France acknowledged Monday that it had informal contacts with Hamas, the militant Palestinian group that the United States and the European Union consider a terrorist organization for its campaign of violence against Israel.Kouchner hastily assured everyone that the French were involved only in "contacts," not "relations" or "negotiations" with Hamas, but even that was too much for the Bush administration. We are all supposed to pretend instead that Hamas doesn't exist and that things will get magically better if we ignore them. Even Barack Obama has been forced to buy into this nonsense. The mind boggles.
Washington swiftly condemned the move, but French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said such contacts are needed to gauge the humanitarian and political situation in the Middle East. He said other European countries had quietly done likewise, a contention supported by Hamas.