A recent dispatch by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, which is located near Tel Aviv and has close ties to Israeli intelligence, presents two recent examples of what it calls Hamas’s “crude anti-Semitism.”
First the center notes more generally that “anti-Semitism is rooted in Hamas’s ideology: the Hamas charter, adopted in 1988, is full of anti-Semitic myths inspired by The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and claims the so-called ‘Jewish control’ of the media, movies and education. The charter also makes the claim that Jews were behind revolutions and wars all over the world….”
As for the two more recent examples, the first occurred on March 31 when Mahmoud al-Zahar, a senior Hamas figure, gave a speech in Syria that was shown on Hamas’s Al-Aqsa TV. Rhetorically asking why Jews had been massacred throughout history, al-Zahar replied that recent events in Gaza—meaning Operation Cast Lead—provided the answer, “therefore encouraging and justifying” the killing of Jews.
The other case occurred a few days later on April 3 when Hamas presented a play at the Islamic University in Gaza City to mark the anniversary of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin’s assassination by Israel. The center explains that “The play, which was also broadcast by…Al-Aqsa TV…, was rife with anti-Semitic references and recycling the ancient blood libel that Jews use the blood of non-Jews in their rituals. It also preached hatred of the Jewish people in general and Israeli Jews in particular, and encouraged the violence and terrorism carried out by Hamas and the other terrorist organizations.”
The center offers a specific description of the goings-on. The play has four central characters: a Jewish father and his son, and a Palestinian father and his crippled son. The Jewish father is dressed as an ultra-Orthodox Jew, “the Jewish-Israeli stereotype prevalent in Palestinian propaganda,” and he “preaches hatred of Arabs and Muslims to his son, while the Palestinian father tries to soothe his offspring, who was wounded by IDF fire and aspires to be a shaheed” (literally, martyr; in the context, suicide bomber).
The Jewish father teaches his son, whose name is Shimon, that “first of all, you have to hate Muslims…. You have to drink Muslim blood. We have to wash our hands in Muslim blood…. We have to conspire against Arabs and Muslims to satisfy God. We will destroy the Arabs and the Muslims.”
As for the Palestinian father, he tells the crippled boy that “Sheikh Ahmed [Yassin] taught us that we should never surrender….” When the son says he wants to become a shaheed, the father tells him that, like Yassin (who was also confined to a wheelchair), he has already paid enough of a price. They say together, “May Allah grant victory to the jihad fighters.”
The boy Shimon, for his part, goes to fight in Operation Cast Lead. Entering the crippled Palestinian boy’s house, he gets so frightened and confused that he loses his rifle and is taken prisoner, and it’s made clear that he will “join Gilad Shalit in captivity”—Shalit being the Israeli soldier who has been held by Hamas for three years without visitation by any party including relatives or the Red Cross, and whom Hamas cruelly mocked at a mass rally last December.
The center’s dispatch also offers three photos from the play, for one of which the caption explains that “The crippled Palestinian son leads the captured Jewish son to [captivity at the hands of the] Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, calling the Jew ‘pig.’”
Meanwhile, significant Western figures who have recently called for treating Hamas as a constructive force for peace include: Tony Blair (“I do think it is important that we find a way of bringing Hamas into [the peace] process”); David Miliband (“[talking to Hamas is] the right thing to do”); Gerry Adams (“[Hamas] want[s] peace with their Israeli neighbors”); George Galloway (“We’re all Hamas now”); Marrti Ahtisaari (“We have to start, I think, talking to Hamas…. I don’t think you can make peace if you try to eliminate those who have the support of the population”); Javier Solana (“The essence of Hamas is the liberation of the Palestinians…. The liberation of their people, not the destruction of Israel”]; Jimmy Carter (“I think [Hamas] can [be trusted], they’ve never betrayed any commitment that they’ve made to me or publicly...there’s no way to have peace in the Middle East without Hamas being involved”); George Soros (“…actively supporting the Israeli government in its refusal to recognize a Palestinian unity government that includes Hamas…precludes any progress toward a peace settlement”); George Mitchell (“[a Fatah-Hamas unity government would be] a step forward”); James Baker (“You have to get Hamas involved, because you cannot negotiate peace with only half the Palestinian polity”); and a group including Zbigniew Brzezinski, Brent Scowcroft, Paul Volcker, Lee Hamilton, Thomas Pickering, James Wolfensohn, Carla Hills, Theodore Sorenson, Chuck Hagel, and Nancy Kassenbaum Baker.
It would have been nice to make them all sit and watch the play.
On the other hand, it probably wouldn’t have helped.