can resume aid, we can resume the peace process. It’s very, very important though that they renounce this commitment.” Jamie Rubin should not be invited to appear on respected news shows or write op-eds anymore in 2008, without this lie being raised by the reporter/moderator.
UPDATE #2: Jim Geraghty provides even more context. The Washington Post should be ashamed of itself today...
UPDATE: Ed Morrisey at HotAir walks through all of the context on this story. This is must reading (and watching... the whole video conversation on the subject is here) for anyone interested in all of the facts... sadly, many in what were formerly respected news organizations (Washington Post, I'm talking to you...) are not really interested in the facts.
The Huffington Post (or as I like to call them: Obama 2008 online) is attempting to sell the following tripe: McCain Was For Talking To Hamas Before He Was Against It... (I'd invite you to go to this site and watch Sen. McCain in the video... it's fundamentally clear in the video that he's talking just after Hamas is elected and saying 'now that they've won the election, we're going to have to respect democracy in one way or another', but also holding out hope that Hamas as a governing body will learn compromise and change their ridiculous position on the destruction of Israel).
You may recall that a few months after this statement Hamas continued to fire rockets into Israel, and then started a civil war in Gaza and murdered and ran out the other Palestinian party Fatah... they proved they weren't serious about peace, and so they've removed themselves as an honest player in the process. Of course, former President Carter still sat down with this terrorist organization last month... so much for incentives for good behavior.
Sen. McCain's position on talking with Hamas is similar to his position on talking with Iran. The difference between Sen. McCain and Sen. Obama is that Sen. Obama has promised to sit down with anyone as President of the United States without preconditions.
Sen. McCain will sit down with Iran -- very likely in a regional summit situation with Europe and the other Middle East powers at the table -- after the following conditions are met: They renounce their statements about the destruction of the State of Israel and they halt nuclear enrichment activities.
The McCain campaign just sent out the following response to this misleading story at Obama 2008 Online:
“There should be no confusion, John McCain has always believed that serious engagement would require mandatory conditions and Hamas must change itself fundamentally – renounce violence, abandon its goal of eradicating Israel and accept a two state solution. John McCain’s position is clear and has always been clear, the President of the United States should not unconditionally meet with leaders of Iran, Hamas or Hezbollah. Barack Obama has made his position equally clear, and has pledged to meet unconditionally with Iran’s leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the leaders of other rogue regimes, which shows incredibly dangerous and weak judgment.” ---Tucker Bounds, spokesman John McCain 2008
After The Palestinian Election, John McCain Said In A Statement That "Hamas Is Not A Partner For Peace So Long As They Advocate The Overthrow Of Israel." "In the wake of yesterday's Palestinian elections, Hamas must change itself fundamentally - renounce violence, abandon its goal of eradicating Israel and accept the two-state solution. These elections are evidence that democracy is indeed spreading in the Middle East, but Hamas is not a partner for peace so long as they advocate the overthrow of Israel." (Office Of U.S. Senator John McCain, "Sen. McCain Reacts To Palestinian Election," Press Release, 1/26/06)
From Davos, John McCain Says Hamas Must Renounce Its Commitment To The Extinction Of The State Of Israel. CNN'S BETTY NGUYEN: " All right, let's shift over to the global front. The Bush administration is reviewing all aspects of U.S. aid to the Palestinians now that Hamas has won the elections. And I do have to quote you here. A State Department spokesman did say this: 'To be very clear' – and I'm quoting now – 'we do not provide money to terrorist organizations.' What does this do to the U.S. relationship with the Palestinians?" MCCAIN: "Well, hopefully, that Hamas now that they are going to govern, will be motivated to renounce this commitment to the extinction of the state of Israel. Then we can do business again, we can resume aid, we can resume the peace process." (CNN's "Saturday Morning News," 1/28/06)
· CNN's Suzanne Malveaux: "Straight Talk For Hamas By U.S. Senator John McCain." SEN. JOHN MCCAIN: "Hopefully that Hamas, now that they are going to govern, will be motivated to renounce this commitment to the extinction of the State of Israel. Then we can do business again." CNN'S SUZANNE MALVEAUX: "Straight talk for Hamas by U.S. Senator John McCain." (CNN's "Live Saturday," 1/28/06)