The Palestinian terrorist group decided they needed a change of image throughout the world. In that precarious and ultimately doomed mission, they decided to canvass Twitter. The social media platform is perfect for rehabilitation, which is true if you manage it correctly. Owing to the nature of social media, instead of what Hamas wanted, people who would ask nice questions, they received people who rightly wanted to condemn this group by any means necessary.
Some people were outraged about the lack of ‘sincere questions’ and played the overused card of islamophobia. How can it be islamophobic to criticise, mock and feel disdain for a group which openly murders innocent Palestinians and Israelis? Just like if the BNP or the EDL decided such a hashtag was a good idea, I would hope to see the same reaction and I would openly contribute to the well-founded mocking. The truth is, it wasn’t islamophobia that led to these tweets, but the contempt society holds for Hamas and for those who claim to be fighting for Palestinian freedom, when they fail to admonish the group.
So what is the truth about Hamas? Freedom fighters or murderers bent on the destruction of Israel? Sadly, the latter is far more plausible than any argument on the former. The Human Rights Watch report of 2014 published many uncomfortable stories, especially about the conflict which many didn’t know about or refused to accept. During the war, many arguable acts of hatred were committed, even on civilians, including rockets being fired into towns, unwarranted arrests, and executions of dissidents. Hamas also crushed political dissent, freedom of association, and political assembly.
There are similar reports that publish similar stories of violence. It has been recognised that Haas has thrown people off of rooftops, executing people who oppose them, regularly shutting down opposition when in power, and, suicide attacks on civilians. The infamous group even found election success in 2006. However since then, there have been no other elections, besides some local ones. While the elections were branded free and fair, it has to be asked why has there been no such election since. Other organisations do not go to these lengths, which includes oppression of the people they’re trying to liberate to get the result they want.
Hamas’s funding is one of the murkier aspects of the group. They previously received a vast majority of their funding from Iran, a country that is well known for its distinct lack of human rights. They also receive funding from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and other extreme governments and organisations. The funding arrangements confirm that this is an organisation which is extremist in nature; it is not just another group fighting for freedom.
The Hamas Charter is a bizarre mixture of talk about Jihad, destroying the state of Israel, and anti-Semitic conspiracies. Talks about the protocols of the elders of Zion the infamous anti-Semitic libel shows that this group is yet another extreme Islamist group, and like almost all extreme Islamist groups, it is infused with anti-Semitism. The charter also references destroying the Israeli state. Their goal isn’t just to establish a Palestine, but to establish the destruction of another state. They proclaim the need for Jihad; a much misunderstood word merely meaning ‘struggle’. Indeed Inner Jihad is about an inner struggle from temptation and other such things. The problem with Hamas is that they don’t just mean inner struggle, but an outer struggle as well. The Hamas charter is not a document to establish a free, fair and just Palestine but a document riddled with anti-Semitic hatred and violence.
This is a picture not of a freedom fighting movement, working for a state where rights can be respected. This is the picture of a group who does not believe in an equitable state of affairs, a group which wants to dominate control and make Palestine a nightmare for many people to live in. Many people assume I am anti-Palestine but this is not the case. I am pro Palestine. However, I am pro Palestine for a nation which is run by politicians who are elected regularly. I am for a Palestine that gives people their rights, not for an authoritarian state where people are arbitrarily arrested, tortured and killed. The apologists for Hamas aren’t really calling for a free Palestine, but a terrorist, anti-Semitic state on Israel’s border. In essence, I am for a free and just Palestine, and so should everyone else be.