Ever since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge, a number of myths in the Zionist propaganda have been exposed one after another. At first analysts were tackling one or two myths at a time. Then came articles refuting five Israeli talking points on Gaza, including the claim that Hamas provoked Israel by firing their rockets, that they use human shields, or that Gaza is not under occupation. As the assault on Gaza continued, more of the Israeli talking points were getting further scrutinized. There seems to be a critical amount of graphic images of dead civilians, including hundreds of children, after which people cannot be manipulated as easily into shrugging their shoulders off anymore.
One of the latest Israeli myth busting articles was that of Mehdi Hassan’s, who debunked 11 talking points used by Israeli spokespersons. One really has to wonder why anyone after all these lies would listen to what Israeli spokespersons have to say at all. In fact, it has already been revealed that Israel specifically trains spokespersons to mislead, divert, and avoid answering questions in a way that absolves them from accountability.
It has become painfully obvious to those of us who do not rely on CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, a propagandist for Israel who masquerades as a journalist, that the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is the aggressor in this assault on Gaza, and that Hamas is merely responding to the attacks from the terrorist group that Zionists call the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). All one has to do is ignore the rhetoric and focus on the evidence to come to this conclusion. However, the propaganda machine remains hard at work. I have been travelling this weekend and passed through a number of airports, only to be subjected to the mind-numbing repetitive and biased “Special Reports” on Gaza by talking heads on “News” channels.
But something is different about the Zionist attack on Gaza this time. Israel is no longer immune to criticism, and Zionists are under constant pressure to explain the high-tech massacres the Israeli army of terrorists have committed. We are at a turning point in history where people can finally speak up against Zionists and not worry about belligerent thugs like Netanyahu easily manipulating public opinion merely by bringing up the Holocaust or anti-Semitism. It would seem that the anti-Semitism card has been overused.
Nevertheless, despite the qualitative difference in the latest assault on Gaza, and the ever increasing number of writers who speak in support of Palestinians, there is still a limit to what one can say if they wish to keep their spot on the mainstream media platform. You are allowed to push the envelope, but only as far as the editors allow you to. Before one speaks in support of Gaza and the Palestinian cause, the first paragraph has to start with some pandering to the readers about how Hamas is a terrorist organization and how being pro-Palestinian does not mean one is pro-Hamas. People have already been well-conditioned and indoctrinated to mindlessly repeat this mantra without considering any facts on the ground. This type of rhetoric is also an embodiment of verses in the Quran describing this approach:
God knows exactly who among you hinder others, who say to their brothers, ‘Come and join us,’ who hardly ever come out to fight, who begrudge you [believers] any help. When fear comes, you see them looking at you with eyes rolling like someone in their death throes; when fear has passed, they attack you with sharp tongues and begrudge you any good. – Quran [33:18-19]
Out of fear for being labelled a “terrorist sympathizer”, any pro-Palestine or anti-Zionist article in mainstream media has to include a sentence or two at the beginning about the need for Hamas to stop firing rockets. This regurgitation of Zionist talking points is present even in articles that attempt to bring about some “nuance” to the discussion.
The bottom line is this: putting the internal politics of the Gaza Strip aside, you cannot be pro-Palestine and anti-Hamas!
Hamas is not a terrorist organization. As Glenn Greenwald put it, “Terrorsim is simultaneously the single most meaningless and most manipulated word in the American political lexicon.” There was a time when Nelson Mandela was considered a terrorist, and only in 2008 did we see then-U.S. President George W. Bush sign a bill taking him off the terror watch list. Obviously this debacle was a consequence of early political interests, which were aligned between the South African apartheid regime and the U.S. against the communists. This eventually was cause for embarrassment of having to take him off the terror watch list years down the road.
Aside from the meaninglessness of the term, the use of it signifies a deeper problem from the pro-Palestinian side. It is that we have accepted the terms of engagement set forth by Zionists, which means this struggle is lost before it has begun. Moreover, referring to Hamas as a terrorist organization has another significance that has been missed by just about everyone with the exception of the Israeli novelist A. B. Yehoshua in his article for the New Republic where he implores Israel to stop referring to Hamas as a terror organization and wonders:
Is it that the expression “a regime of terror” is a stronger expression than “enemy”? Or perhaps the word “terror” signifies that deep down we consider Gaza to be a part of Israel. In that case, its inhabitants wouldn’t be considered “enemies,” but Arabs of the Land of Israel in which bands of terrorists operate? Are we responsible for the welfare of Gazans in a way that we weren’t responsible for the Syrians or Egyptians? Is that why we continue to supply electricity and food and oil to them, but won’t even negotiate with the Gaza leadership in the way we once negotiated with the Jordanians, Syrians, or Egyptians?
