UPDATES

Can anti-Israel, antisemitic Hamas change its spots?

Dec 21, 2011 | Allon Lee

Can anti-Israel
No sign of new found pacifism in Hamas' behaviour

There is good reason for being sceptical of reports suggesting Hamas is shifting from armed resistance to non-violent resistance and will settle for a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders.

For instance, in an article by the Guardian‘s Phoebe Greenwood – run in the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday – Taher al-Nounu, a spokesperson for Hamas PM Ismail Haniya said: “Violence is no longer the primary option but if Israel pushes us, we reserve the right to defend ourselves with force.”

Greenwood wrote that: “The announcement on Sunday does not qualify as a full repudiation of violence, but marks a step away from violent extremism by the Hamas leadership towards the more progressive Islamism espoused by groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo.”

It is a mystery exactly how Greenwood could interpret the statement by Haniya’s spokesperson as more than mere semantics, or indicating that it will lead to Hamas’ acceptance of Israel.

As Greenwood herself acknowledged in the original article – but which the Sydney Morning Herald cut – Haniya told an adoring crowd of 100,000 Gazans on December 13 at a celebration for the terrorist organisation’s 24th anniversary:

“We affirm that armed resistance is our strategic option and the only way to liberate our land from the [Mediterranean] sea to the River [Jordan]. God willing, Hamas will lead the people… to the uprising until we liberate Palestine, all of Palestine”.

The quote offered to Greenwood falls into a much-loved tactic by various Palestinian leaders over the years to espouse non-violence and a two-state solution when speaking in English to Western audiences and the polar opposite in Arabic back home. Indeed, all the evidence would indicate that this is likely what is going on now.

Hopefully there are some Hamas members with good graphic design skills who can Photoshop the logo [top left] used to publicise the anniversary celebration – a map of pre-1948 Palestine in the background and a rifle emerging from the Dome of the Rock in the foreground.

Perhaps we should also interpret the press release put out by Iz al-Din al-Qassam, Hamas’ armed wing, boasting of its “achievements” since 1987 that its members have killed 1,365 Israelis, wounded 6,411 others in 1,117 attacks, carried out 87 suicide bombings and fired 11,093 rockets at Israeli targets as drawing a line in the sand.

Now that Hamas has renounced violence they won’t mind the seizure on December 18 of home made bombs in the Sinai that the Egyptian army said was destined for Hamas’ military wing in Gaza. The bomb factories that intelligence reports say Hamas is building in the Sinai Desert will now of course be abandoned.

And Hamas political leader Khaled Meshal will now have to break the promise he made in September after the prisoner swap deal was concluded to “take another Shalit captive, and another Shalit, and another Shalit”.

Suggestions of Hamas moderation received a boost on Saturday from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. In an interview with Euronews, Abbas said that as part of negotiations for implementing a Palestinian unity deal “Hamas agreed with us that resistance will be popular and adopt peaceful ways, rather than military resistance.”

Considering that the mutual suspicion Hamas and Fatah share for each other’s promises has prevented them implementing the unity deal they signed in May 2011, ambiguous statements by Hamas should be taken with the proverbial.

– Allon Lee

 

 

Tags:

RELATED ARTICLES


Image: Shutterstock

Evolving debates about Iran policy

Jan 17, 2023 | Update
The Ministers of Israel's 37th government, after being sworn in on Dec. 29. (Photo: Israeli Government Press Office)

Israel’s 37th government takes office

Jan 9, 2023 | Update
The Iranian protest movement against the ruling theocratic regime has certainly been inspiring - but is it a noble but ultimately futile effort, or can it lead to regime change? (Image: Shutterstock, DigitalAssetArt)

Could the Iranian protest movement succeed?

Dec 15, 2022 | Update
(Photo: Shutterstock)

The politics of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar

Nov 22, 2022 | Update
Taraneh Alidoosti, one of Iran's most famous actresses, appearing publicly without her headscarf and holding a sign with the Kurdish words for "Women, Life, Freedom". Despite the regime's bloody repression, Alidoosti has vowed to remain in her homeland "at any price" and support the families of those killed or arrested in the protest crackdown  (Photo: Instagram)

Iran’s protest wave continues 

Nov 11, 2022 | Update
8c2ebfa2 C3e1 A33a 9cdc 07bd16e00b2f

After election win, Netanyahu set to be Israeli PM again

Nov 4, 2022 | Update

SIGN UP FOR AIJAC EMAILS

RECENT POSTS

Image: Shutterstock

Israel, the Palestinians, and the question of governability – days of unrest ahead

Labor intervenes to protect the IRGC from terror listing

Alexey Milchakov, founder of the neo-Nazi Rusich unit that links Wagner and the Russian Imperial Movement (source: @P_Kallioniemi)

Russia is the Iran of White Supremacy

Image: Shutterstock

Beating antisemitism will help save society

Mahmoud Abbas’ rule has led not only to oppression and corruption for Palestinians, but also prevented progress toward peace, Eid argues (Image: Shutterstock)

19th year of a four-year term

Image: Shutterstock

Israel, the Palestinians, and the question of governability – days of unrest ahead

Labor intervenes to protect the IRGC from terror listing

Alexey Milchakov, founder of the neo-Nazi Rusich unit that links Wagner and the Russian Imperial Movement (source: @P_Kallioniemi)

Russia is the Iran of White Supremacy

Image: Shutterstock

Beating antisemitism will help save society

Mahmoud Abbas’ rule has led not only to oppression and corruption for Palestinians, but also prevented progress toward peace, Eid argues (Image: Shutterstock)

19th year of a four-year term

SORT BY TOPICS