To the Editor:
Re "Gilad Shalit's Release" (editorial, Oct. 19):
Your position that Israel was ready to deal with Hamas, so why not with Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, is shameless. You know very well that Israel's view of Hamas has not changed; it will not truly deal with the terrorist organization until it accepts Israel and rejects terror. Nothing that happened during Israel's admirable determination to free its soldier, even to the point of releasing hundreds of murderers of Israeli civilians, says anything at all about Israel's attitude toward Hamas.
Indeed, Hamas's celebrating the freedom of some of the most vicious killers on earth reinforces Israel's view of what Hamas is about.
At the same time, it is Israel that has wanted to negotiate with the Palestinian Authority for months but has been turned down by Mr. Abbas, who preferred to circumvent talks by going to the United Nations.
It is particularly galling that you would direct your criticism at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu now when he has agreed to the Quartet's plan for restarting negotiations while the Palestinians have not.
Shame on you for exploiting and distorting Israel's moment when it stood together to protect one vulnerable young man while the other side hailed murder and bloodshed.
Deputy National Director