B2. Mahmud al-Zahar, Hamas Foreign Minister, “No Peace without Hamas,” Washington Post, 17 April 2008 (excerpts)

Mahmud al-Zahar, based in Gaza, is a cofounder of Hamas and served as Palestinian Authority foreign minister in PM Ismail Haniyeh’s government, elected in January 2006, until that government was ousted in June 2007. This essay appeared as an op-ed in the Washington Post during a regional tour by former president Jimmy Carter, who met informally with Hamas leaders in Damascus, Cairo, and Ramallah (see Carter’s trip report in Doc. D4, below). The same day the Washington Post ran Zahar’s piece, its lead editorial criticized Zahar for his “hatred of Israel” and Carter for “embrac[ing] Hamas terrorists,” denouncing Hamas as “a group that advocates terrorism, mass murder or the extinction of another state [Israel].” Both pieces can be found online at www.washingtonpost.com.