Is Hamas a terrorist organization? Funnily enough: no.

My recent post on the documentary film “Children of Gaza” has provoked a couple of comments from someone calling him/herself “Facts First” (both to the post referred to above and an earlier one also about the Israel-Palestine conflict). While “Facts First” is most eloquent in his/her support for Israel and dismissal of Hamas, he/she has basically restated the US and Israeli position that Hamas is a terrorist organization and has no legitimacy as a government. This has persuaded me that I need to state the truth about Hamas’ legitimacy both in the Palestinian territories and the wider world.

In 2006, Hamas beat its opposition party Fatah in a free and fair election. This resulted in Hamas forming a government with Fatah. Unfortunately, supporters of both parties continued to fight each other.

As well as this factional conflict, Hamas’ position as a legitimate government partner was undermined by the USA and EU’s refusal to recognize a government that contained Hamas – their view is that Hamas is a terrorist organization and therefore unqualified to govern.

Matters came to a head when Fatah seized control of the West Bank territory and Hamas did the same in the Gaza Strip. Israel and Egypt, with US and EU support, then imposed a political, economic and humanitarian blockade on the Gaza Strip, again because Hamas is a terrorist organization.

Many critics of Hamas, including the US, the EU and “Facts First” make much of Hamas’ terrorist status. They tend to claim that Hamas’ status as a terrorist organization is a fact.

They are wrong. It is simply their opinion that Hamas are terrorists. There is an equal argument that Hamas is a legitimate political party qualified to govern the Palestinian territories.

For instance the Council on Foreign Relations says of Hamas:

Is Hamas only a terrorist group?

No. In addition to its military wing, the so-called Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigade, Hamas devotes much of its estimated $70-million annual budget to an extensive social services network. Indeed, the extensive social and political work done by Hamas – and its reputation among Palestinians as averse to corruption – partly explain its defeat of the Fatah old guard in the 2006 legislative vote. Hamas funds schools, orphanages, mosques, healthcare clinics, soup kitchens, and sports leagues. “Approximately 90 percent of its work is in social, welfare, cultural, and educational activities,” writes the Israeli scholar Reuven Paz. The Palestinian Authority often fails to provide such services, and Hamas’s efforts in this area—as well as a reputation for honesty, in contrast to the many Fatah officials accused of corruption—help to explain the broad popularity it summoned to defeat Fatah in the PA’s recent elections.

Although the USA, the EU, Israel, Canada, Japan and others call Hamas a terrorist organization, there is not an international consensus on this matter. The United Kingdom and Australia consider Hamas’ independent military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, to be terroristic, but accept that Hamas does have legitimacy. Norway is resolute in its position of recognizing Hamas as a legitimate party, and Russia also refuse to regard Hamas as terroristic because Hamas was elected democratically.

Considering the above facts, one has to wonder what exactly Israel was trying to achieve when it attacked Gaza in Operation Cast Lead, and with its ongoing blockade on the region. Israel claims its goal is to remove Hamas’ ability to operate as a terrorist organization. But this has involved the destruction of civil infrastructure in Gaza, including police stations, prisons, power and water supplies, roads, communications, commerce – and hospitals, schools and residential buildings have also been attacked. This all looks like an attempt to destroy Hamas’ ability to provide the services mentioned by the Council on Foreign Relations in the passage quoted earlier – and as no one else can provide those services, this means Israel is trying to destroy Gaza as a functional territory. Exactly who are the terrorists in this scenario?

“Facts First” has criticized my use of Wikipedia as a source of information on this subject. And I’m well aware of Wikipedia’s problems. But I think the article on Hamas is well researched, with a large and diverse number of references, and is very balanced in its presentation of the facts. In fact, I believe it is the article’s thoroughness and neutrality that makes “Facts First” dislike it so much – he/she would prefer to use US or even Israeli sources of information instead as they are more likely to present the “facts” the way he/she likes to see them. But don’t take my word on the Wikipedia’s Hamas article’s balance and thoroughness – read it and decide for yourself. And please, feel free to comment here on what has been said (and also what has not been said). All I ask is that you take “Facts First’s” pseudonym as advice: let’s stick to the facts rather than deal in opinion. And I contend that one simple fact is: Hamas is not a terrorist organization just because some governments think that’s so.

