The Palestinian terrorist group decided they needed a change of image throughout the world. In that precarious and ultimately doomed mission, they decided to canvass twitter. The social media platform is perfect for rehabilitation, which is true if you manage it correctly. However, instead the story was broken, what Hamas wanted was people who would ask nice questions, they received people who rightly wanted to condemn this group by any means necessary.
Some people were outraged about the lack of ‘sincere questions’ and played the overused card of islamophobia. If it’s islamophobic to criticise, mock and feel distain for a group which openly murders innocent Palestinians and Israeli’s, then I’m an islamophobe. Just like if the BNP or the EDL decided such a hashtag was a good idea, I would hope to see the same reaction and I would openly contribute to the well-founded mocking. The truth is, it wasn’t islamophobia that led to these tweets, but the contempt we hold for this group and for those who claim to be fighting for Palestinian freedom, when they fail to admonish Hamas.
So what is the truth about Hamas? Freedom fighters or murderers bent on the destruction of Israel? Sadly, the latter is far more plausible than any argument on the former. The Human Rights watch report of 2014 told us many uncomfortable things, especially about the 2014 war which many didn’t know about or refused to accept. During the war, Hamas fired rockets into civilian areas. This is a war crime, there are no excuses for crimes of war and thinking civilians are an acceptable target for a military strike. Armed groups in Gaza summarily executed 25 people believed to be ‘collaborating’ with Israel, and Hamas also arbitrarily arrested tortured people. Hamas also crushed political dissent, freedom of association, and political assembly. This is all from a report by a group which often also condemns Israel; I am left asking if they can condemn this group why can’t so many others do the same?
Some may argue this is only one report. However, this is just the start of it. This report relates only to this year. In the past, they have been fond of throwing people off roofs, executing people who oppose them, regularly shutting down opposition when in power, and, suicide attacks on civilians have also been a popular tactics for Hamas. The infamous group has had one election victory which was in 2006 in the general election for parliament. However since then, there have been no other elections, apart from local elections. While those elections were branded free and fair, it has to be asked why has there been no such election since. Other organisations do not go to these lengths, which includes oppression of the people they’re trying to liberate to get the result they want.
Hamas’ funding is one of the murkier aspects of the group. They used to receive the vast majority of their funding from Iran. A country that is well known for its distinct lack of human rights. Even Human Rights watch lets them off a bit lightly, as the President doesn’t control the country, rather the Grand Ayatollah does, and his power is essentially unchecked. They also receive funding from Qatar, Saudi Arabia and other extreme governments and organisations. The funding arrangements confirm that this is an organisation which is extremist in nature; it is not just another group fighting for freedom. The Hamas charter is a bizarre mixture of talk about Jihad, destroying the state of Israel, and anti-Semitic conspiracies. Talks about the protocols of the elders of Zion the infamous anti-Semitic libel shows what this group is really all about. It’s an extreme Islamist groups, and like almost all extreme Islamist groups it is infused with anti-Semitism. The charter also references destroying the Israeli state. Their goal isn’t just to establish a Palestine, but to establish the destruction of another state. They proclaim the need for Jihad. Jihad is a much misunderstood word and merely means struggle. Indeed Inner Jihad is about an inner struggle from temptation and other such things. The problem with Hamas is that they don’t just mean inner struggle, but an outer struggle as well. The Hamas charter is not a document to establish a free, fair and just Palestine. It is a document riddled with anti-Semitic hate and violence.
I am not one to quote Henry Kissinger, but even he pointed out the need to defend Israel but not her conquests. This was in relation to the war Israel had with Egypt and the ensuing peace which lethargically followed. Even Churchill in his early career in the 20th century tried to create a peaceful and just settlement in the region. Indeed the conflict looks like it will never be solved. Of course all conflicts can be solved given enough time and after enough blood. People used to think Northern Ireland would forever be a blood bath, and look how premature that thinking was. This article is not about defending Israel and what they have done. The same Human rights watch report as I quoted earlier, also gives Israel a full battering on civilian deaths and illegal activities. This is about standards, and the need for human rights no matter what position one is put in.
This is a picture not of a freedom fighting movement, working for a state where rights can be respected. This is the picture of a group who don’t believe in an equitable state of affairs but a group which wants to dominate control and make Palestine a nightmare for many people to live in. Many people assume I am anti-Palestine but this is not the case. I am pro Palestine. However, I am pro Palestine for a nation which is run by politicians who are elected regularly. I am for a Palestine that gives people their rights, not for an authoritarian state where people are arbitrarily arrested, tortured and killed. I am for a Palestine that doesn’t execute people for being gay. The apologists for Hamas aren’t really calling for a free Palestine, but a terrorist, anti-Semitic state on Israel’s Border. In essence, I am for a free and just Palestine, and so should everyone else be.
By Sam Mace, Senior Writer for Daily Political View.