The True Face of Hamas and the Five Myths That Obscure It

December 27, 2012 12:23 pm 1 comment

Hamas New Security Forces in Gaza. Photo: Olly L.

Hamas leader Khaled Meshal used his recent, first ever visit to Gaza to tell a mass rally that he would never recognize Israel and pledged to “free the land of Palestine inch by inch.” His words revealed (again) the true face of Hamas: “Palestine is ours from the river to the sea and from the south to the north. There will be no concession on an inch of the land,” he told the crowds, indicating that Hamas’ struggle is for all of the territory comprising modern-day Israel – hardly a formula for peaceful co-existence with Israel.
Did the “moderate” Mahmoud Abbas, head of the Palestinian Authority, condemn such language? Unfortunately, he was as silent about Hamas’ hateful rejection of peaceful compromise as he was about Hamas’ missile attacks on Israeli civilians last month . Such quiet complicity is not surprising, given that Abbas seeks unity with Iran-backed Hamas. Why does the world ignore or downplay such troubling facts? There are many possible explanations, but these five myths – often propagated by the mainstream media – are part of the answer.

1) The weaker party is always right. Sympathy for the underdog notwithstanding, the weaker party can still be the one at fault, as a visit to any children’s playground can readily reveal. The same is true in military conflicts: Al Queda is the weaker party against the US, but that hardly makes them right.

2) Israel uses disproportionate force. But what force is proportionate to thousands of missiles raining down on your citizens? Must Israel wait until a Palestinian rocket hits a school bus or a hospital, causing mass casualties, before its response can be proportionate? Where was world outrage when Hamas fired 130 rockets and missiles at Israeli civilians in the weeks prior to Israel’s targeted killing of Hamas commander Ahmed Jabari? Weren’t those 130 attacks infinitely “disproportionate” because they targeted innocent civilians who were just going about their lives? Such attacks have been going on since 2001. What kind of force would the US have used and how long would it have waited to use it? Critics also argue that Israel’s lower casualty count proves that Israel uses disproportionate force. But such twisted logic implies that Israel’s military response would have been acceptable if only Israel had done a lousier job of protecting its civilians or simply used them as human shields.

3) The parties in this “cycle of violence” are morally indistinguishable. But Hamas purposely targets Israeli civilians and uses Palestinian civilians as human shields to maximize their casualties and score sympathy points. Israel, on the other hand, protects civilians on both sides of the conflict by using bomb shelters and the Iron Dome defense system in Israel, and by warning civilians – with leaflets, texts, and phone calls – to clear targeted areas in Gaza. Israel also expends tremendous resources gathering military intelligence for pinpoint strikes on terrorist targets — operations that it sometimes abruptly aborts when civilians unexpectedly enter the targeted area. Critics forget that if Israel’s goal were to massacre the Palestinians, Israel could do so in a few hours of indiscriminate bombardment (as Assad has done daily in Syria) rather than in days or weeks of precise military actions.

4) If Israel just gave up more land, the conflict with its neighbors would vanish. History reveals how dangerously naive this idea is. Although Jews accepted the UN’s 1947 Partition Plan to divide the British Mandate between Jews and Arabs, the response from Palestinians and neighboring Arab countries was the 1948 war that nearly eradicated the nascent Jewish state. Israel withdrew from Southern Lebanon in 2000, but in 2006 Hezbollah launched unprovoked attacks that led to war. When Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, the Palestinians used it to fire 8,000 rockets at Israelis. Israel’s withdrawal from Sinai is the only historical example of a territorial concession that brought peace to Israel, and the “Arab Spring” raises questions about how long even this cold peace will last.

5) Israel can make peace with Hamas. Can the US make peace with Al Queda? Appeasing extremists only defers the day of reckoning as history has often demonstrated. Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren aptly describes Hamas as “a flagrantly anti-democratic, anti-Semitic, anti-Christian, anti-feminist and anti-gay movement dedicated to genocide.” Real peace is impossible with such an organization and no prosperity will ever come to Gaza under the Hamas thugocracy that rules it. If world powers are genuinely concerned about Gaza, they should work to remove Hamas from power there.
Those who doubt that there is a serious bias in the mainstream media when it comes to Hamas should consider this example from the BBC’s reporting on the Gaza conflict last month or CAMERA’s more extensive analysis of general anti-Israel bias at the NY Times.

Indeed, the world must move beyond the media-driven myths above and recognize Hamas for what it really is: an Islamist terrorist organization dangerously allied with Iran in its mission to destroy Israel. Hamas states this goal in its charter and Iranian leaders declare their genocidal intentions publicly. These forces must be stopped before the doomsday described in my novel leaves the realm of fiction.


Noah Beck’s novel, The Last Israelis, published last July, describes an attack by Iran-backed terror groups in Gaza that was similar to the attacks of last month, when Tel-Aviv was directly targeted by missiles.

