- Why cannot all live in peace in Palestine?
- Why cannot Hamas co-exist with Israel?
- What is the role of the international community vis-à-vis Israel?
- Israel ended its occupation of the Gaza Strip when it withdrew from Gaza in 2005, so why does Hamas continue to fire rockets into Israel?
- Does Israel have a right to exist?
- Is Israel a democracy?
- What is Hamas' position on Anti-Semitism?
- How does Hamas view the United States?
- How does Hamas view the European Union?
The answer is because of Israel's colonization, expansionism and rejection of all attempts to bring about a just peace for the Palestinian people on their land. The root cause lies in Israel's occupation and its Zionist ideology that has always aimed to maintain an exclusive Jewish ownership of another people's land. There's no way to reconcile with this racist Zionist ideology. Since its creation in 1948, Israel has systematically carried out policies that precluded any possibility for the Palestinian people to exercise their national, political and civil rights and freedoms like any free people around the world.
Israel's claims of peace-seeking are incomprehensible when it continues to construct settlements on lands which owners became refugees, erects the Apartheid Wall, lays siege on Gaza and enforces a Matrix of Control against its unwilling subjects in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, thus nipping in the bud any chance for realizing a just and enduring peace to all based on international law and universal human rights.
Israel gratuitously spurned the Arab Peace Initiative presented by all Arab countries including Palestinians in 2002. The Initiative called for an end to Israel's occupation of the territories it seized since 1967 in return for full normalization of relation with Israel. The Initiative was again presented to Israel in 2008 but it continues to ignore it.
Despite offering lip services to peace and to a two-state solution, with the aid of a lucrative PR machine and compliant western governments, Israel has never shown any evidence, let alone any genuine intention, to end its colonial settlements and domination over the Palestinian people, allow for a truly viable and sovereign Palestinian state, or even share the land with the Palestinians. It is Israel that must prove its serious desire for peace and abandon its exclusive racist claims over the land.
The Palestinian people demand basic things: freedom, self-determination and a chance to live in their own independent state like other peoples around the world.
Occupation and oppression cannot be normalized in as much as peace and oppression cannot co-exist. Without eliminating the underlying causes of injustice and tyranny, you can never achieve peace and security. Israel is a settler colonial state that imposes an illegal occupation of Palestine and subjects the Palestinian people to oppression, siege, daily humiliation and systematic human rights violations.
Unless Israel clearly commits itself to a solution that puts a clear and unequivocal end of its occupation and mistreatment and violation of Palestinian human rights and international law, peace will not be a living reality for all.
Israel cannot enjoy peace while still holding the Palestinian people by the throat and taking the Palestinian hostage to its military regime.
The Palestinian people are left with no choice but to resist the occupation.
Hamas calls on the international community to put pressure on Israel to end its occupation and colonization by dismantling its colonial settlements and other facts on the ground. Otherwise, it is the moral and political responsibility on the international community and the free world to subject Israel to economic, political and cultural sanctions and boycotts similar to those imposed on the Apartheid South African regime.
- Israel ended its occupation of the Gaza Strip when it withdrew from Gaza in 2005, so why does Hamas continue to fire rockets into Israel?
This is one of the myths perpetuated by Israel's propaganda machine to the Western publics. Israel re-deployed its military occupation forces and evacuated its illegal settlers outside the population centers in Gaza. BUT Israel effectively controls the sea, land and air spaces and border crossings that link the Gaza Strip to the outside world. According to the UN and human rights organizations, Israel still maintains its occupation of the Gaza Strip and subjects the 1.8 million Palestinians in this tiny strip to a horrendous siege and blockade that constitute a war crime under international law. When Palestinians lash out at Israel, they are only doing so due to the harsh reality of Israel's military occupation.
REMEMBER that 95 percent of a prison premises is allocated for the inmates and it only takes less than 5% for the wardens to maintain effective control over the prison.
While there are no Palestinian resistance rockets fired into on Israeli areas from the occupied West Bank, and despite close security collaboration with the PA security services, this has not stopped Israel from continuing its colonial settlements, land confiscation, the daily humiliation of the Palestinians at hundreds of military checkpoints, and the building of a wall that knifes through their cities, villages and farmland.
Palestinian rockets are the result of a situation of injustice, oppression and occupation. They are the symptom not the cause.
Israel is not a normal state. It is a settler colonial state that was created during and after mass expulsion and dispossession of the Palestinian people. Sixty-seven years on, millions of Palestinians remain victim of occupation, exile and dispersion. Recognizing Israel effectively means legitimizing what Israel has done to the Palestinian people and legitimizing all Zionist claims upon which Israel was created.
The relation between the Palestinian people and Israel is not between sovereign states. It is a relation driven by Israeli colonialism, dispossession, and military occupation and the Palestinians' struggle for freedom and self-determination. This is the reality of the matter; there is no way around it. To ask the Palestinians to recognize Israel's occupation is tantamount to asking the Black South Africans to recognize the legitimacy of Apartheid White South African regime, or ask the French to accept the German occupation of their land during WWII, or to ask the Americans to recognize the British occupation in the 18th century, or to expect the Algerians to recognize French occupation during their war of national liberation.
To the Palestinians to accept the reality of their occupier and oppressor is to surrender the dream of freedom and liberation and betray those who fought long and hard for their freedom, self-determination and dignity, and to betray the very principle of universal struggle –or justice and freedom enshrined in divine covenants and international law.
Remember, one gets to recognize their friends, but it is rather absurd to accept the legitimacy of their enemies. It is absurd and irrelevant to use Israel's recognition as a pre-condition when all causes and manifestations of injustice and inequality are being systematically carried out.
