Can the world offer a sympathetic hearing to a group that claims divine rights to annihilate an entire nation? Apparently so.

Hamas is increasingly indulged by self-acclaimed forward-thinkers who might not relish being reminded that the Hamas Charter’s first section opens with the blunt assertion that “Israel will rise and will remain erect until Islam eliminates it as it had eliminated its predecessors.”

And lest anyone pooh-pooh this, Hamas anchors its Jew-revulsion in the Koran: “Ignominy shall be their [the Jews’] portion wheresoever they are found.... They have incurred anger from their Lord, and wretchedness is laid upon them.... They disbelieved the revelations of Allah, and slew the Prophets wrongfully... They were rebellious and transgressed.” (Surat Al-Imran III, verses 109-111)

This is no trifling lip-service which Western postmodernists so blithely belittle. Dissidence is deemed as heresy in Muslim dominions and heresy exacts pitiless retribution, as the Hamas Charter indeed warns: “Whoever denigrates the Hamas movement’s worth, or avoids supporting it, or is so blind as to dismiss its role, is challenging Fate itself. Whoever closes his eyes from seeing the facts, whether intentionally or not, will wake up to find himself overtaken by events, and will find no excuses to justify his position.”

Hamas isn’t about amicable accommodation. It “strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine.”

Moreover, calling itself a “humane movement,” Hamas stipulates that “safety and security can only prevail under the shadow of Islam... Members of other religions must desist from struggling against Islam... for if they were to gain the upper hand, fighting, torture and uprooting would follow.”

Clearly it’s Hamas’s way or the highway. But few Obama administration stalwarts or EU pontificators will let Hamas’s own covenant prevent them from making nice to Allah’s fearsome warriors. It’s the hottest trend sweeping through the West’s chic “non-judgmental” classes.

It’s a pattern which replicates itself. The international community can’t wait to whitewash, exonerate, find extenuating excuses for and otherwise legitimize Arab terrorists, lessen their culpability, conceal their ideology, make light of their record, explain away their sins and in general gloss over their proven malice.

It began with Fatah and had now, incredibly, moved on to Hamas. The process is similar. The terrorists’ prime victim (Israel) is demonized to provide pretexts for targeting it and to create a pervasive premise whereby the victim deserves any and all misfortunes. Concomitantly, the terrorists begin to carry out some of their more repugnant operations under other names and covers.

This enables them to feign innocence, when it so suits them, and appear to all and sundry as nothing less than the actual moderating forces in the arena, as quasi-good guys, as suitable interlocutors and as overall deserving of understanding.

Some of the worst Fatah atrocities were perpetrated over the years under mutating monikers that took the heat off the chief conspirators. These embedded in the popular mind surrogate nasties like Tanzim or al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades, to say nothing of associate PLO gangs that shared some of the dirty load and helped obfuscate the guilt.

Hamas has gained prodigious expertise in pulling off the same sort of brazen deception. It occasionally slaughters under different guises and on other occasions it merely allows associates to carry out hits.

These associates – like Islamic Jihad – are fully tolerated and allowed a free hand. When Hamas doesn’t stomach any particular faction, there’s no mistaking its terrifying animus. Gaza’s ultra-extreme Salafists had tasted it on more than one occasion in ferocious raids and executions which didn’t spare wives, children or elderly parents. Salafist mosques weren’t accorded the status of sacrosanct sanctuaries, either.

Therefore, when Islamic Jihad barrages southern Israel for days on end with assorted missiles, mortars and whatnot, there’s no escaping the conclusion that it had obtained Hamas’s green light to do so.

The sham allows Hamas to parade as at least semi-reasonable. It allows assorted self-professed good souls the world over (along with their eager leftist echoes inside Israel) to agitate openly for a rethink on Hamas, for conferring respectability upon it, for treating it as a bona fide negotiating partner, for trying to cut deals with it, for seeking coexistence with Gaza’s warlords.

Poignant hand wringing about Gaza’s fictitious humanitarian plight was from the outset geared to generate compassion for Hamastan. Hence Israel’s defensive blockade to foil gunrunning to the Strip was censured as a brutal siege against helpless civilians trapped in a virtual concentration camp.

This falsehood is recycled as an axiomatic truth and human rights advocates have become the staunchest defenders of fanatics who disdain the very sentimental broadmindedness they exploit to bamboozle polite Western society.

THE ADDRESS by a Hamas emissary at a function facilitated by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva last month was but a recent example of creeping acceptance of Hamas internationally. The UNHRC, of course, embodies the cynical skewing of august values and the deliberate deformation of rights-based discourse. But penchants for sugarcoating Hamas extend beyond this discredited forum.

