To the Editor:
Re "A Fatah-Hamas Deal" (editorial, May 9):
The ultimate goal of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians is to end the conflict. The basic conditions imposed on Hamas by the United States and the Quartet to recognize Israel, renounce violence and accept past agreements are essential to achieving an end to the conflict. This is far more so today, now that Hamas is part of the Palestinian government, than it was even a week ago.
In this light, your call on Israel to return to negotiations seems particularly incongruous. In fact, what must happen is either that Hamas abandons its annihilationist ideology and accepts the conditions or President Mahmoud Abbas must reject Hamas's participation in the Palestinian government.
The statement by Khaled Meshal, the Hamas leader, about a two-state solution is an empty gesture; when asked, he refused to say it would end the conflict.
It is clear that negotiations cannot succeed as long as one-half of the new Palestinian partnership remains committed to Israel's demise and to a charter that justifies that objective based on classic anti-Semitic myths of Jewish world dominance and control, compares Jews to Nazis, and blames Jews for all the evils of the world.
Michael A. Salberg
Director, International Affairs