26 Responses to Is Hamas a terrorist organization? Funnily enough: no.

  1. rbued says:

    If there was an organization in your neighborhood who decided that they no longer would live under US rule and started bombing your markets and blowing up school busses of children and then hiding behind their own children and elderly, knowing that they were putting their own most vulnerable at risk, I think that you would consider them terrorists. If you are a US citizen, I think that you are more of an oppressor than the Israelis, who are in their ancestral home whereas we slaughtered an entire continent of indigineous people and have put the remnants onto the most inhospitable areas of the country. I think that before you start suporting organizations that rely on terror and murder to force their views and practices on society at large, without provocation, you should examine the history that you are a party to and see if you can make a difference closer to home and leave other peoples disputes to those who are open-minded enough to see past their own uninformed prejudices. Hamas targets the most vulnerable, kills children and old people, with hatred as their main message.

  2. Martin X says:

    rbued: you seem to be under the misapprehension that I am American. I am not: but let’s not dwell on insignificancies.

    Your analogy suggests that Israel has some kind of legitimate right to control Gaza and other Palestinian territories. But the fact is, Israel took by force the Gaza Strip and the West bank, annexed the territories and moved their own settlers into the regions, forcibly evicting the Palestinian residents often by destroying their homes with bombs and artillery shells.

    If Germany, for instance, decided to forcibly annex neighbouring territories like areas of France and the Czech Republic, wouldn’t the displaced French and Czechs have a right to resist this aggression? If the Germans’ military superiority had obliterated the french and Czech capacity to wage conventional war against the aggressors, wouldn’t the French and the Czechs have a right to wage guerrilla war against the invaders?

    In the twentieth century, German took the action I just described. And no one doubted the right of the invaded peoples to resist the aggressors by any means possible; except for the Germans, of course, who characterized the Maquis (French Resistance) as “terrorists”, much like how the Israelis now characterize Hamas. Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, and United States and many other countries likewise saw Germany’s actions as utterly abhorrent and took grave steps to tackle it – these actions included concentrated bombing of cities, targetting civilians with great deliberation. These bombings were infinitely more horrific than the rocket attacks launched by Gaza against Israel.

    But for some reason, the international community sees these actions against Germany, and similar operations elsewhere in the world, as legitimate – and they dismiss hamas and its kind as “terrorists”. I can’t see how these 2 diametrically opposed viewpoints can be reconciled. but I’m no expert. If an expert would be so kind as to explain this disparity of opinion, please feel free to enlighten us.

    And please, please do not point to Germany’s vile acts of genocide as justification for why the Second World War was fought as it was. The scale of Hitler’s evil was not apparent until quite late in the war. The Allies had decided to destroy Hitler’s Germany long before the horrors of Auchwitz, Belsen etc were exposed. Hitler had to be stopped because of his aggressive expansionism. Israel is now engaged in a strategy of aggressive expansionism, establishing Israeli “settlements” in territories that for many hundreds of years have belonged to Palestinians and other Arabs, and evicting these original inhabitants with great, often deadly force. Many thousands of Palestinian families have been driven from their ancestral lands and now live in squalor in dire refugee camps. Actors like Hamas want this situation to end. What are they supposed to do: wait for an uncaring world of Israel’s allies to suddenly change their minds and act against israel? Should they just pack up and move on, leaving their historical homeland behind? Or should they fight for their rights, their lives, their culture and heritage? I think I know what you would do in their place.

  3. rbued says:

    Your viewpoint loses me by ignoring the fact that Isreal has existed where it is for thousands of years, which dwarfs the Pallisineans hundreds of years, as you state it. That you cannot seem to differentiate between defending yourself and trying to annihilate an entire race and hatred toward anyone not Muslim, then this is a moot argument. It would seem that it is you who accept only the facts that support your thesis. I don’t know anything about Factsfirst but I know that killing women and children indescriminately is disgusting and both sides are guilty of excesses, but Hamas has long shown that they are willing to sacrifice not only the innocents of the Israelis but also have no qualms about sacrificing their own women, children, and elderly to further their jihad goals. The Palistinian people deserve to be represented by these bloodthirsty maniacs. I’m no expert myself, but I know when I see an annihilistic organization, and the fact that they took advantage of an election filled with coersion and assault does not legitimatize their violence in any manner. I am not defending those sources that you dispute, but cannot accept the propaganda that you offer in repudiation either. For over half a century I have watched and listened, and am not swayed by the revisionist views that now crop up in defense of hatred.

