Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations Riyad Mansour would not renounce Hamas Sunday on NBC's Meet the Press, despite numerous attempts from host Chuck Todd to get him to do so.
"Listen, people should appreciate what we're doing," Mansour said. "We are refusing to seek violent ways to try to resolve this conflict. We are seeking peaceful ways."
While at the same time not recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, Mansour pushed for a two-state solution.
"We are seeking peaceful, legal methods to seek accountability, to address these issues, and to fight for the right for the causes of the Palestinian people," Mansour insisted. He added, "Whether through the security council, which we have been blocked often, or through legitimate International Criminal Court or the International Court of Justice."
Mansour believes that Palestine is being "punished" for seeking a resolution and feels the message received is "go and fight." But, he assures, "We don't want to fight."
"We don't want to be like other states around us," Mansour charged.
Todd interjected, "If you don't want to do that, then are you going to renounce your partnership with Hamas?" Here is the rest of the conversation:
Mansour: Well, this is another issue and I am glad you posed the question. When we were divided, it is not true, it was not the policy of the Prime Minister Netanyahu. I heard with my own ears the ambassador of Israel in the United Nations, whom was speaking on behalf of Prime Minister Netanyahu, saying in the security council debates, 'How can we negotiate with Mahmoud Abbas when he doesn't represent all the Palestinians?'
Todd: But will you renounce Hamas?
Mansour: So when we were divided, they didn't want to negotiate with us. When we are united, they don't want to negotiate with us. And by the way, it was Prime Minister Netanyahu who negotiated with Hamas a cease-fire during the second war with Gaza, and it was him who negotiated with Hamas the release of prisoners.
Todd: So, the answer is no?
Mansour: Why is it legitimate for him to negotiate with Hamas and it is not legitimate for us to put our house in order?
Todd: All right, I will leave it there. You… have answered my question, then, on Hamas.