Glenn Greenwald: Hamas and Hezbollah are NOT terrorist movements

We reported recently that Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald has been speaking at the annual Marxist-Leninist conference, and we posted a few clips of his 2011 appearance at the conference, held in Chicago.  During his talk (titled ‘Civil Liberties under Obama’), the CiF columnist defended American al-Qaeda operative Anwar al-Awlaki, and downplayed the “scope” of the 9/11 attacks – which he suggested were much more limited (in the scale of violence) than what the U.S. has perpetrated in the Arab world.

Additionally, the following is a short clip from his 2012 presentation (also held in Chicago) in front of the ‘revolutionary socialist group’, where he addresses the topic of terrorism and how the word is, in his view, misused.

As Greenwald would have you believe that the sole objectives of Hamas and Hezbollah is to protect the citizens of Gaza and Lebanon respectively, here are a few facts about the putatively benign ‘anti-imperialist’ movements which may be useful:


  • Hamas is the Arabic acronym for “The Islamic Resistance Movement” and grew out of the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood movement which arose in Egypt in the 1920s.
  • Hamas’s founding charter cites the wisdom of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion to “prove” that Jews are indeed trying to take over the world, and cites a Hadith which calls for the murder of Jews.


  • Hezbollah’ is a Shiite Islamist group founded in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon in 1982 as an extension of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, and adopted much of the Iranian doctrine, including the use of terror as a means of attaining its objectives.  Among the group’s goals in Lebanon is the creation of a fundamentalist Iranian-style Islamic republic and removal of all non-Muslim influences.
  • Before 9/11, Hezbollah killed more Americans than any other terrorist group:  More than 300 were murdered in six separate attacks, including 243 Marines in the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing. 
  • Hezbollah has incited its followers to carry out suicide bombings against Western targets all over the world (including in America), and the group’s leader, Hasan Nasrallah, has said the following: “Let the entire world hear me. Our hostility to the Great Satan [America] is absolute […] Regardless of how the world has changed after 11 September, Death to America will remain our reverberating and powerful slogan: Death to America.”
  • The continuing military presence of Hezbollah in Lebanon (particularly their weapons smuggling) represents clear violations of UN Resolutions 1559 (2004) and 1701 (2006), both of which call for the disbanding of all such illegal militias which threaten the sovereignty of the country.
  •  Hezbollah has engaged in terrorist acts in Europe, Africa, South America, N. America and even in Arab states – including in Yemen and Bahrain.
  • Hezbollah’s Nasrallah has explicitly stated that Jews anywhere in the world are legitimate targets. Specifically, Nasrallah has said: “If they (Jews) all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide”. (Daily Star, Oct. 23, 2002)

In addition to the risible suggestion that the two violent extremist groups are merely trying to protect Palestinian and Lebanese civilians from Israeli aggression, Greenwald was simply not telling his socialist friends the truth when he claimed the groups haven’t targeted American citizens. Moreover, as his willingness to defend even al-Qaeda operatives demonstrates, his apologias on behalf of violent Islamist extremists are clearly not limited to the Middle East. 

In contextualizing Greenwald’s columns in both and the Guardian – where he routinely excoriates the U.S. for all number of ‘imperialist’ crimes against the Arab world and expresses sympathy for even the most violent, reactionary Islamist movements – it’s difficult not to marvel at the ideological dynamics within UK and U.S. politics whereby some genuinely see Greenwald as a “progressive” political voice.  

42 replies »

  1. The problem with GG is he thinks that supporting a cause you like is more important than actions. He is an idiot. Since both the H’s target what they know to be civillian targets they are terrorists. The same applied for example to the lehi in the British Mandate (They were happy to target civillians as targets, as opposed to the Irgun)

    • “He is an idiot.” Always the first thing that springs to my mind when I hear Greenwald speak.

    • All the Zionist terrorist groups targeted civilians. Even notorious right-wing Israeli historian Benny Morris has no problem detailing how the Irgun was founded to do the same thing eg “While the Haganah generally cleaved to the defensive, the dissident right-wing organizations, the IZL and LHI, introduced into the arena (in 1937-38 and 1947-48) what is now the standard equipment of modern terrorism, the camouflaged bomb in the market place and bus station, the car- and truck-bomb, and the drive-by shooting with automatic weapons” (Morris, Righteous Victims, p681.)

