The title comes from the original WND piece, but in fact this is not a “shocker” at all. It is just another unsurprising and dispiriting bit of dhimmitude — and confirmation of Bat Ye’or’s Eurabia thesis. From WND, :
A top European Union official held a secret meeting in Gaza with the leaders of Hamas, in spite of EU denials to the contrary, in which he praised the terror organization’s work, blamed terrorism on “Israeli occupation,” referred to Hamas militants as “freedom fighters” and failed to contradict claims Israel was responsible for the September 11 attacks, according to transcripts of the conversation obtained by WorldNetDaily.
There were some leaked reports of the 2002 meeting, but the transcripts for the first time expose what was discussed with Hamas and may shed light on various aspects of EU Mideast diplomacy.
The transcripts, seized from the Palestinian Authority Preventive Security compound in Gaza during Israel’s 2002 Defensive Shield operation and released through Israel’s Center for Special Studies, document a discreet meeting between Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, who was assassinated by Israel in March 2004, and Alistair Crooke, the security adviser for Miguel Moratinos, then EU special envoy for promoting the peace process in the Middle East.
The meeting conflicts with a November 2004 statement issued by a spokeswoman on behalf of EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana denying Solana or his staff ever met or held “direct contacts” with Hamas or other groups featured on the EU list of banned terrorist organizations.…
According to the confidential transcripts, Crooke explained to Hamas leaders he requested the meeting, in part, because he was worried a speech to be delivered by U.S. President George W. Bush regarding American policy toward the Middle East might reflect negatively on the EU.
“We are currently in an extremely grave situation,” said Crooke, according to the documents. “Europe doesn’t know what President Bush is going to say in his speech to the Middle East. So far there are about 27 drafts of that speech, and there are disagreements in the American administration over that issue.”
Crooke urged Hamas to keep the meeting private so that, the envoy explained, Israel and the U.S. could not take advantage of the conversation, according to the transcripts.
Crooke immediately voiced his appreciation of the terror group’s welfare programs, which include schools and health care centers, and praised Hamas as an “important political factor.”
He told Yassin and the other top Hamas leaders present: “The main problem is the Israeli occupation,” explaining he understood it was impossible for Hamas to lower the level of violence unless Israel and the Palestinians were engaged in a political process….
Yassin responded he was satisfied with Crooke’s “understanding” that the source of violence in the Middle East is Israel’s “occupation,” which Yassin said refers to the entire state of Israel, founded in 1948, not just the West Bank, which Israel obtained following the 1967 Six Day War….
Yassin told Crooke he was dissatisfied with an EU decision to place Hamas on an official list of terror organizations, suggesting the Europeans should support Hamas “the way you supported the [Muslim] fighters in Afghanistan.”
Crooke replied Europe sympathized with the Palestinian people, adding, “I explained to Solana and [British Prime Minister Tony] Blair that the status of Europe in the eyes of the Palestinians has started to decline. … We do not consider Hamas’ political wing to be a terrorist organization.”
Crooke talked about different definitions of terrorism: “As for terrorism, I hate that word. I’ve spent some time in my life with freedom fighters like in Colombia.”…
At the 2002 meeting, Yassin informed Crooke of his goal to replace Israel with a “true state” encompassing the entire territory of “Palestine,” based on Arab and Islamic tradition and distanced from the corruption that Yassin said originates in Israel and the West.
Without addressing Yassin’s comments, Crooke continued by stating the EU objected to Israeli settlement activity.
“There must be a total halt of the settlement [activity],” said Crooke.
Yassin then blamed Israel for the September 11 terror attacks.
“Time will tell that Israel knew [in advance] what happened in America, and that it was global Zionism that paralyzed the American security so that war could be declared on the Islamic world and [on] Hamas. Approximately 100-120 American Zionist agents [knew about it] and did not report it. I do not rule out the possibility that they attempted to induce Hamas [operatives] and other Islamic operatives [to do it].”…
Observers attribute the EU’s traditional pro-Palestinian stance to its close economic ties to Arab countries and growing Muslim populations throughout Europe.
The EU previously adamantly denied meeting with Hamas, although in one interview, given to the BBC, Solana mentioned he had “had direct contact with Hamas, but not in the last few days.”…
“Of course the EU is biased against Israel. This is nothing new,” said a deputy from Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s office who was aware of the transcripts. “But to read [the Crooke] conversations is still shocking. The level of immorality displayed by it is very telling of the EU approach to the Middle East.”