Former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel, who ran for president as a Democrat in 2008, then sought the Libertarian Party's nomination, welcomed Russia as an honest broker for prospective Mideast peace talks. During a broadcast interview, Gravel said on Russia's Press TV:
"Press TV: Russia as we just mentioned, says it wants Hamas to play a role in these Middle East peace efforts, do you agree with that?
Mike Gravel: That's so important and I really want to applaud President Medvedev for what he is doing; because, this is the first semblance of somebody acting as an honest broker, which, of course, the United States is not able to do because of the Jewish influence within the country.
The States declared Hamas a terrorist group, the same thing with Hezbollah. These are not terrorist groups. They fight for their rights which is what they are entitled to, but clearly with respect to Hamas, which has been sabotaged by the Israeli government and the American government for that fact.
Now, I just think it is very significant that Russia is stepping forward in trying to involve Hamas into the only thing that will bring about a possible peace. You cannot exclude Hamas and any designation of Hamas as a terrorist organization, should be removed and not honored in the global community.
Press TV: The parties will counter a settlement without Hamas, if so, can any settlement actually be implemented without Hamas' involvement?
Mike Gravel: No, it can't. Hamas is more popular within the Palestinian community than Fatah and so it just can't and this of course is part of the Israeli tactic, to go ahead and get Hamas isolated, knowing that there will never be any peace unless you include Hamas.
Keep in mind, Hamas, was a dually elected party and it has the support of the Palestinian people. To say that whoever the Palestinians choose, that can't be negotiated with because you don't agree with them; well, that is certainly no scenario to bring about peace and that's an easy scenario, that the United States and Israel have been playing out, for 5 decades or so.
Press TV: Let's talk about these peace talks. The Palestinian party, as you well know, has started indirect talks with Israel. Where do you see those talks headed?
Mike Gravel: I don't see them headed any place constructive, until you bring Hamas to the table. The indirect peace talks… why can't they talk directly? Why does it have to be indirect?
These charades that people play, to make it look like they're seriously, trying to bring about something, well it's not a serious undertaking, and the Russian move at this point, with President Medvedev, is a serious move forward, that could realize peace, but of course the Netanyahu government is not on their agenda."
Gravel has previously advocated for national referendum elections in the U.S. Most 2008 LP delegates did not welcome Gravel's direct democracy solution to social and political problems.
Gravel has also been a critic of the growth of the U.S. military.
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