Jewish groups brief MEPs on Hamas’s anti-Semitism

Hamas’s anti-Semitic attitudes toward Israel serve as a major barrier to peaceful coexistence between Arabs and Jews, Jewish leaders told European legislators on Wednesday.

July 1, 2015 22:18
2 minute read.
Palestinian students supporting Hamas demonstrate in the West Bank city of Hebron

Palestinian students supporting Hamas demonstrate in the West Bank city of Hebron. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Hamas’s anti-Semitic attitudes toward Israel serve as a major barrier to peaceful coexistence between Arabs and Jews, Jewish leaders told European legislators on Wednesday.

Addressing a gathering of European Parliament members in Brussels, representatives of several organizations decried both the terrorist group itself and the double standards with which they believe European governments approach it.

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There is a sort of “political correctness [which] demands that Israel’s policies must cause” Hamas’s anti-Semitic ideology, said Dr. Pascal Markowicz, executive chairman of the French Committee of the International Association of Jewish Lawyers.

“Hamas has specifically chosen Israel of all countries of this world, to kill Jews and the Jewish state.”

The Hamas charter states that “there is no solution to the Palestinian problem except by jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are a waste of time and a farce.”

Anyone who gives up the fight against Zionism is committing an “act of high treason” and will be cursed, the document asserts, comparing Jews to Nazis and citing an Islamic tradition that the Jews will be killed on the day of judgment.

Hamas’s use of anti-Semitism “serves the purpose [of undermining] every possible point of departure for a peaceful solution to the Middle East conflict,” said Dr.

Matthias Kunzel, author of the book Jihad and the Jews and a member of the German Council on Foreign Relations.

He cited Article 22 of the charter, in which Hamas alleges that Jews control the world media and that they “sparked revolutions in various countries around the world in order to serve their interests.”

Rabbi Menachem Margolin, who heads the Brussels- based European Jewish Association, accused Europeans of harboring “an alarming and bizarre double- standard” regarding Israel.

He cited a recent EJA-commissioned YouGov poll as showing that while more than half of Germans would support blockading a neighboring nation that was firing rockets at Berlin, only 30 percent support Israel’s blockade of Gaza.

Meanwhile, Dr. Shimon Samuels, director of international relations for the Simon Wiesenthal Center and co-host of the event, said that Hamas propaganda was being circulated in European Muslim schools.

In 2014, Jewish groups harshly condemned a European Union court’s decision to remove Hamas from a list of terrorist organizations.

In its December decision, the General Court of the European Union, the bloc’s second-highest tribunal, said member states could maintain their freeze on Hamas’s assets for three months to give time for further review or for the launch of an appeal, while the EU’s foreign policy arm said the bloc continued to view Hamas as a terrorist group.

While the group is still on the list during the appeal, the move sent shockwaves throughout Jewish communities worldwide.

The EU described the ruling as based on procedural grounds that did not constitute a judgment of the morality of Hamas’s activities.

Such arguments, however, held little water for European Jews, who are feeling increasingly insecure due to rising anti-Semitism – much of it attributed to tensions with local Muslim communities angry over the Arab-Israeli conflict.

“Thanks to this decision, we as European Jews, who Hamas openly declares as targets for annihilation, feel less secure,” European Jewish Congress president Moshe Kantor said in a statement at the time.

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