Sara Roy, Senior Research Scholar at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies of Harvard University, gave the opening lecture at a "Palestine Conference" on April 17-18 presented by the Vienna Institute for International Dialogue and Cooperation, titled "Perspectives Beyond War and Crisis? Donor Politics and Gender Orders in the Israeli-Palestinian-Conflict." Gudrun Harrer, leading editor of the daily "Der Standard," moderated the opening lecture, which led the newspaper to report on the event. (Source: /Der Standard, 04/18/2008, p. 6., print edition, and http://derstandard.at/?url=/?id=3306772) The article was titled: "The aim was to divide Palestinians into good ones and bad ones," citing Sara Roy on the Middle East Peace Conference started by president George W. Bush at Annapolis.
Sara Roy sees no chance that a peace agreement between Israeli and Palestinians could be arranged in 2008, because this Annapolis conference "never had making peace in mind […] but wants to keep the status quo, which means the Israeli settlement policy." Roy warned about a further escalation: "The Palestinians have had enough. They don't believe promises anymore and won't accept interim regulations further on. Something must happen just now."
As a first step, Israel would have to conclude an armistice agreement with Hamas and start serious negotiations with all parties.
"Recognition of Israel by Hamas must not be a preliminary condition for that. Because Hamas never would accept it."
Roy's remarks of course led me to write a letter to the editor on the same day:
The naivete and/or totally unreconstructed, biased partiality of Sara Roy in the Middle East conflict mars the image of Harvard University.
There is not even a need for simple knowledge of this conflict to note that in general, a scholar should never let pass such a comment from his/her lips, on any conflict in our world, that one side should start "serious negotiations" without being recognized by the other side.
For Israel, in regard to Hamas, this impertinence means: "Although you want to throw us into the sea (and 'must' do so - for religious reasons only), from now on we promise not to defend ourselves anymore."
Hamas is no simple "party" but an extremist Islamic movement, the Palestinian branch of the Moslem Brotherhood, founded 1928 in Egypt, which stands for the elimination of all secular Arab regimes and for the establishment of a new Caliphate which includes all the Arab countries and in which only Islamic Law, the "Sharia" would be valid.
Member of Board Scholars for Peace in the Middle East - Austria Chapter
Member of Board Austrian-Israel Society
 Cited parts of the article translated into English by the author.