There is a reason Malcolm X told the oppressed not to accept the definitions set forth by the oppressor. This insight from Yehoshua comes at a time when some members of the Israeli government lay diplomatic language by the wayside and speak candidly about how they really view Gaza. Moshe Feiglin, the deputy speaker for the Kenesset, Israel’s parliament, and member of Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party announced plainly that the whole land is, “our country – our country exclusively, including Gaza.”
In a recent report, the head of the UN’s Gaza probe, Canadian legal expert William Schabas, was asked whether he considered Hamas a terrorist organization. His answer was evasive, stating that it was “inappropriate for [him] to answer a question like that,” and that the question needs to be studied in “as neutral and objective a manner as possible.” Schabas’ response may upset Zionists and their groupies. But it actually speaks to the deeper problem of using words that describe behaviour to label a group. Paul Pillar writes in The National Interest that “Terrorism is a tactic, one whose use comes and goes, not a fixed category of people or groups.” He further challenges the claim that Hamas is dedicated to the destruction of Israel:
The Israeli prime minister says Hamas is “dedicated to the destruction of Israel.” Actually, Hamas leaders have repeatedly made clear a much different posture, one that involves indefinite peaceful coexistence with Israel even if they officially term it only a hudna or truce. It would be more accurate to say that Israel is dedicated to the destruction of Hamas, an objective that Israel has demonstrated with not just its words but its deeds, including prolonged collective punishment of the population of the Gaza Strip in an effort to strangle the group. Such efforts have included large-scale violence that—although carried out overtly by military forces and thus not termed terrorism—has been every bit as lethal to innocent civilians.
A fact very few people are aware of is that Hamas is not actually the official name of the Palestinian political organization. It is an Arabic acronym that stands for Haraqat Al Muqawama Al Islamiyyah, i.e., The Islamic Resistance Movement. In their Arabic press appearances, the leaders of Hamas do not use their acronym as often as one would expect. Rather, when they refer to themselves they simply say “The Resistance”. It is not for nothing that no Western media would refer to Hamas by its official name. The sheeple would have a different perception of Zionist Israel if the Palestinian side is constantly referred to as The Resistance, which they most certainly are.
On Charters & Alleged Anti-Semitism
Hamas is constantly accused of being anti-Semitic, the proof of which can be obtained from their Charter. These supposed anti-Semitic components of the Charter were neatly collected by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). However, if one were to read the Charter in its entirety, a different image would emerge. For instance, the ADL first selected excerpt begins with the phrase “Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious.” What they fail to relay to the reader are the three paragraphs preceding this statement, all of which address the struggle and suffering they have endured in Palestine under Zionist occupation. In fact, the stated primary purpose written in those lines for the formation of Hamas was to collaborate with all the resistance fighters to free Palestine.
The most commonly cited alleged anti-Semitism comes from Article 7 of the Charter, which cites a Hadith in which the Prophet Muhammed ﷺ is reported to have said,
The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing 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. Only the Gharqad tree (salt tree/Nitre bush), would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews.
It is important to note here that the statements immediately preceding this Hadith, all of which specifically speak to the Zionist invasion and occupation. The myth that Hamas is anti-Semitic persists on the equivocation between Zionism and Judaism. Throughout their entire Charter, the position of Hamas is in opposition to Zionism, not to Judaism. In fact, if one would read the entire document, they would find that in article 31 explicitly states the desire of Hamas to live peacefully with Jews and Christians. There is nothing about throwing the Jews out to the sea or killing Jews merely because they are Jewish.
In addition, the translation of the cited Hadith gives the impression that Muslims should specifically seek out Jews to kill them. It is therefore surprising that despite knowledge of this Hadith for the past 1400 years, Muslims have not led an organized genocide against Jews, let alone one based on religious injunction, the way Zionists are doing today in Gaza. What is lost in translation is that the form of the verb used (to fight) in Arabic indicates two sides fighting. Contrary to how it has been portrayed, this Hadith is not imploring a genocide of the Jewish people. It is merely stating that a time will come when Muslims and Jews will be engaged in battle. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ could have named any other religious or ethnic group, not as a form of discrimination, but as foretelling for events to come.
Furthermore, there is a tool in Arabic rhetoric in which the general term is used when a specific subgroup is meant. The Quran exemplifies this in more than one occasion. All things considered, this Hadith can be understood as specifically speaking about Zionists attacking Muslims, who would in turn have to fight them back. If this Hadith is indicative of anything, it is of the truth of a prophecy. Muslims have gone for 13 centuries without anti-Jewish sentiments, until Europeans imported this bigotry into the Middle East, especially after dispossessing Palestinians in order to create the Zionist state. This creates another problem: not only do we have to speak about the injustices taking place against Palestinians, but Muslim scholars and religious leaders also have to remind Muslims that our problem is not with Jews in general, but with Zionism in specific. No thanks to colonialism, not only do we have an external land/resources problem, we also have an ideological/religious one.
