SWP blog, Lenin’s Tomb have made a great deal of the article by Bassem Naeem, the minister of health and information in the Hamas-led Palestinian administration in Gaza, in – where else? – The Guardian.
His article is tagged: “We are not engaged in a religious conflict with Jews; this is a political struggle to free ourselves from occupation and oppression”.
He goes on to say:
One recent approach, which seems to be part of the wider attempt to isolate the elected Palestinian leadership, is to portray Hamas and the population of the Gaza strip as motivated by anti-Jewish sentiment, rather than a hostility to Zionist occupation and domination of our land. A recent front page article in the International Herald Tribune followed this line, as did an article for Cif about an item broadcast on the al-Aqsa satellite TV channel about the Nazi Holocaust.
In fact, the al-Aqsa Channel is an independent media institution that often does not express the views of the Palestinian government headed by Ismail Haniyeh or of the Hamas movement. The channel regularly gives Palestinians of different convictions the chance to express views that are not shared by the Palestinian government or the Hamas movement. In the case of the opinion expressed on al-Aqsa TV by Amin Dabbur, it is his alone and he is solely responsible for it.
The bald-face lying is breathtaking.
For a start there is the Hamas Charter itself. It says:
“For our struggle against the Jews is extremely wide-ranging and grave, so much so that it will need all the loyal efforts we can wield, to be followed by further steps and reinforced by successive battalions from the multifarious Arab and Islamic world, until the enemies are defeated and Allah’s victory prevails … The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!”
But, as Lenin does, apologists claim this is just regrettable false consciousness following from oppression. We can argue about that. But the other example is straight-forward. Hamas’s Bassem Naeem claims that the al-Aqsa satellite TV channel is “independent” and has nothing to do with Hamas.
Yet in 2006, Islam Online reported:
Hamas, the Palestinian welfare and resistance group, launched limited broadcasting in Gaza on January 8, the first step in establishing a TV network modeled on the Lebanon-based Hizbullah satellite network. The Al Aqsa station launched its first trial broadcasts just weeks before Palestinians are supposed to vote in the parliamentary elections on January 25, in which Hamas is fielding a large slate of candidates, posing a serious challenge to the ruling Fatah party. The sooner the fledgling TV station completes its technical shakedown cruise and broadcasts a full schedule, the more help it will give the Hamas campaign efforts.
The headline was “Hi-Tech Hamas Reporting From the Gaza Strip”. The headline in Aljazeera was more literal: “Hamas launches TV station in Gaza”.
The Palestinian resistance and welfare group Hamas has launched a TV station in the Gaza Strip. The move is a first step towards setting up a satellite station similar to the one Hizb Allah runs in Lebanon, Hamas officials said on Monday.
So there you have it. Hamas is fundamentally based on Jew-hatred and they do control the TV station broadcasting antisemitic conspiracy theories and Holocaust denial, but that won’t deter Lenin and the SWP from showstopping apologetics, sorry “analysis”. Lenin says:
Such analysis will hopefully become passe, at any rate, if Bassem Naeem’s simple and straightforward repudiation of antisemitism is representative of Hamas’ current direction.
Yes it would. But it is based on obvious lies. Who does Naeem think he’s fooling? A lot of people? Sadly yes. And he’d be right.