De-Mystifying Hamas: who are the Israeli terrorists?

Dec 5, 2023
israel and hamas flags painted over cracked concrete wall.And lava flows behind.israel vs hamas war. Image: iStock/ sameer chogale

Mainstream media outlets repeat, ‘Hamas, a terrorist organisation designated by the US and other western governments.’ Tagged to that description is a daily reminder of the brutality of Hamas’ attack on October 7 and the taking of over 200 hostages. Intimidated journalists and ill-informed politicians then promote the Israeli message that Hamas is a monster without precedent and must be destroyed.

The uncritical use of the label ‘terrorist’ to apply only to Hamas has allowed Israel and its gullible allies to deflect attention from other terrorists who have used and are using violence and intimidation against Palestinian civilians. ‘Hamas savagery caused our determination to eliminate them’, says Prime Minister Netanyahu. ‘Let’s hurry to hug Netanyahu’, says the US President. ‘We’ll come too’, say other western leaders. No other explanations are needed. The Hamas attack of October 7 explains everything. They are the terrorists. Look no further.

But looking further, identifies similarities between the Jewish state of Israel and the Islamic base of Hamas. Each government has merged religion with politics, each has ignored a separation of powers to ensure that civility and human rights are not stifled by religious dogma. Each has nurtured messianic beliefs to justify attacking the other. But only Hamas is held responsible for brutal murders, whereas Israel, despite its current depravity in the slaughter of 16,000 Gazans, 6000 of whom are children, somehow escapes even a modest glance at history.

Hamas began in Gaza as the equivalent of a welfare, education and health care NGO. In 2006, standing as an Islamist party against the secular Fatah, Hamas won an election which international observers agreed was scrupulously fair. Although the US, Israel and western governments claimed to believe in democracy, they refused to accept the Hamas’ election success and decided to punish Gazan voters. The siege of two million people began.

When interviewed about Hamas, if interviewees do not condemn the organization, they run the risk of being labelled a terrorist sympathiser, another generalisation devoid of history. Admittedly authoritarian, the Islamist government of Gaza is depicted as wanting to destroy Israel but after the second Intifada, from 2000, evidence indicates that Hamas agreed with the Palestinian Authority to distinguish between Zionism and Judaism and could co-exist with an Israeli state.

Irrespective of that development, unaware publics are served media, political repeats that Hamas exists to destroy Israel, while terrorist-like violence among armed settlers on the West Bank, merits little or no condemnation.

Israeli Minister for National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir, a man convicted of hate crimes, has purchased 10,000 rifles to give to Israeli civilians, many living in West Bank settlements. By December 1, Aljazeera reports over 3000 arrests of West Bank Palestinians, and that Israeli army and settlers have killed 240 Palestinians including 50 children.

In support of Ben-Gvir, the Minister for Finance Bezalel Smotrich declares himself a ‘fascist homophobe’, claims that Palestinians are an invention from the last century and if they exist should be denied citizenship and voting rights.

From the same Smotrich chorus, Galiut Atbaryan, former Israeli Minister for Public Diplomacy says, ‘Erase Gaza, anything less than that is immoral.’

Amihai Eliyahu, Israeli Heritage Minister, foreshadowed the possibility of a nuclear strike against Gaza and demanded, ‘Blow up, flatten everything. Simply a delight for the eyes.’

These are members of a madly vengeful Israeli administration, which Western and several Middle East governments are reluctant to criticise, or to whom they are openly supportive. As long as the horrors of Hamas can be headlined, there is neither moral obligation nor political necessity to name other terrorists, as in calling out the genocidal terror wreaked on the people of Gaza.

Examination of the terrorist colonisation of Palestine could start in the 1940s when the Jewish Stern gang attacked British personnel, airfields, railway yards and other Palestinian installations. They assassinated British officials overseas and sought alliance with Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany.

Leader of the Stern gang, Yitzhak Shamir became Prime Minister of Israel, 1983-84 and 1986-90.

The Jewish Irgun gang is remembered for the July 22 1946 bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, headquarters of the British army and of the Palestinian administration. Ninety-one people were killed. On April 9 1948, Irgun and Stern gangs murdered over one hundred residents of the Palestinian village of Deir Yassin. An Israeli intelligence officer reported the massacre was indiscriminate, no one was spared.

Leader of Irgun terrorists, Menachem Begin, became Prime Minister of Israel, 1977 to 1983.

Convenient binary analyses of history, those which depict good nations against bad, saving victim Israel from aggressive Hamas, supporting honourable western democracies against the other, are inaccurate and deceitful. The latest dangerous deceit promotes the view that Hamas fighters from Gaza are terrorists without precedent.

The checkered history of US-armed Israel, let alone accounts of the unbelievable terror of Israel’s bloody war against the children of Gaza, challenges those who prefer to only demonize Hamas.

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