To make this even clearer, Shaykh Ahmed Yassin, a founder of Hamas, unequivocally clarifies that he does not fight Jews because they are Jewish. He does so because he was expelled from his home and land, and would fight his own brother who is from his own father and mother if he were to do the same to him:
The Hamas leadership has continually made the distinction in their public statements between Jews and Zionists, affirming that their intent is not to expel the Jews, but to return to where the Palestinians were expelled from. The problem with Hamas is their having engaged in suicide bombing operations as part of their resistance against Israelis. However, we need to acknowledge that the organization was formed in 1987, and they did not engage in suicide bombing attacks until 1993, which was a controversial decision among the organization’s leadership. In 2006 Hamas announced that they would no longer make use of suicide bombing campaigns, which they said had been a policy of desperation in response to the extreme provocations by Israel, such as the 1993 killings of 29 Palestinians in Hebron.
Although morally reprehensible, and thankfully an abandoned practice, we have to get beyond the obvious condemnations of suicide attacks and ask the question why this campaign was considered in the first place. These bombings were first carried out in a large scale in 1982 and 1983 during the Israeli occupation of Lebanon by Shia militia groups that would later become Hezbollah. After a series of targeted attacks against military bases resulting in high casualties for Israeli, U.S., and French security personnel. The success of these operations led to large-scale withdrawals of Israelis from population areas, and of multinational forces from Lebanon, which significantly popularized the tactic for the Palestinians, who would eventually employ it in their resistance. Aside from condemnation, we have to understand the context in which one would make a decision to turn their body into an intelligent bomb delivery system – it is because Palestinians do not possess U.S.-made high-tech missile guiding systems and fighter jets as the Israelis do, so they turn to their own bodies.
Evidence vs. Propaganda
Zionists are not defending Israel – they are trying to get Palestinians on their knees. Their target is not Hamas, but the Palestinians’ right for sovereignty. There is also something more sinister at work, because it is not just about land, but also about resources. Hamas serves as a convenient cover for Zionist to carry out their assaults in order to maintain control over Gaza’s shores. The blockade that Israel maintains over Gaza includes Palestinian territorial waters where 1.4 trillion cubic metres of natural gas were discovered in 2009. This effectively means that Hamas’ demand for Israel to lift the blockade will never be fulfilled, because Gaza is too precious for Israel to let go of. Indeed, when Zionists announced the discovery of the gas fields (conveniently after their 2008 assault on Gaza), they said they were “off the coast of Israel.” If we can be cynical, if Zionists cannot expel Palestinians from Gaza and officially include the Strip as part of Greater Israel, they will continue to subject the Palestinians to conditions that ensure continued Zionist control over the area as they do today.
If we all ignore the propaganda for a moment and focus on the evidence, it will become clear who the terrorists are. In all of their press releases and updates we find Hamas affirming they do not deliberately target civilians and only go after armed personnel. Based on what has been officially released, 64 IDF terrorists and 3 civilians were killed, and 500 IDF terrorists and 80 civilians were injured. Zionists on the other hand claim they are making “surgical” and “precise” attacks. According to Gaza’s Health Ministry 1,959 were killed and 10,196 were injured, 80% of which were civilians including women and children. With this, Netanyahu has the audacity to demand disarmament of Hamas. If anyone has shown an inability to engage in honourable combat, it is the IDF terrorists. Hence, they must be the ones who disarm first.
Israel is a terrorist state. Their army is nothing more than an organized group of thugs, exposed in their own news media for their vandalism in Gaza, deliberate targeting of civilians, and even defecating in Palestinians homes they occupy during their ground offensive. Hamas has a legally guaranteed right to defend Gaza and resist occupation, using armed resistance if needed. Their military operations are precise and surgical, targeting soldiers and adhering to a high moral code alien to IDF terrorists. We are constantly told that Hamas rockets are crude and useless, thus putting civilians in danger by the same media that made everyone believe the Iron Dome is a military marvel, when it actually does not work. Meanwhile, whenever Hamas announces they had fired a rocket, they include the target they are after, which is always an IDF terrorist encampment. One really has to wonder if these rockets are that crude and useless as propagandists claim they are.
Hamas is not just a political organization that one can vote for or against it during elections. Even if not in political office, it represents the spirit of resistance against the occupying Zionist terrorists. The attacks on Gaza, which revive Hamas’ political muster every time it is going through hard times, are attacks on Palestinian resilience. Netanyahu does not want to destroy Hamas, he wants to break the Palestinians and their spirit so he can take their land and steal their resources. In the words of Asmaa al-Ghoul, “If Hamas, in your eyes, is ordinary civilians and families, then I am Hamas, they are Hamas and we are all Hamas.”