Defenders of Hamas on the Left claim the terrorist organization merely wants to lift the blockade over Gaza, providing full freedom for the Palestinians to live in peace there. But even Hamas admits that is not enough. Hamas’ Charter states that the purpose of the organization is to remove the Jews from Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, and establish an Islamic caliphate. Like ISIS, Hamas seeks to spread Shariah law everywhere.
By Rachel Alexander l September 8, 2014
Violence by the terrorist organization known as Hamas or the Islamic Resistance Movement rises to the level of ISIS in Iraq. The escalation of fighting began with Hamas launching rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip into Israel, and deliberately executing three Israeli teenagers, including an American. In response to this provocation, Israel started launching air strikes into Gaza in July.
President Obama has reluctantly sent over 1,000 troops to Iraq to counter ISIS, the al-Qaeda offshoot that is marauding through Iraq, and has ordered over 100 air strikes. However, Obama is not treating Hamas similarly. Instead, Obama wants Israel to recognize Hamas as part of a Palestinian government and negotiate cease-fires. Israel does not like agreeing to ceasefires, because Hamas uses the period to prepare for more fighting. Hamas has violated at least 11 cease-fires so far.
Writing for the Jerusalem Post Michel Gurfinkiel states, “Western leaders fail to recognize the similarities between the Islamic State and Hamas.”
Legal scholar Alan Dershowitz has pointed out Obama’s double standard; Hamas has probably killed more people than ISIS, but Obama isn’t urging anyone to negotiate with ISIS. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on August 21 that Hamas and ISIS are essentially the same. Naftali Bennett, Israel’s minister of economy and chairman of the Jewish Home Party, characterized it this way, “…The enemy is the same. It might be called Hezbollah in Lebanon, ISIS in Iraq, Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Al-Nusra in Syria.”
Evelyn Gordon, writing for Commentary, ironically observes there is one difference between ISIS and Hamas: “Hamas has infinitely less power than ISIS to wreak global havoc, because Israel has managed to keep its capabilities in check.”
In fact, Israel is in a worse situation with Hamas than the U.S. is with ISIS, since ISIS is not attacking the American homeland – not yet, anyway, while Hamas is on Israel’s doorstep. In contrast, since July 8, Hamas and associated militant Islamic groups launched 3,000 rockets and mortars into Israel. In response, Israel launched Operation Protective Edge striking 4,762 targets in Gaza. Authorities estimate somewhere between 1,552 and 2,100 Gazans have been killed, and five times that many injured. Israel estimates that 900 of them have been terrorists. Over 80 Israelis have lost their lives.
Image source: IDF
Defenders of Hamas on the Left claim the terrorist organization merely wants to lift the blockade over Gaza, providing full freedom for the Palestinians to live in peace there. But even Hamas admits that is not enough. In fact, both ISIS and Hamas seek a global caliphate. Hamas’ Charter of 1988 specifies that the purpose of the organization is to remove the Jews from Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, and establish an Islamic caliphate. Like ISIS, Hamas seeks to spread Shariah law everywhere. After Israel pulled its settlers out of Gaza in 2005, Hamas continued to pummel them in Israel. This is because Hamas and ISIS are motivated by religious fanaticism, not nationalistic aspirations.
Hamas is considered a terrorist organization by nine countries, and is banned in Jordan. Founded in 1987, it is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood. Since its inception, Hamas has steadily launched rockets and sent suicide bombers into Israel. The rockets have evolved from small homemade projectiles in 2001 to long-range rockets that now reach major Israeli cities. Hamas maintains hundreds and possibly thousands of underground bunkers, command centers and other structures. It is increasing in strength, sophistication and size – not moving towards peace.
The Gaza Strip – which is just 25 miles long and 3 to 7 miles wide – has been run by Palestinians since 1994, when Israel turned it over to Yasser Arafat’s PLO. Between 1994 and 1996, Israel built a barrier between itself and Gaza to stop the suicide bombers from crossing into Israel. Although it retained control over Gaza’s airspace and territorial waters, and controls traffic coming in and out of the region, Hamas took control of the Palestinian Congress in 2006, defeating the PLO-aligned Fatah party, but brought the PLO back to jointly rule in June.
Hamas’ latest strategy is using women and children as human shields. Netanyahu points to this travesty as evidence that Hamas is the enemy of its own people. It forces the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) to return fire to targets where missiles will inevitably hit Palestinian civilians, making Israel look like the bad guy. In contrast, one Israeli man was badly wounded when he threw himself in front of children to shield them from Hamas rockets.
Mohammed Deif, who leads the military wing of Hamas, demonstrated that he would rather put his family in jeopardy than stop the violence against Israel. Thus, in an air strike targeting him, his family became collateral damage.
Hamas also used foreign reporters as shields, so it is peculiar that most reporters one-sidedly portrayed Israel as the antagonist and Hamas as the victim and ultimately as the victor. Hamas militants admit they deliberately build tunnels near schools and clinics, and conduct military operations inside mosques – not exactly reflective of a “religion of peace.”
After hiring Palestinians to dig hundreds of “terror tunnels” into Israel, Hamas executed them, fearful they might someday reveal the location of the tunnels to Israel. Hamas has had a hard time getting along with the PLO, no moderate organization. Hundreds of Palestinians have been killed in recent years due to their feuding.
Hamas Terror Tunnels
Incredibly, Israel is being accused of targeting citizens and property by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and UNICEF. Without offering a shred of evidence, the spokeswoman for UNICEF, Monica Awad, said that Israel deliberately killed women and 196 children. The truth is, some of the rockets that Hamas fired malfunctioned, killing Gazan citizens. Other Gazan civilians were killed due to being used as human shields by Hamas. Journalists report that Hamas is intimidating them from reporting on its use of human shields and rocket barrages.
Hamas must renounce its charter and denounce violence, if it expects to become a legitimate entity worthy of recognition. But it won’t because its reason for being would end. So, this Jihadist organization spawn of the Muslim Brotherhood must be defeated. Dershowitz observes, “If these terrorist groups were to lay down their arms, there might be peace, whereas, if their enemies were to lay down their arms, there would be genocide.”
Netanyahu is not stupid, and he is the prime minister of one of the most free democracies in the world, perhaps the country most like the U.S. What will it take for the Obama administration to realize Hamas is as dangerous as ISIS and has the same goals? Hopefully, not the murder of another American – or even worse, another 9-11.