SIR – John Hall (T&A, 25 August) writes about ‘the genuine grievance that Arabs and Palestinians have with Israel’, telling us that until people like Rudi Leavor accept it, ‘there can never be peace’.
Mr Hall apparently believes (like many in the West) that Hamas (against whom the recent action was directed) is a ‘liberation movement’, like, say, the anti-colonial movements of the last century. ‘Until people like John Hall recognise’ that Hamas is nothing of the kind, ‘there can never be peace’. Why? Hamas is NOT a national liberation movement, but a terrorist organisation, whose stated aim is the elimination, by whatever means necessary, of the state (and people) of Israel. It is a totalitarian movement (terrorising its own fellow-Arabs, by the way), with an extreme religious ideology, the most relevant aspect of which, in this context, is that, once a territory has been under Islamic rule, then no other group of people (even ‘diverse’) can ever rule it. I have little doubt that Hamas members, if asked, would advocate the re-Islamisation of Spain (al-Andalus), which is certainly among the aims of other extreme Islamic groups.
No state can negotiate terms with such an organisation.
A. Michael Murphy, Woodcot Avenue, Baildon