The New Hamas Charter Is About West Bank Politics, Not Ideology

April 14 2017

Earlier this month, the terrorist organization’s recently revised charter was published in the Lebanese media. The document, according to Pinḥas Inbari, moderates some of the original version’s most strident and hate-filled declarations, but doesn’t indicate any change in the movement’s goals. Even so, however, it has been rejected by Hamas leaders in Gaza:

To understand [the controversy], we must go back to the Seventh Fatah convention, where Jibril Rajoub—a senior operative in Fatah’s Tanzim militia—placed first [in elections], just behind the honorary place reserved for Marwan Barghouti, who is currently [in an Israeli prison] serving five life sentences for murder without the possibility of release. The convention was funded by Qatar, which harbors Khaled Meshal, the chairman of Hamas’s political bureau. The intent [of the convention] was for Rajoub to inherit the leadership from Mahmoud Abbas and invite Meshal to lead with him, thereby allowing Hamas access to the West Bank via the PLO.

Indeed, a significant part of the new Hamas charter discusses rehabilitating the PLO and Hamas joining it. . . . However, Hamas in Gaza is unwilling to recognize the PLO . . . and thus is not willing to recognize the new Hamas plant.

Many Israelis who are seeking any sign of Palestinian moderation will be delighted that such a document has been published at all. Yet, even in this new guise, Hamas is still sworn to Israel’s destruction, even without explicitly saying so. Hamas is devoted to war with Israel and therefore is opposed to any security cooperation with it. But all this is said in softer words than the old, blatantly anti-Semitic charter.

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Read more at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

More about: Fatah, Hamas, Israel & Zionism, Khaled Meshal, Palestinian Authority, West Bank

For Israelis, Anti-Zionism Kills

Dec. 14 2018

This week alone, anti-Zionists have killed multiple Israelis in a series of attacks; these follow the revelations that Hizballah succeeded in digging multiple attack tunnels from Lebanon into northern Israel. Simultaneously, some recent news stories in the U.S. have occasioned pious reminders that anti-Zionism should not be conflated with anti-Semitism. Bret Stephens notes that it is anti-Zionists, not defenders of Israel, who do the most to blur that distinction:

Israelis experience anti-Zionism in a different way from, say, readers of the New York Review of Books: not as a bold sally in the world of ideas, but as a looming menace to their earthly existence, held at bay only through force of arms. . . . Anti-Zionism might have been a respectable point of view before 1948, when the question of Israel’s existence was in the future and up for debate. Today, anti-Zionism is a call for the elimination of a state—details to follow regarding the fate befalling those who currently live in it. . . .

Anti-Zionism is ideologically unique in insisting that one state, and one state only, doesn’t just have to change. It has to go. By a coincidence that its adherents insist is entirely innocent, this happens to be the Jewish state, making anti-Zionists either the most disingenuous of ideologues or the most obtuse. When then-CNN contributor Marc Lamont Hill called last month for a “free Palestine from the river to the sea” and later claimed to be ignorant of what the slogan really meant, it was hard to tell in which category he fell.

Does this make someone with Hill’s views an anti-Semite? It’s like asking whether a person who believes in [the principle of] separate-but-equal must necessarily be a racist. In theory, no. In reality, another story. The typical aim of the anti-Semite is legal or social discrimination against some set of Jews. The explicit aim of the anti-Zionist is political or physical dispossession.

What’s worse: to be denied membership in a country club because you’re Jewish, or driven from your ancestral homeland and sovereign state for the same reason? If anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are meaningfully distinct (I think they are not), the human consequences of the latter are direr.

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Read more at New York Times

More about: Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Hizballah, Israel & Zionism, Palestinian terror