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture Jewish Identity ‘Tears of Color’ Art Exhibit Shows Struggles of Israelis With Eating Disorders

    ‘Tears of Color’ Art Exhibit Shows Struggles of Israelis With Eating Disorders

    JNS.org – “This is how I want to be—without fear. Independent. I want to be like a bird. I want to spread my wings.” So reads part of the description beneath one of the 30 paintings on display until the end of May at the ZOA House in Tel Aviv. The collection represents the first-ever art exhibit of its kind: an exhibit created entirely by Israelis in treatment for eating disorders. Dubbed “Tears of Color,” based on one of the [...]

    Read more →
  • Beliefs and concepts Book Reviews Overprotective or Loving? Daughters Reflect on Jewish Mothers in New Anthology

    Overprotective or Loving? Daughters Reflect on Jewish Mothers in New Anthology

    JNS.org – Rachel Ament noticed that she and her friends often shared humorous anecdotes that were typically variations on a theme: overprotective, worrying Jewish moms who smothered them with love. That included Ament’s own mother. “My mom is probably every Jewish stereotype scrunched into one,” the Washington, DC, resident tells JNS.org. “At the root of all these stereotypical, worrying, overprotective moms, is love.” A social media writer for Capital One, as well as a freelance writer, Ament decided about three years [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Commentary ‎Kosher Lust: Love is Not the Answer (REVIEW)

    ‎Kosher Lust: Love is Not the Answer (REVIEW)

    Kosher Lust, by Shmuley Boteach (Gefen Publishing House, 2014). You really do want to find something positive to say about Shmuley Boteach. He is a phenomenon; very bright, an articulate bundle of energy and self-promotion. Anyone who has the chutzpah to describe himself as “America’s Rabbi” deserves ten out of ten for effort. I believe that along with most Chabad alumni, official and unofficial, he does a lot of good and is a sort of national treasure. In this world [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Theater Hollywood’s Revisiting of Passover’s Exodus Story a Part of Throwback ‘Year of the Bible’

    Hollywood’s Revisiting of Passover’s Exodus Story a Part of Throwback ‘Year of the Bible’

    JNS.org – In a throwback to the golden age of cinema, Hollywood has declared 2014 the “Year of the Bible.” From Ridley Scott’s Exodus starring Christian Bale as Moses, to Russell Crowe playing Noah, Hollywood is gambling on new innovations in technology and star power to revisit some of the most popular stories ever told. “It’s definitely a throwback to the 1950s and early ’60s,” Dr. Stephen J. Whitfield, an American Studies professor at Brandeis University, told JNS.org. Starting with The [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada ‘Jewish Giant’ Headlines New York Jewish Museum Exhibit

    ‘Jewish Giant’ Headlines New York Jewish Museum Exhibit

    Eddie Carmel, dubbed “The Jewish Giant” by American photographer Diane Arbus, is the centerpiece of a new exhibit opening April 11 at The Jewish Museum in New York. Arbus met Carmel, who was billed “The World’s Tallest Man,” at Hubert’s Dime Museum and Flea Circus in 1959 but waited until 1970 to photograph him at his parents’ home in the Bronx, according to the museum. The son of immigrants from Tel Aviv, Carmel posed for Arbus with his head bowed to [...]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Disney Hit ‘Frozen’ Gets Passover Themed Makeover With ‘Chozen’ (VIDEO)

    Disney Hit ‘Frozen’ Gets Passover Themed Makeover With ‘Chozen’ (VIDEO)

    A Passover themed cover of hit songs Let It Go and Do You Want to Build a Snowman? from Disney’s Frozen has attracted tons of media buzz and a cool 65,ooo views on YouTube within days of going online. The work of Jewish a capella group Six13, the track is aptly named Chozen. We are celebrating “our freedom, our favorite festival, our fabulous fans, and aspiring Disney princesses everywhere” the group said. The Chozen music video tells the story of [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Identity Retreat Gives Young Artists New Platform to Engage With Jewish Ideas

    Retreat Gives Young Artists New Platform to Engage With Jewish Ideas

    JNS.org – Many young Jewish artists struggle to define who they are personally, artistically, and religiously. Against the backdrop of that struggle, the recent Asylum Arts International Jewish Artists Retreat provided a space for some 70 young Jewish artists to explore Jewish ideas, to build community and a culture of reciprocity, and to learn skills to assist their career development. “We are trying to encourage and excite people to engage in Jewish themes,” says Rebecca Guber, director of Asylum Arts. [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Literature Darren Aronofsky Adds Psychological Depth, Little Else to ‘Noah’

    Darren Aronofsky Adds Psychological Depth, Little Else to ‘Noah’

    JNS.org – Has the era of large-scale biblical epics returned? Not since “The Ten Commandments” has there been so much torrential water on the big screen (not counting weather-related disaster films such as “The Impossible”) than in “Noah,” the latest blockbuster from writer and director Darren Aronofsky. “Noah” takes the traditional tale and splices it in an eco-friendly and psychologically driven plot. After Adam and Eve got booted out of the Garden of Eden and after Cain killed Abel, mankind [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.