On why talking to Hamas is a waste of time
On talking to Hamas, Michael Young of the Lebanese "Morning Star" has this to say (Via: Mick)
Once you've disregarded the counter-intuitive view that legitimizing a movement that opposes a settlement will make a settlement more likely, you can address the matter of definition. For many Western states, Hamas is a terrorist organization, which alone should deny it any measure of endorsement....
For one thing, opening a dialogue with Hamas would signal the political end of Fatah and of the PLO as we know it. Once states begin normalizing their relations with the Islamist movement, the nature of the Palestinian Authority will change, and President Mahmoud Abbas' de facto marginalization will virtually be formalized. Hamas' priority in recent years has been to assert its authority over the Palestinian political scene. It seeks a long-term truce with Israel to buy time to impose its writ on the home front. Hamas dreams of a day when it will run the PLO in the place of Fatah, and when it will rule over the Palestinian Authority.
However, negotiating with Hamas would only better allow it to change the subject away from what it wants most to avoid: a settlement with Israel along the post-Oslo lines defined during the 1990s. If deadlock is assured on the Palestinian track in the coming year, then it's best to avoid talking to Hamas, allowing the Palestinians themselves, perhaps in the next elections, to cut the movement down to size first. And if they don't do so, then they should prepare to see their national aspirations postponed indefinitely.
For those eternal sceptics, willing to gamble with Israel's existence on their hunch that Hamas is secretly longing to make peace with Israel, (like Jimmy Carter), here is a speaker for the Egyptian radical religious movement explaining the nature of Islamic hatred for Jews and providing clarity for the perplexed, Muhammad Hussein Ya’qoub, on Al-Rahma TV (Via Mick, too):
Your belief regarding the Jews should be, first, that they are infidels, and second, that they are enemies. They are enemies not because they occupied Palestine. They would have been enemies even if they did not occupy a thing. Allah said: “You shall find the strongest men in enmity to the disbelievers [sic] to be the Jews and the polytheists.” Third, you must believe that the Jews will never stop fighting and killing us. They [fight] not for the sake of land and security, as they claim, but for the sake of their religion... We must believe that our fighting with the Jews is eternal, and it will not end until the final battle – and this is the fourth point. You must believe that we will fight, defeat, and annihilate them, until not a single Jew remains on the face of the Earth.