Robbie Travers – Executive Director
Tom Owolade – Global Affairs
“Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it”. – Hamas charter.
Al-Aqsa TV (Hamas) program Tomorrow’s Pioneers on neighbours’ rights.
[Phone conversation between Nahul the bee and Qais, a boy from Jenin (West Bank).]
Nahul the bee, (adult in a giant bee costume): “Listen my friend. Are there Jews where you are?”
Boy (Qais): “No. Not at the moment.”
Nahul: “I heard they come to you every day.”
Boy: “Yes, but not now.”
Nahul: “Listen, friend; do like this with your hands [makes fists], and when they come to you, punch them; make their face red like a tomato.”
Boy: “Allah willing, so that we can liberate Palestine.”
Nahul: “Allah willing.” …
[Nahul talks to TV host, young girl named Rawan]
Nahul: “My friend Qais – anyway, Rawan, I tell him to take a stone, and when the Jews come, to take it and throw it at them.”
Child host (Rawan): “Of course, the Jewish neighbours.”
Nahul: “To smash them.”
Child host: “If his neighbors are Jews or Zionists? Yes.”…
[Child host Rawan talks to Tulin, a girl in the studio.]
Child host Rawan: “Tulin, why do you want to be a police officer? Like who?”
Girl Tulin: “Like my uncle.”
Child host: “Which uncle?”
Child host: “Is he a policeman?”
Child host: “OK, so what does a policeman do?”
Nahul (adult in giant bee costume): “He catches thieves, and people who make trouble.”
Child host: “And shoots Jews. Right?”
Child host: “You want to be like him?”
Child host: “Allah willing, when you grow up.”
Girl: “So that I can shoot Jews.”
[Nahul the bee cheers]
Child host: “All of them? All of them?”
Child host: “Good.”
– Palestinian TV.
This is not the message of a resistance movement fighting a noble cause – Or indeed a movement fighting for anything resembling freedom. Unless by resistance you mean resistance to a legally binding, sovereign state and its population’s rights to be free from the onslaught of devastating rocket barrages, which she does not instigate; and unless by noble you mean suicide bombings, children as human shields, repeated rocket fires from civilian areas and installations, using hospitals and schools as storage for weaponry, attacking nuclear facilities which would destroy, if not irradiate, a large percentage of the surrounding area, and counteracting Israeli strike warnings to ensure the maximum number of casualties. Unless by noble resistance you mean acquiescing to Hamas’ wish for tendentious media coverage, Western empathy with the “oppressed nation Palestine”, and, most critically, outrage. If by resistance you mean resistance to several offers of peace made by Israel and the Arab league, then Hamas certainly fits the bill.
This is not the message of a noble resistance but a militant group. A militant group perversely obsessed by maximising the death of its own people, with the deplorable aim of genocide against the Jewish people – in other words, a death cult. Hamas are ideologically committed to destruction of Israel and the murder of all Jews: a group which denies the last Shoah whilst steadfast in its commitment to a new one.
These aren’t just the commitments found in some archaic charter, as many would argue, but are the fundamental basis on which the group is founded. It is not some arbitrary target, it’s a real desire, and Hamas have shown repeatedly that they are the party in the Israel-Gaza dispute willing to slaughter as many of the people it feigns to protect in order to kill its ideological enemies.
Of course, criticism of Israeli policy does not necessarily entail sympathy for Hamas. We would point to our disagreement with Israeli settlement policy, which is creating a massive problem for any peace deal. It remains, however, that the anti-imperialist Left, convulsed by its irrational hatred of the Jewish state, is not merely critical of Israel’s policies, but contests the legitimacy of her very existence. On a logical basis, Israel tries to reduce the number of her casualties through number of methods. Yet this nation, which has some of the lowest death tolls for a nation engaged in military action, is treated like it is Nazi Germany. To describe this comparison as inaccurate is to indulge in a euphemism: it fails to accommodate the fact that Israel has often tried to find peaceful solution to the conflict, and that Arab, Islamic and Christian civilians in Israel often confess that they would rather live in Israel than anywhere else in the world. Hardly a totalitarian state is it? It is inappropriate, most of all, to lambast Israel without lambasting the many forces in this world that do genuinely commit genocide.
