While the headlines in this morning’s newspapers are full of the suffering inflicted on Palestinians in Gaza Amir Taheri writes with a reminder in The Times about how Hamas is betraying the people of Gaza as it continues, with Iran’s help, to recast Palestine as a religious issue in Islam’s global struggle against the “infidel”.
“Hamas cares little about Palestine as a would-be nation state is clear from its name and charter. Hamas is the Arab acronym for ‘Islamic Resistance Movement’, making it clear that the movement regards Palestine not as a nation in its own right but as a small part of the ummah, the community of believers. Hamas is the only significant party in Palestine whose name does not include the words Palestine or Palestinian.
“To Hamas ideologues, such as the late Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, love of Palestine as a nation is a form of sherk, that is to say false worship or idolatry. Hamas sees Palestinian nationalists such as Abu Mazen as traitors to Islam. To Hamas, Palestine is part of a cause rather than a political project. One cannot negotiate with a cause that claims celestial benediction, especially when it rejects the very legitimacy of one’s existence. A political project, however, is negotiable because it is about worldly problems such as territory, borders, security, exchange of populations and joint administration of certain areas, which could have worldly solutions.”
He winds up by telling us what many know to be true that “cutting Hamas down to size would be good not only for Israel but also for the Palestinian people, more specifically the people of Gaza, who have become captives of a one-party state mired in corruption and incompetence”.