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June 11, 2018 5:46 pm

Hamas Co-Founder Justifies Historical Expulsions of ‘Corrupt’ Jews in Europe, Drawing Criticism From Gaza Lawmaker

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Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahhar speaking at a Legislative Council session on June 5, 2018. Photo: Al-Aqsa TV/MEMRI.

A senior official of the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas claimed on Tuesday that Jews were expelled from European countries throughout the centuries because they were subversive and corrupt, drawing opposition from a colleague who said such deportations were discriminatory.

In a Gaza parliamentary session held to commemorate the 51st anniversary of the Six-Day War, Hamas co-founder Mahmoud al-Zahhar alleged that historically, “the Zionist Jews betrayed the Muslims who sheltered them and who treated them in keeping with the moral values of Islam,” according to a translation by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

“There was a series of 120 deportations of Jews from Europe,” he said, reciting a list that began with Emperor Claudius’ expulsion of Jews from Rome in 139 BC and concluded with anti-Jewish laws enacted in Russia in 1882.

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“This was because they betrayed the people among whom they lived, and worked against the interests of the societies that sheltered them,” al-Zahhar argued. “These [Jewish] groups corrupted the societies in which they lived through usury, the worship of money, extreme miserliness, and bribery.”

He claimed Jews then “embraced” the notion of their “being victims throughout history, in order to take over Palestine.”

Al-Zahhar’s comments were called into question by MP Yahya al-Abadseh, who called for their removal from a Legislative Council report.

“This position makes us look as if we justify their deportation,” the Hamas lawmaker said. “This is not in line with our values or our beliefs.”

“Our position is that throughout history, whenever the Jews were deported, we Muslims accepted them,” he continued. “The standards of Europe at the time cannot possibly have been appropriate, because they were based on racism, extremism, and religious fanaticism.”

Al-Abadseh’s criticism was dismissed by al-Zahhar, who insisted the deportations were “not about Nazism or antisemitism,” but are “a matter of written history and not one’s personal opinion.”

“I once wrote a book titled, The Hatred of the Jews – Historical Heritage,” he said. “I will lend it to Dr. Al-Abadseh, so he can see that what appeared in the [report] is just a drop in the sea of what those people did in European history.”

Al-Zahhar’s arguments — aired by the Hamas-run al-Aqsa TV — echoed sentiments he shared in previous years about Jewish history.

In a 2010 public address translated by MEMRI, the Hamas official claimed France expelled its “Jewish entity” in the Middle Ages “because they sucked the blood of the French, because they shed the blood of the French, slaughtered them, stole their money, and conspired against them.”

“Allah willing, their expulsion from Palestine in its entirety is certain to come,” he said. “We are no weaker or less honorable than the peoples that expelled and annihilated the Jews. The day we expel them is drawing near.”

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