Saturday, January 28, 2006

Selections from the Hamas Charter

The Hamas Charter details Hamas' enmity not only for the state of Israel and the Zionist movement, but also for the Jewish people.

Some quotations:

"For our struggle against the Jews is extremely wide-ranging and grave, so much so that it will need all the loyal efforts we can wield, to be followed by further steps and reinforced by successive battalions from the multifarious Arab and Islamic world, until the enemies are defeated and Allah’s victory prevails."

The Charter quotes a hadith often cited by anti-Israel and anti-semitic Jihadist groups:

"the Hamas has been looking forward to implement Allah’s promise whatever time it might take. The prophet, prayer and peace be upon him, said: 'The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him! This will not apply to the Gharqad, which is a Jewish tree' (cited by Bukhari and Muslim)."

The basic reason that Hamas cannot moderate, if it persists with its current charter, is found in Part III, Article Eleven: "The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine has been an Islamic Waqf throughout the generations and until the Day of Resurrection, no one can renounce it or part of it, or abandon it or part of it."

On the possibility of peaceful solutions:

"[Peace] initiatives, the so-called peaceful solutions, and the international conferences to resolve the Palestinian problem, are all contrary to the beliefs of the Islamic Resistance Movement. For renouncing any part of Palestine means renouncing part of the religion; the nationalism of the Islamic Resistance Movement is part of its faith, the movement educates its members to adhere to its principles and to raise the banner of Allah over their homeland as they fight their Jihad: 'Allah is the all-powerful, but most people are not aware.'"

In Article Seventeen, which deals with the role of Muslim women, the charter says that the enemies understand that women are crucial in the formation of the next generation, and that if they turn women away from Islam, they will have one. At this point, the Charter goes off into the nowhereland of anti-semitic propaganda:

"Therefore, you can see them making consistent efforts [in that direction] by way of publicity and movies, curricula of education and culture, using as their intermediaries their craftsmen who are part of the various Zionist Organizations which take on all sorts of names and shapes such as: the Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, gangs of spies and the like. All of them are nests of saboteurs and sabotage. Those Zionist organizations control vast material resources, which enable them to fulfill their mission amidst societies, with a view of implementing Zionist goals and sowing the concepts that can be of use to the enemy."

It is a standard part of anti-semitic fantasies to connect the Freemasons to the Jews; this theme is found in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

The Charter also uses another standard anti-semitic slur: equating Jews with Nazis. In Article Twenty, it accuses Israel of being "a vicious, Nazi-like enemy," and then goes on to say, "The Nazism of the Jews does not skip women and children, it scares everyone. They make war against people’s livelihood, plunder their moneys and threaten their honor. In their horrible actions they mistreat people like the most horrendous war criminals."

Article Twenty-two tells the history of Zionism according to the fantasies of anti-semitic groups, again, accusing the Freemasons, the Rotary Club, and also Lions Clubs and the B'nai B'rith of being part of the Zionist movement. The "enemies" are accused of being behind the French and Communist revolutions, World War I (in order to wipe out the caliphate - i.e., the Ottoman Empire), and WWII (to make lots of money), and the U.N. (to rule the world).

Article Twenty-Eight again accuses the Freemasons et al of being spies for Zionism. It accuses Zionism of distributing drugs to destroy Muslim society. This article also says: "Israel, by virtue of its being Jewish and of having a Jewish population, defies Islam and the Muslims."

Article Thirty-Two takes the Protocols of the Elders of Zion for a truthful historical source: "For Zionist scheming has no end, and after Palestine they will covet expansion from the Nile to the Euphrates. Only when they have completed digesting the area on which they will have laid their hand, they will look forward to more expansion, etc. Their scheme has been laid out in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and their present [conduct] is the best proof of what is said there."

Unless and until Hamas rewrites its charter, renounces the anti-semitic assumptions upon which its beliefs about Israel and Jews are based, and abandons the "armed struggle" against Israel, I don't see how we can view this as an organization that is becoming moderate.


  1. Rebecca,

    I think you hit on the most difficult aspect of dealing with the Hamas - aspects of the content of its charter. There are anti-Semitic aspects to the charter plain and simple. There are also plain and simple religiously based claims to the lands of Palestine within the charter.

    These aspects of the charter raise the specter of Zionism and what Zionism has been and currently is. Zionism is not what is claimed within the charter (Protocols etc. ..). But what is Zionism? Not only as ideology but more importantly as actual historical practice? What has Zionism meant for Palestinians? What hideous, violent, racialist practices - anti-Arabism shall we call it? - have manifested in the name of Zionism? And is not Zionism also a religiously based claim to the same lands? And does not this Zionism insist on not recognizing that people were already living there and were to be displaced in fulfillment of this claim to the land?

    Hamas might entail a twisted and distorted ideology in the service of resistance to occupation and cultural decimation but is not this resistence itself resistence TO an ideology that does not acknowledge a people who were already living there in some 450 villages to the tune of about 750,000 to 1,000,000 indigenous people?

    How one can seriously request of a people under a decades long process of decimation that they give up violently resisting their decimation, seems to involve a perspective on matters that already presupposes an Israeli/Jewish innocence and virtue that simply is not the case. It might have been a possible option once some decades past (peaceful co-existence based on a sharing of the land in religious respect and honour). But that is just no longer the case. That option was rejected and it was rejected violently. Israel is not offering peace. It is simply, plainly, slowly, inexorably settling almost all of the lands of Palestine. This is a systematic act of violence barely ever acknowledged by those condeming Palestinian violence and it is one main factor that justifies violent resistence. A people need a land and a resource base for that land. They must stop it being taken away.

    I'd appreciate if you could help me to understand why I must reject the right of Palestinians to fight for their rights, their land, their resources, their dignity, their independence from subjugation .... . I just cannot see it or the viewpoint that demonizes doing what it takes to stop being utterly destroyed.

  2. I don't reject the right of Palestinians to fight for their rights - what I do ask is that they refrain from blowing up innocent civilians, and use political means to gain their ends. What would have happened if Arafat had accepted the deal he was offered at Camp David by Ehud Barak, instead of starting the second intifada? I agree that it was not a perfect agreement, and that Palestinians justifiably saw it as not giving them enough - but why resort to arms again, instead of going through a negotiating process?