Hamas claims that the jihadist bombing that killed and wounded over 50 civilians in Tel Aviv on September 19 was carried out by its Izzedine al-Qassem Brigades.
Two years ago, an alliance was forged between Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority and Hamas that resulted in the freeing of their convicted terrorists. This tacit alliance still exists, and could prove fatal for the future of both the Palestinian Authority and the "peace process."
The 1988 Hamas charter (an acronym for "Islamic Resistance Movement" in Arabic) is both political and genocidal — yet the United Nations has never denounced it. It claims to be a wing of the International Muslim Brotherhood, an organization founded in Egypt in 1922. Hamas is against any Middle East peace process: "There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through jihad. All initiatives, proposals, and international conferences are a waste of time and vain endeavors" (Article 13).
And then there is the Hamas slogan, which has inspired countless jihadist bombers: "Allah is its goal, The Prophet its model, the Qur'an its Charter, jihad its path, and death for the cause of Allah its most sublime belief" (Article 8).
Hamas is committed to continuing jihad against "the Jews" until Allah's victory is implemented. The land of Palestine, it affirms, must be cleansed from their impurity and viciousness. Muslims are obligated by order of the Prophet to fight and kill the Jews wherever they find them. This call to genocide is justified by a hadith which concludes article 7 of the charter:
The Islamic Resistance Movement aspires to implement Allah's promise, whatever time that may take. The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said: "The Day of Judgment will not come about until the Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them), until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: Oh Muslim! Oh Abdullah!, there is a Jew behind me, come on and kill him. Only the Gharqad tree would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews."
This controversial hadith — related by the eminent compiler al-Bukhari in the 9th century — has since become a commonplace belief among Islamists. For example: On April 12, 2002, the Palestinian Authority's Sheikh Ibrahim Madhi delivered a Friday sermon at the Sheikh Ijlin Mosque in Gaza City, broadcast live on Palestinian Authority television. Madhi quoted from this hadith — including the curious reference to the "Jewish" Gharqad tree — and then stated: "We believe in this hadith. We are convinced also that this hadith heralds the spread of Islam and its rule over all the lands... 'from the ocean to the ocean...'"
Sheikh Madhi concluded his sermon with: "Oh Allah, accept our martyrs in the highest heaven... Oh Allah, show the Jews a black day... Oh Allah, annihilate the Jews and their supporters... Oh Allah, raise the flag of Jihad across the land... Oh Allah, forgive our sins..." (Credit to MEMRI for the translation.)
Another characteristic of the Hamas charter is the frequent references it makes to conspiracy theories, in order that adepts might better understand events in the dar al-harb (region of war), as distinct from the dar al-Islam (region of Islam). On "Jews" and "Zionists" — called "the enemies" — the charter follows in Hitler's footsteps by appealing to the crudest of forgeries (rightly called a Warrant for Genocide by Norman Cohn): "Their plan is embodied in The Protocols of the Elders of Zion ... The Zionist plan is limitless. After Palestine, the Zionists aspire to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates..." Article 22 states that "the enemies" have long since taken over the world's financial centers, controlling the world's media: "agencies, press, broadcasting, publications, etc.... With their money they formed secret societies, such as Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, the Lions, and others in different parts of the world for the purpose of sabotaging societies and achieving Zionist interests." Indeed, "they" have been stirring up revolutions since the one in France in 1789 — including Communist revolutions.
This fixation continues:
They were behind World War I, when they were able to destroy the Islamic Caliphate, making financial gains and controlling resources. They obtained the Balfour Declaration, formed the League of Nations through which they could rule the world. They were behind World War II, through which they made huge financial gains by trading in armaments, and paved the way for the establishment of their state. It was they that instigated the replacement of the League of Nations with the United Nations and the Security Council to enable them to rule the world through them. There is no war going on anywhere, without them having their finger in it.
Unlike speeches and newspaper articles, which may change with the winds, a written charter is an essential, binding document. Hitler understood this when he wrote in the preface to Mein Kampf ("My Struggle"): "The unity and uniformity of a doctrine can only be safeguarded if it has been fixed forever in a written text." After his release from an Israeli prison and return to Gaza in October 1997, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the founder and spiritual head of Hamas, declared that Israel must "disappear from the map." He added: "We have an aim and an enemy, and we shall continue our jihad against the enemy. A nation without a jihad is a nation without a purpose." The root meaning of jihad means "struggle."
After the first female jihadist bombing, by 28-year-old Wafa Idris on January 27, 2002, Sheikh Yassin insisted that women were not needed as "martyr" bombers because there were plenty of male candidates. He further suggested that a female combatant, or a candidate for martyrdom, should be accompanied by a man — either her husband, or a member of her family — if the task required that she be absent for longer than a day and a night.
In December 1998, in the presence of President Clinton (who came to Gaza to attend the event), the PLO's national charter was amended at a special session of its national congress. Should the Palestinian Authority continue its alliance with Hamas — and if Hamas refuses to scrap its genocidal charter and renounce the ideology of jihad-war — there can be no possibility of serious progress toward a Middle East peace, with two states coexisting side by side.
There are voices of reason in the Middle East working for secular goals to be achieved through compromise and cooperation. It will be hard enough to strive for the creation of stable, democratic states in the Middle East even without widespread conspiracy theories and the Hamas genocidal charter — a charter denounced neither by Muslim spiritual and political leaders nor by the United Nations.
See also The Hamas Charter— David G. Littman is a historian and an NGO representative of the Association for World Education to the United Nations in Geneva, where he has been active on many human-rights issues since 1986.
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