Supporters of Israel believe they have made their case on laying down the unequivocal fact that Hamas is unequivocally bent on the destruction of Israel. To take an example from today's papers, Charles Krauthammer writes robustly in defense of Israel, reminding readers what happened in Gaza after Israel surrendered the land to the Palestinians in 2005:
Did the Palestinians begin building the state that is supposedly their great national aim? No. No roads, no industry, no courts, no civil society at all. The flourishing greenhouses that Israel left behind for the Palestinians were destroyed and abandoned. Instead, Gaza's Iranian-sponsored rulers have devoted all their resources to turning it into a terror base -- importing weapons, training terrorists, building tunnels with which to kidnap Israelis on the other side. And of course firing rockets unceasingly.
The grievance? It cannot be occupation, military control or settlers. They were all removed in September 2005. There's only one grievance and Hamas is open about it. Israel's very existence.
Nor does Hamas conceal its strategy. Provoke conflict. Wait for the inevitable civilian casualties. Bring down the world's opprobrium on Israel. Force it into an untenable cease-fire -- exactly as happened in Lebanon. Then, as in Lebanon, rearm, rebuild and mobilize for the next round. Perpetual war. Since its raison d'etre is the eradication of Israel, there are only two possible outcomes: the defeat of Hamas or the extinction of Israel.
One grievance: Israel's very existence. One raison d'etre: the eradication of Israel. Such language would seem to bring a cauterizing light to the rot of moral equivalence heaped on Israel in its dire and just cause to survive amid genocidal neightbors.
But this explanation, like so many others like it, wholly omits the reason Hamas and its allies strive to destroy Israel. It omits the Islamic context.
Hamas is waging a classic, Islamic jihad against the Jews, a non-Islamic people who have returned to their native land not as dhimmi but as warriors equipped to defend themselves from the Muslim armies massed around them. Like children in a potentially fatal game of blind man's bluff, though, most people are intellectually, morally and/or intestinally unprepared to recognize this. As Robert Spencer noted a couple of days ago, Israeli President Shimon Peres is also clueless on this count, telling Haaretz on December 30: "Nobody in this world understands what are Hamas' goals and why it continues to fire missiles. This shooting has no point, no logic, and no chance."
Today, at the American Thinker, Andrew Bostom, author of the invaluable tomes The Legacy ofJIhad and The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism, writes:
Mr. Peres is tragically emblematic of Israeli leaders and policymaking elites who for generations have ignored how the living institution of jihad war -- conjoined in Israel's unique case to Islamic Jew-hatred -- was always, past and present, the primary motivation for those masses in the Arab and non-Arab Muslim world seeking the Jewish State's destruction.
Indeed, what was billed as the first discussion of global jihadism by the Israeli security cabinet even in the current world (not to mention local Israeli) environment was only just held at the end of this past July, 2008. The open jihad against Israel waged continuously for two decades by Hamas, since the jihad terror organization's founding in 1988, combined with the astonishing ignorance and/or denial of this phenomenon by Peres (and the lost legions who share his mindset), represents the apotheosis of this alarming trend.
Contra Shimon Peres et al, and underscoring their corrosive folly, historian David Littman has waged a heroic personal campaign -- in public, at the United Nations Human Rights Commission, since January, 1989 -- to elucidate key aspects of Hamas' genocidal ideology, demonstrating unapologetically how this annihilationist hatred is sanctioned by Islam's foundational texts.
Back to me. For example, did you know:
1. ...the Hamas slogan? "Allah is its goal, The Prophet its model, the Qur'an its Charter, jihad its path, and death for the cause of Allah its most sublime belief" (Article 8 of The Hamas Charter).
2. Hamas is against any Middle East peace process? "There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through jihad. All initiatives, proposals, and international conferences are a waste of time and vain endeavors" (Article 13).
3. As Littman writes, "Article 28 widens the circle of hate to include all Jews: "Israel, Judaism and Jews challenge Islam and the Muslim people: ‘May the cowards never sleep.’” The Charter in its preface quotes Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, as saying: “Israel will exist and continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.”
All of these points come from Littman's analyses.
Back to Andy's piece:
Littman reminded us why it is so critical to focus on Hamas' odious foundational covenant as a binding documentary record of the organization's specific beliefs and goals, [writing]:
"Hitler understood this when he wrote in the preface to Mein Kampf: `the basic elements of a doctrine must be set down in permanent form in order that it may be represented in the same way and in unity.' [Hitler, Preface to Mein Kampf (Reynal and Hitchcock translation)]. After his release from an Israeli prison and return to Gaza in October 1997, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the founder and spiritual head of Hamas, declared that Israel must `disappear from the map.' He added: `We have an aim and an enemy, and we shall continue our jihad against the enemy. A nation without a jihad is a nation without a purpose.' "
What follows is an essential elaboration that Andy describes as being "indebted to David Littman's prescient analyses (summarized here, and here)."
Krauthammer is correct to write that Hamas does not conceal its strategy. But far too few of us in the West are willing to articulate that strategy or even take note of it. This must change if we are to stop the jihad anywhere--and everywhere.