  4. rbued says:

    I meant to make the statement that the Palistinean people do not deserve to be represented by these bloodthirsty maniacs. I would like that they would be in a position to be represented by reasonable people willing to work peaceably toward the goal of their own, autonomous state, but that is not possible while hard-headed extremists are running the show.

  5. Martin X says:

    rbued: I won’t bother to reply to all the points you raise, as you obviously did not bother to read my post before typing your little tirade.

    One thing I *will* answer is your claim that Hamas “took advantage of an election filled with coersion and assault”. If you bother to look at actual factual records rather than US or Israeli propoganda, you will know that the election Hamas won was observed extremely carefully by EU and UN electoral organizations; and that the election was widely accepted as free and fair by international observers. Hamas have a democratic mandate, whether you like it or not.

    Your problem seems to be that you believe anti-Hamas statements are true and pro-Hamas statements are false. If you read my earlier post with an open mind, you may at least understand Hamas’ point of view even if you don’t agree with it. You seem to believe that Hamas is some sort of James Bond movie style evil organization whose motive is only to cause chaos and terror. Even one minute’s sensible reflection would cause you to see that’s ridiculous. But you’ll believe what you want to believe, I guess, whereas most rational people will believe that which actually seems most believable.

    I hate hate. I hate the hatred you feel for the Palestinian people. Note, please, I do not hate *you*. I hate the way you have been brainwashed into believing only that which you choose to believe.

    Oh yes, one last thing. What makes you think that the Israel has existed for thousands of years? The state of Israel came into being in 1948. All earlier claims are based on folklore and Bible stories. Please don’t equate Bible stories with historical fact. We are talking politics, not religious fundamentalism. Aren’t we?

  6. rbued says:

    I appologize for the tone of my message and hope that you understand that we are speaking of an issue that evokes a lot of passion. I thank you for allowing me to express my opinion but am saddened that you would think that I am simply a brainwashed automaton who does not look at all sides of an issue. I in fact drew my facts from the same flawed but informative wikapedia that you referenced in your origional post that I “didn’t bother to read.” Please don’t discount the legitemacy of ancient writings as fantasy unless you are prepared to discount them all. You seem to have your mind made up about the subject. I know other people who already know everything. What a sad state to be beyond the ability to learn. I do not hate the palistineans, I do not hate anyone. I do hate the blind hatred that justifies the antisemitism that has permeated our world (no, I am not Jewish, but care as much for the pain that they suffer as I do for the plight of the palisinean people. I do not equate Hamas to the good people that they claim to represent, as the Palisineans suffer as much from the policies and hatred that Hamas holds for all “infidels.” There is history that extends beyond 1948, and , by the way, that is when the rest of the world sent the jews to their former homeland because no one else wanted them. They are a people just trying to survive in a world that simply doesn’t like them. I appreciate our conversation and again apologize for offending you, but if you call my views a rant you should reread your posts and look in the mirror. You have spurred me to do more research and to understand the subject better and for that I thank you and I wish you well and hope that we have not closed the door on civilized debate.

  7. Martin X says:

    rbued: I certainly hope we haven’t closed the door on civilized debate. The whole reason I allow comments on this blog and respond to as many as possible is because I want to talk civilly with anyone who also wants to talk, Remember, if I felt like it I could just delete your comments so no one ever saw them, or i could edit them to make you look a fool. That’s not what I’m about.

    I’m truly saddened that you think I’m anti-Israel and pro-Palestine. The truth is, I see the merit in both their arguments, and I also see a lot of hatred and ignorance in what they all say. The title of this blog is I HATE HATE!!! and I really do hate hate. I wish everyone would just kiss and make up. But I also know that will not happen within my lifetime.

    Having said that, I used to believe the Republicans/Catholics and the Unionists/Protestants in Northern Ireland would never make peace. And look at the place now! It’s not perfect, but the great majority of the violence has ended and both sides now sit together in a power-sharing government. Nearly all serious politicians in the late 20th century would have believed that would never happen.

