From now on they’ll use the salad fork. But “death to Israel”? That will not change. From AFP, with thanks to JE:
REPRESENTATIVES of Islamist militant group Hamas has admitted overnight that it had to “change its manners” after winning Palestinian elections but showed no sign of compromise with Israel as it wrapped up a landmark trip to Russia.
The comments came as Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal finished the group’s first formal visit to a major power with a tour of the Kremlin and a meeting with Patriarch Alexei II, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, who called for talks with Israel.
But despite the softer Hamas tone, acting Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told Russian President Vladimir Putin that the talks were a mistake which would only encourage radical Islamists bent on the destruction of the Jewish state.
“Russia’s contacts with Hamas would only encourage the organisation not to make the changes that the international community is demanding of it in order for it to become a partner for dialogue,” Mr Olmert’s office said he told Mr Putin in a phone call.
After three days of insisting that the next move in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was up to Israel, Hamas leaders sought to sweeten their rhetoric overnight while still rebuffing calls to recognise Israel and renounce violence.
“We don’t say ‘no’ to everything,” senior Hamas official Mohammed Nazzal said.
“We know that we are in a new phase, a new stage” following Hamas’ victory in the January 25 Palestinian elections, he said.
“Hamas must change its manners. We know that very well. But what we are saying is that we want a response from the Israelis. If you want Hamas to change its policies, you must also request that the Israelis change their policies.”
In other words, they must pack up and leave or fold up and die.