Hamas Anniversary Is Reminder of Terror Group’s Agenda
This week marks the 30th anniversary of the publication of the covenant of the “Islamic Resistance Movement,” better known as Hamas. The document is worth reviewing given the current conflict in Gaza and the widespread misunderstanding of the movement’s goals, and the misguided notion that Israel can reach an accommodation with the terrorist organization.
From the outset, the document makes clear that Hamas’ ideology is rooted in Islam, and it is a reminder — especially to those who speciously believe the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is just about land — that for many Palestinians, the dispute is a religious one. You don’t actually have to read beyond the preamble to get the gist of the document and its Islamic foundation: “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” Article 15 explicitly says, “the Palestinian problem is a religious problem, and should be dealt with on this basis.”
The charter also repeatedly emphasizes that Hamas is not really concerned with the State of Israel; it is at war with the Jewish people. It says in the introduction: “Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious. … The Movement is but one squadron that should be supported by more and more squadrons from this vast Arab and Islamic world, until the enemy is vanquished and Allah’s victory is realized.”
Article 7 says that Hamas “aspires to the realization of Allah’s promise, no matter how long that should take.” And what promise are they referring to?
The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews. When the Jew will hide behind stones and trees, the stones and trees will say, “O Muslims, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.”
The charter also regurgitates popular antisemitic canards. Article 22 talks about how Jews accumulated money to take “control of the world media, news agencies, the press, publishing houses, and broadcasting stations.” Jews were “behind the French Revolution, the Communist revolution and most of the revolutions,” and used their money to form “secret societies, such as Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, the Lions and others … for the purpose of sabotaging societies and achieving Zionist interests.”
Not only that, but the Jews’ wealth allows them “to control imperialistic countries and instigate them to colonize many countries in order to enable them to exploit their resources and spread corruption there.” In several places in the charter, Hamas refers to Jews as “Nazis,” and Article 32 bases its conclusions about Jewish intentions on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
Most people expressing such views would be regarded as antisemitic lunatics, but some people believe that Hamas must be taken seriously as an interlocutor in peace talks.
Although there is no historical or religious basis for the claim, Hamas asserts in Article 11 that “Palestine is an Islamic Waqf land consecrated for Muslim generations until Judgement Day” that must be governed by Shariah law. This means that there is no place for Jews or a Jewish state on holy Muslim land.
For those who naively believe that the Palestinians would be content with a state in the West Bank and Gaza, consult Article 6, which says that Hamas “strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine.” Article 13 elaborates: “There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.” Some apologists for Islamists will claim that the word “jihad” has a benign meaning related to internal struggle; however, in this context, Hamas leaves no doubt that it is referring to a holy war against the Jews.
Furthermore, Hamas wants to turn this into a global holy war encompassing the entire Muslim world. Article 14 says the “liberation of Palestine” is the duty of every Muslim. Not surprisingly, Hamas considers the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty treachery, and opposes any other Arab country signing an agreement with Israel (Article 32).
Hamas also looks back nostalgically to the time when Muslims controlled a powerful empire and expelled the Crusaders. Similarly, Article 35 says that the Muslims must “confront the Zionist invasion and defeat it.”
The funniest clause in the covenant, if you can find humor in a genocidal manifesto, is the claim in Article 31 that Hamas is “a humanistic movement” that “takes care of human rights and is guided by Islamic tolerance when dealing with the followers of other religions.” The article goes on to say the three great religions can co-exist, but only “under the wing of Islam.” Never mind the current and historical persecution of Jews and Christians under Islamic rule.
Last year, Hamas released a statement of “General Principles and Policies” aimed at moderating its image to gain international recognition. The statement, however, was mostly a restatement of its previous positions, with the major change being an effort to disguise its hostility to Jews by using the word “Zionists” as a euphemism.
The ultimate objective of Hamas remains unchanged and unequivocal: the creation of an Islamic state from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River that is Judenrein.
It may be possible to negotiate temporary ceasefires to quell paroxysms of violence, but Hamas will never abandon its goal. To paraphrase Golda Meir, Hamas wants all Jews dead. Jews want to live. Between life and death, there is no compromise.
Mitchell Bard, Executive Director of AICE and Jewish Virtual Library, has written 24 books, including The Arab Lobby, Death to the Infidels: Radical Islam’s War Against the Jews, and After Anatevka: Tevye in Palestine.