      Morris knows the same as we do that the Haganah’s hands were far from clean eg the assassination of the spokesman of the Palestinian Jews, Jaacob de Haan, in 1924, along with 100s of Palestinian nationalists accused of resistance.

  2. I’m impressed! Pretty much everything Greenwald said was wrong. For starters Terrorism has a pretty specific definition. To claim it’s meaningless is a nonsense only a supporter of terrorism would attempt to get away with.

  3. “it’s a word [terrorism] that has no meaning, it’s completely malleable, because it has no meaning, it’s completely manipulated.” -G.G.
    Q: Is he speaking here of terrorism, or what it means for him personally to be a “progressive,” i.e., no meaning, completely malleable, completely manipulated, something to be used to manipulate the minds of ignoramuses in that Hamas and Hezbollah are indeed terrorist organizations, as well as reactionary (not progressive), violent and genocidally anti-Semitic – by definition.

  4. Clearly Greenwald must define them as not terroristic, protecting himself from otherwise being called buddy of terrrorists.
    What he is.

  5. “Hamas’s founding charter cites the wisdom of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion to “prove” that Jews are indeed trying to take over the world,”

    At least you don’t claim (as several on this site have done) that Hamas subscribes to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion in its entirety. In fact the Protocols document is mentioned just once in the Hamas Charter – specifically in support of Israel’s expansionist aims, as follows: “after Palestine they want to expand [their territory] from the Nile to the Euphrates, and when they finish devouring one area, they hunger for further expansion and so on, indefinitely. Their plan is expounded in The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and their present [behavior] is the best proof for what we are saying.”
    Expanding from “the Nile to the Euphrates” is an ambitious project but it is scarcely “trying to take over the world”. Nor is the “Nile to the Euphrates” claim without documentary evidence, despite being ridiculed by some modern Zionist commentators. In his Complete Diaries, Vol. II. p. 711, Theodore Herzl, the founder of Zionism, said that the area of the Jewish State stretches: “From the Brook of Egypt to the Euphrates.” Rabbi Fischmann, member of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, declared in his testimony to the UN Special Committee of Enquiry on 9 July 1947: “The Promised Land extends from the River of Egypt up to the Euphrates, it includes parts of Syria and Lebanon.” There remain a number of minority Zionist factions that cling to the “Nile to the Euphrates” goal.

    Hamas’ point about Zionist expansionism would stand up even more convincingly without reference to the Protocols. The key phrase was, and remains, “their present [behavior] is the best proof for what we are saying.” The Charter was written in 1988. Since then Israel has continued to greatly expand its colonialist settlements. How right the drafters of the Charter were.

    • In this sense you defend the Nazis bearing in mind that they referred to only some parts of the Protocols.
      You don`t need to confess being an eliminatory Antisemite, we already know it.

      • “in this sense you defend the Nazis bearing in mind that they referred to only some parts of the Protocols.”

        I trust you have no ambitions to become a logician, Fritz.

    • Sencar, thought about replying but than realised what’s the point.
      People who cherry pick from a clearly AntiSemitic document and use it as “proof” are idiots.
      You are also Cherry picking Hamas’ public speeches which contradict everything you claim about them.
      Also Israel has reduced it’s territories which was won as a result of war which refutes your claims.
      You, sir, are a Hamas’ apologist and nothing more.

    • sencar:
      At least you don’t claim (as several on this site have done) that Hamas subscribes to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion in its entirety.

      So not to the Protocols in their entirety? Well that’s OK, then!

      • The Charter quotes the Protocols solely as support for Israel’s expansionist aims. As I point out above, the case is made from observation of Israeli actions alone; the Protocols reference is superfluous. Hamas’ use of the quote is naive at worst. I challenge CifWatchers to show that they make use of Protocols content in any wider sense.

        • the Protocols reference is superfluous. Hamas’ use of the quote is naive at worst.

          God knows what that makes your assessment.

        • Sencar.
          Why use an AntiSemitic document at all?
          Why not simply make your own statement?
          Are they hinting that the people who wrote the Protocols knew something we don’t?
          Are you saying just that?

          • Answers in order:
            1) Most likely out of naivety. The Charter was not written by very sophisticated people.
            2) As I say, the evidence of one’s eyes is enough. The Protocols reference is unnecessary and unhelpful.
            3) Of course not.
            4) Of course not.

              • Have some pity! We are their obsession. The time and effort they put into their futile protest against Israel’s existence is commendable – and it keeps them off the streets.

