It has become commonplace in academia to look at Hamas as the natural reaction to Israeli aggression and unwillingness to provide Palestinians with a better life — the political application of Newton’s Third Law of Motion, for every action there is an equal but opposite reaction. The idea that Hamas’ individual actions are reprehensible but are simply an outgrowth of long-ignored “legitimate claims,” as President Obama once said during the 2008 campaign, reflects a fundamental flaw in understanding the radical Islamic ideology and sophisticated political strategy of the terrorist group.
Hamas is not a force fighting for Palestinian liberation; nor are their choices of suicide bombers as weaponry and civilians as targets simply made because it is their only viable means of making their voices heard. Hamas was founded by, and remains a part of, the radical Islamic movement known as the Muslim Brotherhood. Their stated goal is the establishment of an Islamic state across the entire earth — a rejection of the sovereignty and nationhood they claim they are fighting to give the Palestinians.
The Muslim Brotherhood didn’t create Hamas to “liberate” the Palestinians, but rather to win a juicy, strategic front in their global offensive. The Muslim Brotherhood’s “project,” dating back to 1982, specifically describes their intent “to adopt the Palestinian cause as part of a worldwide Islamic plan, with the policy plan and by means of jihad, since it acts as the keystone of the renaissance of the Arab world today.” The organization’s decision to try to connect everything to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, intellectually seducing people like Chas Freeman, is a success in the art of political manipulation that must be enamored by the most elite of political strategists.
Hamas has not outlined plans to improve the lives of Palestinians through effective governance, but rather sees the establishment of an Islamic earth as the means to that end. As long as a non-Muslim government remains, Hamas will blame that entity for the social ills of their constituents. For the Palestinian people, rule by Hamas will just result in more of the same grievances that they have against the West in far greater quantity. Their financial state will collapse and their independence will be denied as Hamas acts at the behest of the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran. The “occupation” of their land will simply transfer from being run by Jews to being run by far more vicious Islamists, and the rights denied for security reasons to them by Israel will be denied to them as part of a political platform.
Time and time again, Hamas’ lust for power and enforcement of their ideology have superseded any professed concern for Palestinians. Try as they may, this was clear to many Palestinians and Arabs when Hamas unilaterally broke the ceasefire with Israel, intentionally causing a major conflict in Gaza. President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority clearly placed blame on Hamas for the “massacre” in Gaza and attributed their decision to their Iranian patrons. The Israeli offensive enabled the rival Fatah Party to crack down on Hamas in the West Bank, apparently even with some level of cooperation with the Israelis. Hamas retaliated — claiming that Fatah was providing intelligence to the Israelis — by kidnapping, murdering, and torturing alleged spies, prompting a condemnation from Amnesty International. Hamas even used the civilians they are fighting to “liberate” as human shields.
Each “victory” by Hamas, whether it is a successful suicide bombing or an Israeli concession, is paid for with the blood and treasure of the Palestinian people. The misery of the Palestinians is the currency with which Hamas pays as it tries to hijack the Israeli-Palestinian peace process in pursuit of the Muslim Brotherhood’s regional and worldwide campaign for Sharia law.
The truth is that Hamas, not Israel, is the one calling for the complete destruction of the other party, a goal which enlists the Palestinians in a never-ending state of war that will not cease until Hamas is removed as a potent force. It is Israel that has made moves towards allowing a Palestinian state to be created, even forcing Jewish settlers from their homes in Gaza, and it was Hamas that answered with rocket fire.
It is not Israel, but Hamas, that is the greatest barrier to Palestinian statehood. The fear isn’t a Palestinian people in control of an independent state per se; it is the reality of a Hamas-controlled Palestine that makes peace an impossibility today. It is Hamas that seeks to strip the Palestinians of their freedom, enlist them in a war to the end with Israel, and enlist them in a global confrontation between radical Islam and the infidels.
The friends of Palestinian nationalism and well-being find an enemy in Hamas and a friend in the U.S. and Israel. Every self-respecting Palestinian who desires to have liberation from war and oppression and desires sovereignty, freedom, and prosperity has no other choice but to oppose Hamas, the true enemy of the Palestinian people.