Despite the fact that the Islamic terrorist group Hamas is "blacklisted as a terrorist organization and is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Israeli civilians."
Paul Volcker, a senior adviser to President Barack Obama, has urged him to break with US policy and open talks with Hamas.
Mr Volcker, a former Federal Reserve chairman who was picked by the president to head his new economic recovery advisory board, signed a letter with nine other Washington veterans and senior ex-officials urging him to open dialogue.
Other signatories of the letter, delivered to the president days before he took office, include Brent Scowcroft, national security adviser to the first George Bush, and Zbigniew Brzezinski, who performed the same role under Jimmy Carter.
The group is expected to be granted an audience at the White House as early as this week to make their case that lines of communication should be opened with the group that is blacklisted as a terrorist organization and is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Israeli civilians...