In his column of July 24, “In this sad war story, Israel is in the right,” Ari Shavit asks whom we are fighting and responds: “A fascist organization that terrorizes the people of Gaza, oppresses women and gays, and shuns all democratic values of freedom and progress.” A look at the Hamas charter, which spells out the group’s ideology as conceived by its founder, Ahmed Yassin, helps expand upon Shavit’s response. In addition, in its preamble, it states that it is the charter of the Islamic resistance movement, revealing its character and shedding light on its goals, in particular with respect to Zionism and Israel, expressing clearly anti-Semitic beliefs .
The charter, which was enacted in 1988, about a year after the organization was founded, has not been amended or abrogated since. It contains 36 articles, dealing with a variety of subjects including a social commitment to assist the needy; relations between Hamas and other segments of the Arab world, particularly the Palestinians; and the religious obligation to be a faithful Muslim. Several sections are devoted to Israel, Zionism, and the Jews. They are very clear and state that efforts in a range of areas, political, national and social, are part of the fight against Israel and Zionism and are a means towards carrying it out.
In its opening lines, even before the preamble, the charter states that Israel will continue to exist until it is eliminated by Islam, just as Islam destroyed what came before Israel.
The reason for this is made clear later in the charter: All of the land of Palestine is the property of the Waqf, the Muslim religious trust, and will continue to be so until Judgment Day. The Hamas movement, with its link to the Muslim Brotherhood and by virtue of the ideological platform to which it is bound, Islam, aims to be the standard-bearer of jihad and to fly the flag of Allah on every inch of the soil of Palestine. Islam determines one’s entire way of life, aspirations and approach, and therefore nationalism, according to the language of the charter, is part of religious faith. The liberation of Palestine is a personal obligation imposed on every Muslim.
Therefore, no one, no group, country or organization has the right to give up any portion of the land, providing the basis for Article 13, which relates directly to contemporary events, stating that initiatives and what are referred to as peaceful solutions and international conferences are at variance with the principles of the Islamic resistance movement and are all useless wastes of time.
The articles that describe Israel, Zionism and the Jewish people contain clearly anti-Semitic motifs that are expressed without mincing words. Zionism constitutes a Nazi and Tatar-like invasion of Palestine, the charter states, and Jewish Nazism is an evil enemy (Article 20) that conducts itself like Nazism—plundering, robbing and murdering. And the long list of sins includes the creation of detention camps to which thousands are held in subhuman conditions.
The historical description is informed by and directly based on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion: Over the generations, the enemy has amassed wealth and huge holdings and influence, took control of the media of various kinds, was behind the French and Communist revolutions, established destructive spy organizations such as the Freemasons, Rotary, the Lions and B’nai B’rith. It took control of imperialist countries and in turn forced them to take over many other countries to exploit their resources and spread its corrupt ways. In other words, the Jews were also behind colonialism. During World War I, they managed to eliminate the Islamic caliphate, a reference to the Ottoman Empire, and between the two world wars established the League of Nations in an effort to dictate the results of the war.
And then comes World War II. Perish the thought of any mention of the Holocaust, the 6 million Jews who died in it, the ghettoes and camps and the horrors that took place there, the helplessness of the Jewish people at the time, and certainly not the true Nazis. It was the Jews, the charter says, who were behind World War II, which enabled them to reap huge profits through the arms trade and paved the way for the establishment of their state. They also ordered the establishment of the United Nations and the Security Council so they could rule the world through them. In this regard, it’s difficult to know whether to laugh or cry. If that’s the case, then Zionism, Israel and the Jews are behind all the wars, revolutions and major organizations around the world, controlling them through the basest and most contemptible means, through trade in drugs and alcohol, for example, in an effort to facilitate their expansion and control. Early on in the charter, there is reference to a well-known passage from the Hadith, Muslim oral law, about the Judgment Day that will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews, and if in the course of the fighting a Jew hides behind trees or rocks, they will be revealed to the Muslims, Allah’s servants, so he can be killed.
The articles that follow describe the Zionists and the Jews and their purported deeds and come to the necessary conclusion. Near the end of the charter, it is stated that it is only under the auspices of Islam that the believers in the three monotheistic religions, Islam, Christianity and Judaism, can live together in security and peace.
The writer is a historian.