House Foreign Affairs Head Dismisses Hamas's New Charter as 'Rebranding Effort'

'Until Hamas recognizes Israel’s right to exist, its words are meaningless,' Rep. Ed Royce says after group accepts possibility of Palestinian state in 1967 borders

Amir Tibon
Amir Tibon
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Representative Ed Royce, a Republican from California, speaks during a news conference following a House Republican Conference meeting at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016.
Representative Ed Royce, a Republican from California, Sept. 21, 2016.Credit: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
Amir Tibon
Amir Tibon

A senior Republican congressman expressed strong skepticism on Monday towards Hamas' presentation of a new platform for the Islamist movement, which some analysts perceived as more moderate than its original charter. Rep. Ed Royce of California, the head of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the House of Representatives, said that the new platform represented a "rebranding effort" by Hamas, and not a genuine change.

"Until Hamas recognizes Israel’s right to exist, its words are meaningless," Royce stated. "I will see to it that Hamas remains designated a terrorist organization as long as it continues to launch rocket attacks against Israeli civilians, remains an Iranian proxy, and engages in other acts that threaten the U.S. and Israel.”

Royce is the most senior figure in the United States who has responded, as of Monday night, to the new Hamas platform, which was unveiled in Doha earlier in the day. Among other provisions, the new platform accepts the possibility of a Palestinian state along the 1967 "Green Line" border, considered by some a moderation of the Gaza group's position.

Royce's position echoes that of the Israeli leadership, which also downplayed the new platform and called it a continuation of Hamas' long-held positions and objectives. Israel, which responded to the charter even before Hamas' press conference, called the Hamas charter a "smoke screen."

"The day Hamas stops digging tunnels and diverts its resources to civilian infrastructure and stop educating children to hate Israelis, that would be real change," a statement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


The Orion nebula, photographed in 2009 by the Spitzer Telescope.

What if the Big Bang Never Actually Happened?

Relatives mourn during the funeral of four teenage Palestinians from the Nijm family killed by an errant rocket in Jabalya in the northern Gaza Strip, August 7.

Why Palestinian Islamic Jihad Rockets Kill So Many Palestinians

בן גוריון

'Strangers in My House': Letters Expelled Palestinian Sent Ben-Gurion in 1948, Revealed


AIPAC vs. American Jews: The Toxic Victories of the 'pro-Israel' Lobby

Bosnian Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic speaks during a press conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia in May.

‘This Is Crazy’: Israeli Embassy Memo Stirs Political Storm in the Balkans

Hamas militants take part in a military parade in Gaza.

Israel Rewards Hamas for Its Restraint During Gaza Op