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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Hamas' sense of empowerment is justified

By Sheera Frenkel





UN envoy to Middle East admits to 'quiet engagements' with terrorist group for 'years'


JewishWorldReview.com |

MERUSALEM— (MCT) The United Nations envoy to the Middle East acknowledged Sunday that he has maintained quiet contacts with the Islamist group Hamas for "years," despite the international community's policy to isolate the group.

In an interview with McClatchy, Robert Serry described his office's contacts with Hamas, which has ruled the Gaza Strip since 2007, as "quiet engagements" and said his office was now "hoping to help the parties get to a more durable solution".

"Because we are on the ground we have our informal contacts with Hamas. How could we not?" he said. "We also have our quiet engagements with Hamas to work for a calm. In the last years I have been working to pass on messages to Hamas."


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An Israeli official who is not authorized to discuss the matter publicly but spoke on the condition of anonymity said that as far as Israel was concerned, Hamas would continue to face widespread isolation unless it renounced violence and formally accepted the State of Israel's right to exist, among other steps.

"I am surprised to hear the UN and other international groups are considering various levels of dialogue considering this is a terror group which has never shown itself to be anything else," the official said.

Serry, a Dutch career diplomat, visited the Gaza Strip and southern Israel this weekend to survey the damage from the latest round of hostilities between Israel and militants in Gaza. At least 163 Palestinians and six Israelis were killed in the violence, which included aerial and naval bombardment of Gaza by the Israelis and the targeting of Israeli cities by Gaza militants firing hundreds of rockets.

Officially, the international community has no direct contact with Hamas. The U.N., the United States and other Western governments renounced any dialogue with Hamas after the Islamist group, which has never acknowledged Israel's right to exist, won Palestinian parliamentary elections in 2006.

In a statement that year, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan said the international community would accept Hamas only if it showed "a commitment to the principles of nonviolence, recognition of Israel and the acceptance of previous agreements and obligations."

Israel has consistently pressed for a complete isolation of Hamas, which it and the United States call a terrorist group. In addition to the freeze on all diplomatic and political contacts, Israel has enforced a blockade that includes controlling the movement of goods into Gaza.

But after the Arab Spring turmoil in which Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was overthrown and the election of a former member of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood to succeed him, Hamas' isolation has been easing. Egypt has talked of opening its border with Gaza and facilitating trade, and last month, Bahrain and Qatar became the first two countries to send their heads of state to visit Gaza. Other Arab nations promised to quickly do the same.

Last week's cease-fire, which called for Israel to ease its blockade of Gaza, raised questions about whether the isolation of Hamas can continue.

Western governments, including the United States, have remained adamant that they have no direct contact with Hamas.

In a briefing in Washington last week, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the United States was aware of other parties who were visiting Gaza and engaging in dialogue there as a way of advancing a truce between the Gaza Strip and Israel. But she said there was no change contemplated in U.S. policy toward Hamas.

"You know what our conditions for contact with Hamas have been," she said. "They have not changed; they will not change in this circumstance. They need to recognize Israel's right to exist. They need to renounce violence and take those other measures that we've always called for."

Serry noted that Hamas has still not met the U.N.'s demands that it recognize Israel and renounce violence. But he said that Hamas officials have recently made statements suggesting that they were willing to moderate their position on some key points.

In an interview over the weekend with CNN, Hamas political head Khaled Mashaal said his group was willing to accept a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders, "or 22 percent of 'historical Palestine.' "

He also suggested that his group would be willing to recognize Israel once progress was made toward the establishment of an independent Palestinian State.

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© 2012, the McClatchy Washington Bureau Distributed by MCT Information Services