Correct on both counts but troubling in what it implies. Does he mean to say the two categories are mutually exclusive?
“That’s why I have a fundamental difference with President Carter and disagree with his decision to meet with Hamas,” Obama said. “We must not negotiate with a terrorist group intent on Israel’s destruction. We should only sit down with Hamas if they renounce terrorism, recognize Israel’s right to exist and abide by past agreements.”
“Hamas is not a state. Hamas is a terrorist organization,” he said.
This is the same incoherent litmus test he mentioned a few days ago, transparently designed to let him to talk to Iran — a sovereign state, after all, but otherwise guilty of the same sins he lists vis-a-vis Hamas — while ignoring Hamas lest it put him on the wrong side of pro-Israel voters. Let’s pretend to take him seriously. What if Hamas declared a jihadist state tomorrow in Gaza? What magical power would derive in his view from the mantle of statehood that would suddenly render them non-terrorist? A Palestinian poll of Gazans two months ago showed Fatah only seven points ahead of Hamas in terms of public support; a poll of wider Arab public opinion released today shows 56% sympathize with Hamas to an equal or greater degree than they do with Fatah. If it’s simply a question of popular legitimacy, then just give Hamas time; they’ll lock up a solid 51% eventually. If it’s more than that, if “statehood” isn’t fully achieved until either the U.S. or UN formally recognizes the entity, then the question is merely pushed back a step: What are his criteria for diplomatic recognition? If they’re the same as in the blockquote then why would he bother recognizing Iran? The Quds Force is already recognized as a terrorist organization by the State Department and the entire Revolutionary Guard may yet suffer the same fate. Is he going to delist them? Square this circle, Barry.