    The only hope for the israel/Palestine situation is a similar power-sharing deal. Unfortunately, both sides are too attached to their ancient writings to see the other’s point of view as at all valid. Yes, I think ancient writings and fundamentalist religious beliefs on both sides of the divide are a major obstacle to peace. Both sides believe their God gave that land to them, and they are all prepared to kill and be killed in that cause. And unfortunately, you too seem to thin that one religious viewpoint in particular gives its adherents a claim more valid than the other’s. I’m talking here about the Jewish belief that God gave the land to them. You say they have a claim that stretches back thousands of years. But what about the Moslems’ counter-claim? Why do you back the Jewish story and not the islamic one?

    The *facts* of this story are that the Palestinians have lived in this region for hundreds of years, even when it was “owned” by imperialistic powers like the British (take note that when the region was run by a British administration before and after the Second World War, they called it “Palestine”, not “Israel”). When the British mandate decided to allow mass immigration of Jewish settlers after the war, it was in part to assuage the guilt felt by many for not doing more to stop Hitler’s genocide. But note: the British mandate allowed many jews to move to Palestine, but the idea was not to evict the Palestinians and let the Jews take over. The mandate wanted both peoples to share the region. But neither side was happy with the situation – the Arabs said Palestine was theirs, and why should they have to pay for hitler’s crimes? And the Jews said Israel was theirs because God said so asnd because the world owed reparation for the Holocaust. And *both* sides turned to terrorism (it is interesting how Israerl and its allies forget the Irgun organization, whose doctrine was that “every Jew had the right to enter Palestine; only active retaliation would deter the Arabs; only Jewish armed force would ensure the Jewish state.” – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irgun – Irgun, whose terrorist outrages included the bombing of the King David hotel that killed 91 people – Irgun, whose development of the remote-controlled mortar can be seen as an antecedent of the IED – interestingly, after the withdrawal of the British mandate Irgun turned into the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) which exists to this day; so it is true to say that the State of Israel is a product of terrorism. It’s also interesting to note that the Irgun emblem includes a map of the land claimed by the organization: including the British Mandate of Palestine, Israel with its current (2010) borders, the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Jordan! To put it bluntly, much of the “international community” supports a country whose policies closely reflect those of a famously brutal terror organization. This shows that there is in fact a close moral equivalency between the State of Israel and Hamas. Or are you going to contend that Israeli terrorism is okay?

    Please don’t think I’m supporting Hamas here. I’m merely pointing out that Israel is steeped in the blood of innocents; and there is an argument that these Jewish terrorists were allowed to take power in the area only because of the collective guuilt felt by Europeans and Americans with regard to the Holocaust.

    Also please don’t think I am anti-Semitic. I hate all such hateful beliefs. But I believe Israel’s claim to that country lies in its terror campaign, and in its Bible stories. Historically, Islamic Palestinians and Arabs have had longer documented continual occupation of the region. If you look at the situation rationally, most of thast land should belong to Palestine. But Hamas don’t want to “drive the Israelis into the sea”, even though its 1988 charter uses such language. Hamas leaders have more recently declared their willingness to coexist with israel if the borders of 1967 are respected, refugees from the 67 war are allowed to return home, and East Jerusalem is run by its historical owners: the Palestinians.

    I repeat my earlier statement: I do not support Hamas in its goals any more than I do Israel. What I want is serious negotiations that lead to a fair and lasting peace. Some form of power sharing arrangement would be good, so as to calm the fears of those Israelis who think the return of refugees would make Jewish Israelis a minority. Of course they can’t just copy the Northern irish solution and transplant it to Israel/Palestine – the situations have some similarities but also many great differences. But I am reminded of something said by Sinn fein government minister and former IRA bomber Gerry Kelly. He said that no war can ever be resolved by military means alone – there must always be a political reolution. Hamas can’t defeat Israel militarily, but Israel can’t beat Hamas either. Sooner or later both sides will have to sit down and talk to each other. But the longer they leave it, the more violent and deadly will be the interim.,

    • Marxist Hypocrisy 101 says:

      “Please don’t think I’m supporting Hamas here. ”

      Then stop bending over backwards to justify and omit their FAR more frequent uses of violence and murder against innocent people when they themselves do more to oppress the Palestinian people through Islamism, dumbshit.

