The Guardian presents an ideal view of Hamas

This is a guest post by Margie in Tel Aviv.

I do understand Sarah Helm’s desire to paint Hamas in a positive light in her May 19 article at the Guardian. I too wish that their intentions were as positive as she seems determined to present them as being; peace between Israel and the Palestinians – the magical goal that every politician yearns for – would be so much more easily attainable.

Let us look at how she presents their physical situation:

“In his house in the Gaza Strip last month, a senior Hamas minister was explaining to me that the movement needed to modernise its policies when the lights suddenly cut out, as they so often do under Israel’s siege of the territory.”

From this I gather that I am meant to understand that it is Israel’s fault that the lights cut out and that Gaza is under a siege by Israel.

One only has to read the popular press to get the freely available truth. Al Jazeera is hardly unsympathetic to the Palestinian cause:

This headline completely contradicts the impression given by the statement in Helm’s article. The fault is Palestinian alone: the result of a dispute which certainly does not involve Israel.

Al Jazeera continues:

“Abbas has threatened to exert financial pressure on Hamas to cede control of Gaza, a territory it seized in 2007 after a brief war.

Reconciliation attempts since then between rival governments in the Occupied West Bank and Gaza have failed.”

The second fault I find with the sentence from Sarah Helm quoted above is the little matter of a ‘siege’.  A siege is understood to be a military assault withholding essential supplies. These usually include food water, medicines and military supplies, in fact everything that can be done to urge the besieged population to surrender speedily and completely.

This is a well trodden path and I can do no better than to quote a passage by Tamar Sternthal of CAMERA establishing that this does not apply.

“As [the NGO] Gisha, hardly a source sympathetic to Israeli policies on Gaza, notes: “Currently, Israel allows the entrance of all civilian goods into the Gaza Strip, with the exception of a list of materials defined as ‘dual-use,’ which, according to Israel, can be used for military purposes.” Gisha’s separate page on dual-use items notes that x-ray machines are in the list of such restricted items, but does not include any other medical equipment.”

Helm herself uses blockade and siege interchangeably, calling Israel’s treatment of Hamas/Gaza both an economic siege and an economic blockade and thereby indicating that she uses those terms without allocating to them due value.

Sarah Helm continues with her dream-vision of a positive Hamas.

“Shortly after that, Hamas, which governs Gaza, published what is effectively the first revision of its charter since it was founded 30 years ago. “

This too is a well trodden – though more recent – path.  This public document, as it is known, is far from a new charter.  A close reading of the document itself yields no hint that it is intended to be a charter.

In fact, Ms Helm’s claim is contradicted by various Hamas leaders. Here is none other than one of the founders of Hamas, Al-Zahar:

“The pledge Hamas made before God was to liberate all of Palestine,” Zahar said Wednesday. “The charter is the core of [Hamas’] position, and the mechanism of this position is the document.”

Sarah Helm begs the international community to see Hamas more charitably:

“…the movement is at present adhering to a ceasefire, and has gone a long way towards meeting international demands.”

It is hard to see the regular firing of missiles at Israeli civilian communities near Gaza as indication of a ceasefire.  The international demands on the Palestinians in general and Hamas in particular have generally been no more demanding than a request for an end to the violence – a consummation devoutly to be wished but as elusive as ever.

Related Articles:

The Guardian and Hamas: The love story continues

The Guardian’s Tareq Baconi urges us to talk to Hamas

10 replies »

  1. Hamas’s efforts to ‘take a shower’ haven’t done it much good. Almost as if the water used was recycled. But not ‘cleansed’. Sort of ‘showering in your own filthy water’. Some people have heralded the new document as a breakthrough. But, clearly it still stinks and Hamas needs to cleanse itself by distancing itself from terrorism and violence. Of course, then it will cease to exist anyway.

    Poor dears. Trapped in their own ideology of ‘destruction’ and not ‘creation’

  2. There is no lie that either Islamofascists or their supporters will not only believe but scream to the heavens as ‘facts’. All the Islamofascists have to do is not say anything truthful and it will instantly become a ‘historic fact’.

    This is proven by all the moronic claims of ‘international laws’ supposedly violated by Israel which either do not exist or at the most state something else entirely

  3. I don’t understand the urge to paint these announced genocidaires in a positive light. Is it because they are considered exotic “people of color?” If that’s it, and I think it really is, then it is the height of stupidity.

    • It has been explained as ‘colonial guilt’ but even that should include some understanding that you can’t excuse terrorism and banditry

    • jeff21st, No I don’t believe it is because they are ‘considered exotic “people of color”.
      It is because they are considered to be todays ‘useful idiots’. They are thought to be, along with their supporters, the ones most likely to bring down Western civilisation. Thirty years ago, and longer, it was thought that the working classes of the West would rise up and cause the overthrow of Western civilisation, to the disappointment of those now supporting Hamas, ISIS et al it did not happen so they have had to find new ‘useful idiots’ to bring about the chaos and destruction they desire.

      It is not because they have something better to replace the current system, or Western civilisation, with. No that would require thinking and positive action by them. Their only desire is to destroy and as the working classes have failed them, at least they have in their negative and tiny minds, they have replaced the organised working classes of the West with Hamas and ISIS et al., who they now expect under their guidance to destroy Western civilisation.

      You can only build societies and civilisation with positive actions and demands, negative actions and demands can and will only destroy. That is why they cannot win.

  4. I challenge Ms. Helm to try to ride a bicycle in the Gaza Strip (which Hamas has taken to forbidding their women folk from doing these days, being as it is so indecent), while she goes about town wearing a Star of David around her neck. That should make for an interesting story. We’ll see if her idealistic view of Hamas changes any then.