Chocolate-box Switzerland, where the UNHRC is ensconced, is a cogent case in point. Last January a Hamas delegation visited Geneva to attend a session of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, which purportedly fosters dialogue between parliaments in a bid to promote “peace and cooperation among peoples” and “the firm establishment of representative democracy.”

Invoking its hallowed neutrality, Switzerland doesn’t list Hamas as a terrorist organization and accordingly admitted its hotshots without any reservation.

Also on Hamas’s Swiss itinerary was a university conference organized by the Droit Pour Tous (Right for all) NGO to mark Operation Cast Lead’s third anniversary. Mushir al- Masri, who represented Hamas, insisted that “Hamas never attacks civilians.”

Thereafter, Masri and his cohort Khamis al-Najjar chummily hobnobbed with Swiss politicians in the capital, Bern.

Masri described his talks as geared to stress “the need for openness and positive engagement with Hamas by Switzerland and European countries, because Hamas is open to Europe.”

His junket to Switzerland coincided with reports of contacts between Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal and Swiss Mideast envoy Jean-Daniel Ruch in the framework of efforts to “normalize relations with European governments.”

“Switzerland has regular contacts with Hamas which stem from its traditional policy of dialogue, in particular over conflict resolution, respect for human rights and international humanitarian law,” asserted Swiss Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Carole Wälti.

Such sanctimony raises two possibilities. Perhaps Switzerland (along with plenty of other European states, exhibiting varying degrees of disingenuousness) knows what Hamas is but just doesn’t really give a hoot. A kinder alternative is that the Swiss don’t quite know what Hamas preaches (or don’t wish to burden their selective conscience with excess information -as per precedents from Third Reich days about other genocidal harangues).

That said, it’s easy to gain enlightenment. Anyone who peruses Hamas’s own charter won’t encounter a conspicuous predisposition for compromise. Palestine, declares Hamas, “has been an Islamic Wakf throughout the generations and until the Day of Resurrection, no one can renounce it or part of it, or abandon it or part of it. No Arab country nor the aggregate of all Arab countries, and no Arab king or president nor all of them in the aggregate, have that right.”

There’s more: “So-called peaceful solutions, and international conferences to resolve the Palestinian problem, are all contrary to the beliefs of the Islamic Resistance Movement. For renouncing any part of Palestine means renouncing part of the religion.”

The Charter’s unequivocal position is that “there is no solution to the Palestinian problem except by Jihad.”

Anyone familiar with Mein Kampf will discover kindred insinuations about the insidious forces of “International Judaism.” Jews, avers the Hamas Charter, citing the infamous fake Protocols of the Elders of Zion as proof, are the instigators of all strife on this planet: “There was no war that broke out anywhere without their fingerprints on it.”

Get a load of Hamas historiography: Jews “stood behind the French and Communist revolutions and behind most all revolutions.... They also used money to establish clandestine organizations... to destroy societies and carry out Zionist interests. Such organizations are: the Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, Lions Clubs, B’nai B’rith, etc. All of them are destructive spying organizations.”

Nobody, contends the Hamas Charter, disputes that Jews “stood behind WWI, so as to wipe out the Islamic Caliphate... and established the League of Nations in order to rule the world by means of that organization. They also stood behind WWII.... They inspired the establishment of the UN and the Security Council to replace the League of Nations, in order to rule the world by their intermediary.”

Lavishing liberal love on Gaza won’t do the trick because Hamas is leery of do-gooders who come with “publicity and movies, curricula of education and culture, using as their intermediaries their craftsmen who are part of the various Zionist Organizations which take on all sorts of names and shapes such as the Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, gangs of spies and the like. All of them are nests of saboteurs and sabotage.”

Of more immediate concern is the Charter’s reminder to “every Muslim that when the Jews occupied Holy Jerusalem in 1967 and stood at the doorstep of the blessed Aksa Mosque, they shouted with joy: Muhammad is dead, he left daughters behind.”

Sounds nuts? You didn’t cheer Muhammad’s demise in ’67? You don’t know anybody who did so at the Temple Mount? You can’t imagine any Jew chanting such bizarre claptrap upon returning to the Jewish Holiest of Holies? You suspect this must be a loony gag?

And what’s all this about daughters?

What strike us as demented ravings constitute calumny and incitement that tug hard at cultural chords deep inside Hamastan. But precisely because we’re so utterly baffled by them, they underscore the gaping psychological and intellectual chasms which most likely cannot be bridged no matter how much we try to suck up to Gaza’s Muslim Brotherhood offshoot.

The Hamas Charter’s own bottom-line for the above inscrutable gibberish about Muhammad’s daughters leaves no room for doubt: “Israel, by virtue of its being Jewish and of having a Jewish population, defies Islam and the Muslims.” Need any more be said?

www.sarahhonig.com

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