  8. rbued says:

    I see that our views are closer than at first apparant even though we must respectfully disagree on some minor points, bt do share the common goal that men could live together as brothers regardless of their history or beliefs, respecting each other and supporting each other, and disagreeing peacefully in order to work toward solutions. To my mind, they serve the same God, no matter what they call Him or how he has interacted in their lives. Different people from different places likely would have different perceptions of like events and thus would report the experience according to their own situation and circumstance. None of own the land we stand on, we’re only borrowing it for a time, and then it will be there for someone else. It is our need for ownership that drives us to division and conflict.
    Thank you for your stimulating conversation and, though we may differ in some of our views I enjoy eing challenged to explore my perceptions and adjust my views according to the new evidence that I see.
    I’ve said on my own blog that, as I have grown and learned, many of the views I held years ago now seem foolish and uninformed to me and I am sure that in ten years I will look back on some of the things I see as truth will also be rejected in favor of a more well-informed opinion. I thank you, my friend, for challanging me and driving me on to be more well informed. I will keep reading.

  9. Sacred G says:

    Kudos for trying to school the blind/self-righteous MX! Good luck though, not even the Prophets have had much success with this kind o’ thing.

    Reparations Now!

  10. John Bob Meister says:

    You posted “In addition to its military wing, the so-called Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigade, Hamas devotes much of its estimated $70-million annual budget to an extensive social services network.”

    I would remind you that the MAK (precursor to al Qa’ida), Hizballah, the Taliban and al-Qa’ida have all provided social services.

    Providing services to ‘win hearts and minds’ is an intelligent move if the organization wishes to stay in power. Social services does not make a terrorist organization any less ‘terrorist’. Hamas still carries out suicide bombings, killing hundreds – Hamas also perpetrates sniping, lynches and defenestration (including to its own people).

    Hamas is a terrorist organization.

    • John Bob Meister says:

      Also should add this comment from Hamas leader, Mashal, made today: “”We will not settle for Shalit and, God willing, the freedom fighters will succeed in kidnapping more soldiers as Israel doesn’t understand anything but the language of force,”

      Still not a terrorist organization?

      Could always watch this video, if you’re still not convinced. This is Al-Aqsa TV – the official station of Hamas. http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/2511.htm

      Again, on Hamas official TV: http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/2521.htm

      If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck…it’s a duck.

      • Martin X says:

        Actually, that’s a fallacy. If it looks like a duck and acts like a duck, that just means it is something that looks and acts like a duck.

        Also: by the USA’s own definition, the US government is a terrorist organization. I don’t have the links to hand rught now, but I will update this post asap to show you what I mean.

      • Marxist Hypocrisy 101 says:

        “Actually, that’s a fallacy.”

        No, Martin, that’s just reality smacking your hypocritical, sollipsistic, apologism-based delusions into next Tuesday.

  11. langes says:

    I have to agree with rbueb on this one for all tense and purposes Hamas is a terrorist group for the simple reason that it behaves like one

  12. Martin X says:

    *sigh* Another one who says Hamas is a terrorist group “because it acts like one”, while the USA is a committed opponent to terrorism, right?

    I found the link I referred to above – the USA’s official definition of terrorism. The US Department of Defense Dictionary of Military Terms defines terrorism as:

    “The calculated use of unlawful violence or threat of unlawful violence to inculcate fear; intended to coerce or to intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or ideological.” (http://terrorism.about.com/od/whatisterroris1/ss/DefineTerrorism_4.htm)

    Can you remember when, after the 9/11 atrocities, the US government told the Taliban (at that time the rulers of Afghanistan) that it would bomb Afghan cities and assassinate top Taliban officials if the “suspects” were not handed over immediately. The US offered no evidence that the “suspects” had done anything; the US refused to enter into any negotiations of any kind, even talks about how the “suspects” might be handed over. The US action in this case, and the prolonged military campaign that followed, is a textbook example of terrorism according to the US’s own definition of the term. You can’t say that Hamas and the Taliban are terrorists and the USA is not a terrorist state unless you like to indulge in blatant hypocrisy.

