Why the U.S. Should Start Talking to Hamas

A meeting in Damascus shows why the U.S. must be prepared to deal with all sides

Eyad Baba / AP

Halfway through my interview with Khaled Mashaal, about an hour after Barack Obama's Cairo speech, I realized that the leader of Hamas was calling the Israeli people, and their leaders, Israelis. That seemed new. The usual term of art used by Islamic militants is "Zionists" or worse. A few days later in Iran, for example, I watched Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad say in a debate, "I don't like to call them Israelis. Their leaders are so unclean that they could wash themselves in the cleanest waters and still be dirty."

I asked Mashaal if his language implied that...

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