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      Fundamentally Freund
      by Michael Freund
      An alternative approach to Israeli political commentary.
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      Michael Freund is Founder and Chairman of Shavei Israel (www.shavei.org), which reaches out and assists "lost Jews" seeking to return to the Jewish people. He writes a syndicated column and feature stories for the Jerusalem Post. Previously, he served as Deputy Director of Communications & Policy Planning in the Israeli Prime Minister´s Office under former premier Benjamin Netanyahu. A native of New York, he holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia University and a BA from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. He has lived in Israel for the past decade.
      Tevet 23, 5768, 1/1/2008

      Is Israel Talking to Hamas?



      Have we become so morally numb that negotiating with murderers no longer infuriates us?
      As unbelievable as it may sound, nothing should surprise us anymore.

      In a speech on Monday, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas revealed that Swiss President Micheline Calmy-Rey had told him that Israel and Hamas have been holding secret talks in Switzerland.

      According to Abbas, they have been discussing a proposal in which Israel would agree to the establishment of a Palestinian state within temporary borders in exchange for a 15-year long ceasefire.

      The news was met with virtual silence - no confirmations, no denials, no outrage in the press. Nada. Nothing.

      Have we become so morally numb that negotiating with murderers no longer infuriates us?

      It is simply unconscionable that Israel would talk with an organization dedicated to its destruction, one that is actively engaged in terror attacks against the Jewish state on an ongoing basis. Unconscionable, and pointless too.

      After all, as the failed Oslo Accords demonstrated all too well, talking with with terrorists only adds fuel to the flames.