Has Obama Gone Soft on Hamas?

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


Before Obama’s trip to Israel, he met with two organizations that support Hamas. And one of those organizations provided him with pro-Hamas proposals.

During his trip, his language suggested that his administration was softening its line on Hamas, calling on it not to engage in violence, rather than condemning it.

Elder points out the difference between the way that Obama talked about Hamas and Hezbollah. When referring to Hamas, Obama said;

“That’s why we have made it clear, time and again, that Israel cannot accept rocket attacks from Gaza, and have stood up for Israel’s right to defend itself. And that’s why Israel has a right to expect Hamas to renounce violence and recognize Israel’s right to exist.”

Obama Inc. actually pressured Israel into calling off a ground assault, but let’s skip over the fact check. While Obama does say that Israel has the right to defend itself, he does not condemn Hamas.

Instead he makes a ‘peace process’ like statement that Israel has the right to expect Hamas to renounce violence. (This is not quite the same thing as Obama saying that he demands that Hamas do this.) The statement is meaningless except as a prelude to negotiations. Rather than rejecting Hamas’ existence, Obama is proposing terms on which Israel should negotiate with Hamas.

On the other hand when it comes to Hezbollah, Obama offered a strong condemnation;

I think about five Israelis who boarded a bus in Bulgaria, who were blown up because of where they came from; who were robbed of the ability to live, and love, and raise families. That’s why every country that values justice should call Hezbollah what it truly is – a terrorist organization. Because the world cannot tolerate an organization that murders innocent civilians, stockpiles rockets to shoot at cities, and supports the massacre of men, women and children in Syria.

Apparently the world can tolerate Hamas… but not Hezbollah.

What’s the difference? Focus on the last 10 words. Hamas is part of the Sunni coalition and linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. It’s on the “right side” of the Syrian Civil War. Hezbollah is part of the Shiite coalition. It’s on the “wrong side” of the Syrian Civil War.

And this isn’t a one off. Here is how Obama discussed Hamas in his Ramallah press conference with Abbas.

I would point out that all this stands in stark contrast to the misery and repression that so many Palestinians continue to confront in Gaza — because Hamas refuses to renounce violence; because Hamas cares more about enforcing its own rigid dogmas than allowing Palestinians to live freely; and because too often it focuses on tearing Israel down rather than building Palestine up.  We saw the continuing threat from Gaza again overnight, with the rockets that targeted Sderot.  We condemn this violation of the important cease-fire that protects both Israelis and Palestinians — a violation that Hamas has a responsibility to prevent.

This is being described as a condemnation, but really it’s Obama treating Hamas like a legitimate government that he expects to behave according to American standards.

It’s long way from treating Hamas like a terrorist group. This actually represents the growing legitimization of Hamas.

  • Ar'nun

    Did you see Bibi tuck his manhood between his legs and appologize to Erdogan for the Flottilla incident? What the heck is going on over there? What did Obama threaten him with?

  • deborah lurya

    I think Obama raises a valid point. Hamas should be recognized as a legitimate power, a government of a terror state, Gaza. Gaza is for military intents and purposes a state- it has a government, borders, land mass, funding and backing of international community, If Israel would finally recognize that we are at war, with a real militia, the army of a Iranian backed state, perhaps we could then in our own minds justify doing the logical thing a nation does when attacked by a enemy state: declare war and destroy the enemy completely. Hamas is not just a terror group- it is a government that runs a militarized state, whose primary objective is to destabilize and destroy israel. The war of attrition that is being fought is done so to destroy Israel's will to resist. Calling Hamas a terror group is a strategic mistake.

  • Gary

    Obama's words are only empty words. There are no actions when it comes to dealing with hamas, hezbollah, and abbas. Obama pacifies these terrorists. They don't want peace. They want Israel destroyed. Obama does not understand that which does not surprise me.
    I can understand that Obama is a muslim but does he really support terrorism? He can't have it both ways. Or maybe he thinks he can. He should be impeached for fooling the American voters.

  • marios

    Obama is treacherous as devoted Muslim has to be. He understand what he is doing. He play game with gullible people and he is master in it. All what he does or did is …on the one hand and on another hand… For domestically reason he use drones to kill some Islamist including Bin Laden to use it for election. He knows that Islam like a hydra with many heads. Instead one cut off head immediately rise another one (or two…). it is game. He provided with the most modern weapon our enemies Saudi Arabia and Muslim Brother Hood. Whom they will fight with using that arms? With Israel and with US as their the most hateful enemies and obstacles to set up World wide Caliphate. With help his slaves corrupted, biased MSM he say one thing today, absolutely contrary tomorrow. It is fatal dangerous for country game where not only we common people just pawns but Republican establishment in Congress are in the same role.

  • JacksonPearson

    Obama has to realize, that when Islamists or his own brothers give him a thumbs down, that things are going sour.

  • Mary Sue

    what, are you kidding? Obama has ALWAYS been soft on Hamas.