It would be pertinent to ask those who support the accusation of genocide levelling Israel, when has she ever targeted a group of people on their race, nationality, ethnicity or religion in its military actions? The answer would be that Israel targets terrorist organisations. Hamas, on the other hand, actively and openly supports genocidal methods and targets its military actions on those basis. Any sensible, open-minded individual should therefore examine why they would support a group that would attack on the basis of one’s race, nationality, religion or ethnicity.
Often those hostile to Israel try to market “Anti-Zionism” – which actually means believing Israel should not exist – as mild concerns over the nation’s foreign and military policies. These movements accept, without deviation, the underlying premises of Hamas: that Israel’s existence is an affront to Arab dignity; that Israel’s alleged depredations are entirely responsible for the dire state of the West Bank and Gaza (sometimes the laziest will stretch this to include every bit of turbulence in the MENA region). Most critically, many in the Left accept the idea that Israel should be dissolved in favour of an Arab majority single state, or simply promote the idea that Israel should be dissolved and don’t show a particular interest to the consequences. The latter option is especially malignant, as many pro-Palestinians seem to advocate the destruction of Israel more frequently than they do any tangible measures that would improve the economic and political opportunities of Gaza and the West Bank’s inhabitants.
The consequences of this are plain except for the delusional or the dishonest. Hamas’ raison d’être of an Arab majority state will midwife a demographic decline of Jews in the Middle East – their ancestral homeland. But it is not only Jews who will suffer if Hamas were to be in power, many other religious minorities would too. Hamas has a track record of punishing apostates and those who are converts from Islam, because they are seen as legitimate targets of their violence. Hamas also continues their purge against the LGBT community, whom they declare deserve execution. They view women with contempt, and thus trample upon their rights to engage in the political process or marry whomever they want. Ultimately, Hamas are invested in a quest to introduce hardline Sharia Law, a totalitarian doctrine anathema to every liberal and democratic principle.
It is sad that many progressives, regardless of Israel’s problems, advocate for an outcome that would see the groups they often argue they would wish to protect severely endangered and persecuted. The liquidation of Israel will enable the resurgence of state-backed persecution, carefully justified by a poisonous, conspiracist ideology which, lest we forget, is the oldest hatred in our civilisation. The anti-imperialist Left, convulsed by its hatred of the Jewish state, are enabling a fascist militia to acquire legitimacy at the expense of peace in the region and liberal principles everywhere. They cannot see that the real imperialism here is Hamas’ ultra-nationalist ideology which wishes to enforce authoritarian Sharia law upon the region and the world.
The notion that a rabidly anti-Semitic organisation will stop its depredations once it reclaims its territory is naiviety to the extreme. As everyone should know, when Hamas talks about the occupation, they don’t mean 1967 but 1948.
An organisation so honed in its ability to slaughter and commit acts of depravity doesn’t lose its stripes. Islamists that gain their goals don’t simply stop being Islamists, they find new targets. Their finely tuned killing machine, with its intricate mechanisms for funding, makes it the second most wealthy terror organisation in the world. They are amply armed by the likes of Iran, who will attack those who they deem guilty of assisting Israel. We should never be uncritical of a pernicious organization that aspires to slaughter its way to racial and religious purity. We should resist their influence in the MENA region and globally.
Most evidently, and most significantly of all, Hamas detests the very concept of human life. Hamas has been noted and recorded on a plethora of occasions to use children for terror tunnels and infrastructure for weaponry. It is a cult of death that understands something obvious, but only the visibly cruel will enact. It understands that if it maximises the death and injury of its citizenry then the international community will continue to express opprobrium towards Israel, and Israel alone.