Fact: The PLO's leadership recognized the state of Israel in 1993, and has engaged in peace negotiations with Israel since the Madrid conference 1991. But what did the Palestinians get in return? The Israeli governments did not respond in kind; Israel never recognized the Palestinian people's legitimate historical and political rights to the land and never acknowledged its moral, political and legal responsibility for the dispossession of the Palestinian people. Israel continues to wage wars on the Palestinians, seize land, build new or expand colonial settlements, lay siege on Gaza and systematically violate Palestinians' human rights.
It is unthinkable, immoral and unjust to expect the Palestinians who are continually oppressed and subjugated to Israeli military occupation to capitulate to Israel's humiliating conditions and to expect them to give away their land and what is rightfully theirs to a people who claim an exclusive ownership over the land. There is no precedence in modern history where a people ever consented to the theft of their homeland, and the people of Palestine are definitely no exception.
Israel's apologists always portray Israel as a Western democracy, "the only democracy in the Middle East", and go to pains showing the liberal democratic values and Judeo-Christian heritage Israel shares with liberal democracies in the West. Such claims are self-serving and a smokescreen to hide the Jewish ethno-religious exclusivity inherent in the Zionist ideology and the structural inequalities and discriminatory practices the Israeli occupation state conducts against its non-Jewish citizens.
Quite the opposite of a democracy, Israel is an ethnocracy which incorporates some elements of a Western liberal democracy, such as elections and voting systems, political plurality and free press.
An ethnocracy arises when members of a particular ethno-national group – the Jews in Israel, the whites in Apartheid South Africa, or the white Christian fundamentalists in the US – seize control of the government and the military in order to enforce a regime of exclusive privilege over other ethnic or religious groups in what is in fact a multi-ethnic or multi-religious society.
Unlike liberal democracies in Australia, the US and Western Europe, where a model of civil nationalism and inclusive democracy is implemented, Israel continues to be bound by an ethnic nationalist paradigm where the country does not belong to all of its citizens, but to one particular ethnic group.
Loud calls for Israel as "Jewish State" are absurd at best and racist at worst: imagine if Australia or the U.S. decides to call itself a Protestant State, automatically making all non-Protestants second-class citizens denying them full citizenship and rights?!
While Palestinian Arabs in Israel are granted citizenship, technically enjoy some level of freedom of language, religion, and culture and have voting rights and representation in Israel's Parliament, they are continually treated as second-class citizens and harassed as a "potential fifth column", a "time bomb", and an "emissary of the enemy among us", and suffer from structural inequalities in law and actual political representation and allocation of resources.
Despite a façade of democratic governance, Israel continues to deny its Palestinian citizens equal political rights and discriminates against them in citizenship, health, education, marriage, municipal funding, housing, land ownership
Arab representatives can sit in Parliament but they have no real influence on the country's state of affairs – no government decision is considered legitimate unless it enjoys a "Jewish majority, i.e., the support of the majority of Jews in the Parliament rather than a parliamentary majority that requires Arab votes.
Are you still calling it a democracy?
Charges of Anti-Semitism is a most convenient and handy argument Israel's apologists often throw out when they are basically run out of arguments. They use such an accusation in order to intimidate Israel's critics or to sterilize discussion and divert attention from the real issues.
The scourge of Anti-Semitism is an abhorrent form of racism that discriminates against all Jews for who they are, and therefore, much like all other forms of racism targeting other decent human beings, it must confronted and eliminated.
There is a clear distinction between Anti-Semitism on the one hand, and legitimate criticisms of Israel's degrading and oppressive policies against the Palestinian people. We have nothing against Jews for who they are. We are not against Jews as a religion or an ethnicity.
There are many conscientious Jews and Israelis who are ashamed and sickened by what Israel has been doing in their name. These principled Jews have consistently condemned Israel's violations of Palestinian human rights and its settler colonialism
Hamas is against Israel as a settler colonial state that occupies Palestine and subjects the Palestinian people to war, colonization and displacement. The conflict with Israel is fundamentally political and the Palestinians are fighting for freedom and self-determination. Had Palestine been occupied by another people holding a similar or different religion, Hamas and the Palestinian people would have fought against it with all their force. (See Hamas’ Conceptualization of the Other: Its stance towards Judaism, Jews, Zionism, Zionists and Israel)
Hamas sees its only contradiction with the occupation state of Israel, and therefore looks forward to building constructive relations with all countries and entities based on mutual respect and interest. Hamas believes the position taken by consecutive US administrations in supporting Israel's occupation and oppression of the Palestinians has only contributed to more Palestinian suffering and pain and has not served the cause of peace in the region. This position is contrary to the values of justice, human dignity, and democracy it purports to defend. It is crystal clear that US has long chosen to be on the wrong side of history by choosing to supporting a settler colonial state in clear violation of international law and basic human decency.
Hamas calls on the US to right past wrongs and take courageous decision to help hold Israel accountable for its crimes against the Palestinian people.
Hamas appreciates all efforts by the American people who stand by the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people in their struggle to regain their freedom and independence.
The US failure to uphold values of human rights, equal rights, respect for international law and a shared sense of solidarity with the oppressed in the case of Palestine demonstrates the big chasm between President Obama's rhetoric and the reality he engenders through his unethical support to Israel.
Hamas looks forward to open and positive relations with the EU and the EU member states in reaching peace and stability in the region. Most importantly, Hamas wants a more vigorous European role in helping end the Israeli occupation of Palestine, exercise pressure on Israel through boycotts and divestments and sanctions, and assist in the reconstruction of Gaza and overcoming internal obstacles.