    Maybe you’ll say the US government is not a terrorist organization because it was democratically elected. Let me respond to that:

    1. It is perfectly reasonable to suggest that, at that time, George Bush 2 was *not* democratically elected. Remember the “hanging chads” and the very many votes that were simply not counted? That doesn’t sound like a free and fair democratic election;

    2. Hamas *was* voted into government in an election that many international observers (including the EU) said was free and fair. Get that into your head: Hamas was the democratically chosen leader. But because they have views that some of the rest of the world (the US and Britain) find distasteful, the Palestinian people are being punished. They didn’t vote the way George Bush 2 wanted them to vote, therefore Hamas *and* the Palestinian people are somehow complicit in terrorism

    langes: you say “Hamas is a terrorist group for the simple reason that it behaves like one”. According to that logic, Israel, the USA, Britain and other countries’ governments are also terrorist groups because they use force and the threat of force despite the fact that the World Court and the UN have repeatedly told those governments to stop their illegal acts of violence.

    I know a lot of Americans don’t like Noam Chomsky because he criticizes the US and Britain and Israel. But if you are truly interested in this subject, check out this short (9 minutes) talk – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbfZQXDYpxM – where Professor Chomsky explains this all far more eloquently than I ever could. Don’t just sit there parroting the party line “US good, Israel good; Hamas bad, Islam bad”. This may be a sruggle for some Americans: but please try to learn something!

    • Marxist Hypocrisy 101 says:

      “Don’t just sit there parroting the party line “US good, Israel good; Hamas bad, Islam bad”. ”

      Says the indoctrinated idiot spamming Noam Chomsky’s, “Isarael BAD, Capitalism BAD, mass murder, terrorism and genocide at the hands of Muslims GOOD!” propaganda.

      What you fucking morons are deliberately failing to realize is that being “democratically elected” doesnt mean they can commit wanton murder on innocents as they please and then turn around and whine when they got shot back at that they’re not terrorists.

      • Martin X says:

        What you fucking morons are deliberately failing to realize is that being “democratically elected” doesnt mean they can commit wanton murder on innocents as they please and then turn around and whine when they got shot back at

        Funny, that’s what the US, its NATO allies and Israeli buddies do all the time.

  13. Cay says:

    Looking objectively, how can Taliban be providing social services when girls are not allowed to go to schools, no health clinics established, or even basic life amenities ignored?

    However, Hizbullah and Hamas are providing all the mentioned above, including garbage pick-up! Add to that their right to fight an oppressor, they are fully legitimate.

    I do not agree with their tactics on civilians, yet I don’t see how you can control their feelings when IDF has always targeted children and women (ironically ignored).

    ”We will not settle for Shalit and, God willing, the freedom fighters will succeed in kidnapping more soldiers as Israel doesn’t understand anything but the language of force”

    Yea sounds pretty legitimate if you are kidnapping military personnel, and given that all peace efforts have been put down by the Israelis, sometimes force is required to send a message to the other side “we still exist”. We should ask how many innocent civilians are still held in Israel?

    When there have been nearly 6500 Palestinian deaths compared to just over 1000 Israeli, and that nearly half of the Israeli casualties are on Occupied Palestinian Territories, it’s a resistance.

    Also, please refrain from linking MEMRI propaganda, which selectively publishes edited and radical media, hardly a true representation of ME media.

  14. Craig says:

    paging all morons, Hamas is not a terrorist organization. Learn the history of the Arab-Isreali conflict before believing the bullshit which is spoon fed by the US media. When jews were fleeing Europe during WW2, they fled to Israel (really should be called Palestine) because of the U.N. Partition Plan of 1947 which basically gave jews the right to steal the homes of palestinians forcing them into refugee camps and shitty living conditions. This video gives you a good idea of the living conditions resulting from the partition.

    http://www.vice.com/vice-news/palestine-vs-israel-against-the-wall-1-of-2

    The Hamas is comparable to the minute men of the united states during the revolutionary war. Hidden by the news, since we support Israel, the israeli’s use jets to break the sound barrier over the Gaza Strip and the West Bank causing death of unborn babies and anxiety in the children. They also use bulldozers to level palestinian homes in an attempt to push the Israeli boarder farther and farther into the remaining land in possession by the palestinians. When this occurs, of course you will fight back which is the job of the Hamas. The US should stop supporting Israel and the Palestinians should get their land back.

    If you are looking for a good read on the matter, Sandy Tolan’s The Lemon Tree gives a thorough history of the conflict.

    • Marxist Hypocrisy 101 says:

      “the israeli’s use jets to break the sound barrier over the Gaza Strip and the West Bank causing death of unborn babies and anxiety in the children.”

