On August 22, 2020, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan hosted in Istanbul a senior Hamas delegation that included the head of the organization's political bureau, Ismail Haniyah; his deputy Saleh Al-'Arouri; the head of Hamas's Diaspora Office, Maher Salah; political bureau member 'Izzat Al-Rishq, and Hamas's representative in Turkey, Jihad Yaghmour. In response, the U.S. State Department issued a statement condemning Erdoğan and Turkey for hosting Haniyah – the head of an organization that the U.S. and the E.U. have designated as terrorist – and warning that this step "serves to isolate Turkey from the international community." Following the condemnation, Egyptian journalist Suleiman Gouda wrote in a September 6, 2020 article in the Egyptian daily Al-Masri Al-Yawm that the U.S. employs a double standard in its foreign policy: on the one hand it justifiably condemns Turkey for hosting the Hamas delegation, but on the other hand it ignores the fact that this selfsame Hamas delegation, headed by Haniyah, arrived in Turkey from Qatar, where its members have been residing for many months. According to Gouda, given this double standard it is no wonder that U.S. foreign policy has lost its credibility.
Suleiman Gouda (Source: adarpress.net)
The following are translated excerpts from Gouda's article:
"Reading a statement by the U.S. State Department, I wondered whether the U.S. expects us to believe its contents, or [actually] realizes in its heart of hearts that the double standard [evident] in this statement will lead us to disbelieve it, and therefore to disbelieve [official U.S. statements about] other matters as well!? U.S. State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said that… the reception held by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Ankara [sic] for Ismail Haniyah, head of Hamas's political bureau, and for the delegation that accompanied him, will be one of the reasons for the isolation of Turkey in the international arena. What caught my attention was the expressions used by Spokeswoman Morgan, who said that Hamas is designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S. and the E.U. and that the reception of its leaders in the Turkish capital transforms [Ankara] into a capital that supports terrorism and assists it all the way!
"Turkey does deserve to be isolated internationally, of course, not only because of the reception [it held for Haniyah] but for many other reasons, for instance for allowing ISIS members to pass through its territory en route to Syria and Iraq during the period when this organization transformed areas [within them] into the seat of its so-called caliphate state, or because it sent, and is still sending, militiamen and mercenaries to western Libya.
"But the amazing paradox is that Washington knows full well that Haniyah has been residing for months in the Qatari capital of Doha, yet it pretends that it does not to know he is staying there, or that Doha is hosting leaders of terrorist organizations, and wakes up only when [Haniyah] and senior members of his organization go to visit Ankara and meet with Erdoğan!
"In the eyes of the Trump Administration, Doha is a civilized, cultured and respectable capital, which does not host leaders of terrorist organizations. But if those same leaders go to Turkey, then Ankara becomes an uncivilized, uncultured and unrespectable capital, even though the two capitals host the same terrorists to the same extent. America frequently employs this kind of double standards toward us in this region, and then asks, with childish innocence, 'Why don't you believe me?!'"