Pelosi: Qataris Have Told Me 'Hamas Is a Humanitarian Organization'
(CNSNews.com) - House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) says the United States must look to Qatar, an ally of the terrorist group Hamas, for advice in resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
"And we have to confer with the Qataris, who have told me over and over again that Hamas is a humanitarian organization," she told CNN's "State of the Union" with Candy Crowley.
As CNSNews.com reported last week, Qatar is a strong supporter and funder of Hamas. Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal operates from Qatar, and has so far rejected ceasefire proposals put forward by Egypt and promoted by Secretary of State John Kerry.
The U.S government designated Hamas as a “foreign terrorist organization” in 1997. Its founding charter calls for Jews to be killed and says all Muslims are duty-bound to join a jihad to destroy Israel.
In an interview aired on CBS's "Face the Nation" Sunday, Hamas leader Meshaal said Hamas does not fight the Jews just because they are Jews. "We fight the occupiers," he said. Asked if he wants to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, Meshaal said "No."
"War is a deadly thing," Pelosi said on Sunday, speaking about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
"And I have many Palestinians who live in my district, and I am hearing them regularly about how their families are affected who live in the region. It's a terrible thing. But let me just say that any missile that comes from someplace has a return address. And if Israel is responding to that address, then that's a shame that the Palestinians are ...rumored to be using children and families as shields for their missiles."
Pelosi said the first thing to do is to "avoid conflict" that "Hamas initiated."
"[T]his has to be something where we try to have the two-state solution, that we have to support...(Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud) Abbas and his role as a leader there. We have to support Iron Dome to protect the Israelis from the missiles. We have to support the Palestinians and what they need. And we have to confer with the Qataris, who have told me over and over again that Hamas is a humanitarian organization, maybe they could use their influence to--"
Crowley interrupted her to ask: "The U.S. thinks they're a terrorist organization though, correct? Do you?"
Pelosi responded: "Mmm hmm."
Crowley said: "Yeah."
And Pelosi said: "And we've had that discussion."
'Obama's leadership has been strong'; Putin 'is insecure'
In that same interview with CNN, Pelosi defended President Barack Obama's "strong" leadership, dismissing a suggestion that Russian President Vladimir Putin considers him to be weak.
Compared with Cold War days, "It's a much more complicated situation now, and the president's leadership has been strong," Pelosi told Crowley, pointing to Obama's support for Israel's Iron Dome missile shield; his request for humanitarian assistance for the Palestinian people; and his sanctions on Russia.
"Putin is going to do what Putin is going to do," she said. "Some of what we see comes from insecurity. Putin, for all of his -- is insecure about Russia's role in the world now."
Pelosi noted that the Obama administration was early in saying that the rockets used to shoot down a Malaysian airliner over Ukraine "had a provenance in Russia."
"So nobody is missing in action in all of this."
"And as far as Putin is concerned, he's a KGB guy who happens to be the president of Russia and he's going to do what he's going to do no matter who else is in charge any other place in the world. So, I would not judge his actions or his motivations by anything other than he is rooted in the KGB, insecure about Russia's diminished role in the world."