            • 1) You’re sick.
              2) You engage in bad faith arguments.
              3) Get some help.
              4) No, really, get some help.

            • OK sencar. Let’s accept, for a moment, your preposterous idea that Hamas referred to the Protocols “out of naivety” when they drafted their charter in 1988. Surely, somewhere along the line in the last 25 years, the nature and inferences of the Protocols has been pointed out to the Hamas leadership.

              If, as you go on to preposterously suggest, the reference to the Protocols is “unnecessary”, surely it would have been a simple matter for Hamas to REMOVE said reference at some point in the last 25 years, to reword it, to disclaim reliance on this notorious forgery.

              Somehow, surprisingly (to you at least) they have failed to do so! Now, why could that be?

              Could it be because:

              a) they are rabid antisemites
              b) they (in common with much of the Arab street) believe that the Protocols are genuine, or wish to convince their public that they are, or
              c) they are naive – incapable of accepting moral agency, i.e. we shouldn’t expect much from them, they’r e ignorant Arabs after all (which seems to be sencar’s point of view, NOT mine).

    • Sencar: “in fact the protocols is mentioned just once in the Hamas charter”.

      Well, that’s OK then. Nothing to see there to make a European bigot like yourself feel uncomfortable. In fact, quite the contrary for anyone who thinks hating Jews with a vengeance is a virtue. Seems like the moral black hole at the centre of the European universe created by your right-wing, nationalist, murderous grand-parents has sucked you in and spat you out.

      • If you had read on, Groovy, you would have seen that the Protocols is quoted only to support the idea of Zionist expansionism. This has nothing to do with anti-Semitism and can be demonstrated pragmatically without reference to the Protocols, as I have detailed elsewhere. So, yes, it is OK if you believe in rational debate and not childish abuse.

        • Sencar: “This has nothing to do with anti-Semitism and can be demonstrated pragmatically without reference to the Protocols”.

          Then why is it mentioned in the first place? And don’t give us your self-righteous bollocks about childish abuse. Offending Jews, after all, is a forte of the post-modern, cowardly and morally redundant British left. The fact you have to perform cognitive contortions to ‘prove’ that the protocols isn’t really anti-Semitic in the right context -ie, that you are not really in bed with racist bigots, is testament to your general level stupidity and self-delusion.

        • Beliving in the Protocloe etc. is about antisemitism. Trying to hide behind the zionist excuse is pathetic. At least Hamas are not shy of telling exactly how they feel about Jews. YOu must learn from them.

      • You don’t write very good English, tamaralexa. That’s not your fault, but at least you should make sure you have understood other people’s English before posting nonsense.

        “So it seems you agree to every word in Hamas charter”

        I have said nothing of the kind.

        • Oh so sorry you agree with only part of Hamas charter. You belive the Protocols did existed and were not a fabrication of the Russain.
          YOu said
          The Charter was written in 1988. Since then Israel has continued to greatly expand its colonialist settlements. How right the drafters of the Charter were.

          YOu said enough.

  6. Maybe this year he can explain how Hezbollah is protecting its citizens by butchering Syrian Sunnis? Also his argument makes little sense, if the USA has listed states and organizations hypocritically that does not in any way make various groups and states non-terrorists. Another point would be his claim about arming Baathist Iraq, in reality Iraqi arms came from the USSR, China and France. While their chemical weapons came from the USSR and West Germany. The USA mainly supplied Iraq with intelligence but did seriously arm Iran during the Iran-Contra scandal.

  7. The question Mr. Greenwald will never answer is this: What could the world expect if Hamas, Hezbollah and other so-called “protectors” unilaterally stopped firing missiles, detonating bombs and otherwise assaulting Israeli citizens? Next, what could the world expect if Israel opted to do the same. The answer to the question of which side is the origin and abettor of terror in the region should be instantly clear to even simple minded fools who look to cretins as the educated elite.

  8. I would love Greenwald to tell some Syrian refugees to their faces that Hezbollah ‘aren’t terrorists’.

  9. This article is full of lies. Neither Hamas nor Hezbollah want to annihilate Jews or Americans. They simply want to kick the Israeli invaders off their land. Hezbollah has already succeeded, and there hasn’t been an attack on Israel by the group since. Hamas is still working on it, so the attacks will continue. Neither group has ever attacked anyone outside the region. By contrast, Mossad has killed many people all over the world, against international laws.