      And I’m suppoosed to give a shit about imaginary problems caused to unborn and thereby not legally living babies over the actual direct and deliberate murder at the hands of the Hamas terrorists of actual children, WHY exactly?

      Sorry, I’m not willing to engage in that sort of sickeningly hypocritical oublethink.

  15. Marxist Hypocrisy 101 says:

    “The Hamas are not terrorists because they’re Islamists, and it’s okay for teh Muslims to murder, rape, enslave and pillage because they’re Muslims”.

    There, I just saved you fifteen minutes of reading some of the most asinine and hypocritical bullshit ever committed to the internet.

  16. Caro says:

    I agree with Martin and Craig. Hamas is NOT a terrorist organization. It is a political party, period. Its military branch (which can be considered to be a form of Palestinian army) does commit violent actions – like any other army in times of war…

  17. Jhon says:

    I can smell the pro palestinian side of the story. but seriously, why people cant tell the truth in a neutral way.. I mean.. YOU DID FORGOT TO MENTION the terroristical events caused by HAMAS °BEFORE° 2006 ohh wait a minute!
    your “council of foriegn relations” (named MUHAMMED) is an islamic fundamentalist.
    Ok. im really sorry, did I forget to mention that HAMAS has opened several (or.many?) hospitals, schools and other social stuff.. well the interesting part about it is when hamas actually STORES rockets in those places,rocket launchers are placed on roofs of family houses and schools(and being launched) while every1 are inside and will stay inside because allah wants it!!
    And don’t forget about the hamas 18 billion budget..so dont bulls##t people about hamas being soo good and naive its far from being that. Ive been there.. Anything that hamas actually do will make the palestinian people poor. anything that ABU MAZEN done or will do it make people even more poor!
    ofc hamas like people to stay poor and “hold on” the religion close. because when people have money, they start thinking.
    but well if hamas is so small comparing t o the israeli army. Firing rockets towards israel to random locations is opposition and what? lol. they dont target the israeli army.why? because they cant. But why target civilians?? Isnt violence towards innocent civilians is called terrorism??? Its all how u read if from A to Z
    or from W to Z. because thats the way you present it.

    • Martin X says:

      @jhon: Honestly, I am not “pro-Palestinian” or “anti-Israeli”. If you can be bothered to scroll back a bit in these Comments and read the exchanges between me and rbued, you will see that I try very hard to deal with both sides equally. I guess you refuse to admit to any moral equivalence between Hamas and the Israeli government, but I’m afraid that equivalence does exist. Both Israel and Hamas have murky origins in terrorism; both sides now have a democratic mandate to control their territory; both sides see the others’ civilians to be acceptable targets or collateral damage.

      Israel uses its superior military forces and its close ties to a small but powerful section of the international community to keep Gaza under constant siege. That is certainly illegal: even if you refuse to see it as terrorism, you must surely accept it is collective punishment of the people of Gaza to vote in a Hamas government. Collective punishment is illegal by international convention. But Israel are the good guys and Gaza is evil?

      I live in Britain. Here, as in many other countries, we have police stations in civilian areas to better serve the community. There is a police office in a shopping arcade just a short distance from my home. There are shops all around the police office, and there are flats occupied by civilians above the shops and the police office. If Britain was Gaza, Israel would consider the police office as a legitimate target and its drones would launch hellfire missiles at the place, with horrific consequences for innocent civilians. And Israel would blame it all on Hamas for “hiding behind human shields”. Can you really defend that?

      Of course, Hamas could be removed from power in just the same way as they got into power – democratic elections in Gaza. But the situation in Gaza is not conducive for elections, with its infrastructure wrecked, its people homeless and hungry, its politicians and officials targeted for assassination. Israel backed elections when it thought Fatah would win. But the Gazans considered Fatah to have sold out, to have become an Israeli sock-puppet, and voted for the party who promised real change – Hamas. No way will Israel risk another Hamas election win, so they will keep Gaza under siege for as long as possible.

      If Egypt was brave enough to open its borders with Gaza, maybe things could get closer to “normal” on the Strip. But I dread to think what would happen then. Israel seems to like attacking other countries (how many times have they done that? Lots). We do NOT want a full-scale war kicking off in the region, especially at this particularly sensitive time. Well, most sensible people don’t. What do *you* say, jhon??

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