walter russell mead peter berger lilia shevtsova adam garfinkle andrew a. michta
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Hamas Rising

Hamas is on the move–and in more ways than one. Having uprooted its longtime Damascus headquarters for safer shores, the group’s leader just paid a landmark visit to Jordan’s King Abdullah, as the Financial Times reports (subscription required):

The long-awaited meeting between Khaled Meshal and King Abdullah marked the first official visit to Amman by a senior Hamas leader since Jordan expelled Mr Meshal and the political bureau from the capital in 1999.

…Analysts said the visit to Amman was evidence of the new status accorded to Hamas, but also of Jordan’s desire to strengthen ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, the pan-Arab Islamist movement closely allied with Hamas.

Like the Muslim Brotherhood itself–now an engagement project of the Obama administration–Hamas is becoming more respectable every day in the Arab world, with kings and princes seeking its favor from Amman to Istanbul. While it is too early to tell whether this mainstreaming will shift the group’s approach on Arab-Israeli peace, it is becoming increasingly clear that when it comes to the new Arab world, Fatah is on the outside looking in.

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  • http://westernhero.blogspot.com silverfiddle

    It’s a brave new world. We will see in the coming decade if bringing these groups into the mainstream will moderate them or embolden them…

  • Cunctator

    And world leaders and celebrities frequently paid visits to Berchtesgarden to chat with Hitler. In politics, you cannot very accurately judge someone by the company they keep. The Hamas leader might consort with kings and prime ministers, but he is still the head of a terrorist organisation.

  • kris

    “Jordan expelled Mr Meshal and the political bureau from the capital in 1999″

    Only after saving Mashal’s life. Thank you King Hussein (and Bill Clinton).

    By the way, it is reported that Mashal will be appointed to one of the highest positions of the international Muslim Brotherhood.

  • http://theladiesmap.com Pedro Marquez

    Hamas rising? They’ve been forced to leave Syria and thus lose Iranian sponsorship. Meanwhile, both Turkey and Jordan have refused Hamas requests to host their headquarters.

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