Palestinians vote for genocide - opinion

What happened to the generation of peace?

 PALESTINIAN STUDENTS wave Hamas flags during a rally at Birzeit University, near Ramallah, last week. (photo credit: FLASH90)
PALESTINIAN STUDENTS wave Hamas flags during a rally at Birzeit University, near Ramallah, last week.
(photo credit: FLASH90)

Hamas won overwhelmingly in elections for the student council at a leading Palestinian Arab university last week. In other words, the young leadership of the Palestinian Arab community just voted for genocide.

When I use the term genocide, I am not indulging in hyperbole. I am referring to the actual, legal definition of genocide, which is found in Articles II and III of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide: “Acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group.”

“Acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group.”

1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide

That’s exactly what Hamas has been doing for decades, with thousands of rockets, flaming balloons, stabbings, bombings, sniper fire, suicide attacks and kidnap-murders.

And that’s exactly what Hamas has always advocated in its official charter, which Simon Wiesenthal Center has described as “a Fatwa (Muslim religious decree) for genocide.”

So, when the students at Birzeit University elected Hamas representatives to 28 of the 51 student council seats, they were making a clear and unequivocal statement: they want to “destroy, in whole or in part,” the seven million Jews in Israel.

 Palestinian students supporting Hamas take part in a rally during an election campaign for the student council at the Birzeit University in the West Bank city of Ramallah April 26, 2016.  (credit: MOHAMAD TOROKMAN/REUTERS) Palestinian students supporting Hamas take part in a rally during an election campaign for the student council at the Birzeit University in the West Bank city of Ramallah April 26, 2016. (credit: MOHAMAD TOROKMAN/REUTERS)

This was supposed to be the generation of peace. The 1993 Oslo agreement was based on a Palestinian leadership commitment to raise their young people to embrace non-violence and peaceful coexistence with the Jewish state. They promised to change their old hate-filled textbooks so that Palestinian classrooms would become incubators of peace instead of training facilities for war.

The fact that young Palestinian Arabs voted for a genocidal group shows that the Palestinian educational system has never changed. No new curriculum has been instituted. No textbooks have been changed. Palestinian Arab boys and girls have been raised since 1993 in the same way they were raised before 1993: to hate and kill Jews.

LET ME say that again: to hate and kill Jews - not to hate and kill Israelis, and not to hate and kill settlers.

The distinction is crucially important because it goes to the motives of Hamas and its voters. If their motive was simply to secure some territory and live in peace next to Israel, then many people would see some justification in Hamas violence against settlers.

If, however, Hamas’s motive is simply to kill Jews, then their actions are genocidal. Nothing can justify it. And no surrender of territory will ever put an end to it.

Obviously, not everyone who has been harmed in Hamas attacks has been Jewish. But, we know who they are trying to kill. And we know it for the simple reason that Hamas terrorists never try to murder Israeli Arabs.

Israeli Arabs are Israeli citizens. So, if Hamas is against Israelis and not Jews, why don’t they ever attack Israeli Arabs?

If Hamas’s grievance is against the policies of Israel and not against Jews, then they should be attacking Israeli Arabs, just as they attack Israeli Jews, but, they don’t.

If they were merely against “Israelis,” Hamas newspapers, and radio and television programs would be inciting Palestinians to hate Israeli Arabs with the same vehemence that they hate Israeli Jews. They would be accusing Israeli Arabs of being evil and Nazi-like. Their political cartoons against the occupation would be showing Israeli Arabs as monstrous occupiers. Instead, their cartoons show occupiers with huge, hooked noses, side curls, beards and yarmulkes.

Hamas doesn’t plant bombs in supermarkets in Israeli Arab neighborhoods. They don’t machine-gun bus passengers in Israeli Arab towns. They don’t kidnap Israeli Arab teenagers from hitchhiking posts and murder them. The reason is simple, and there is no other plausible explanation, their goal is to murder Jews and that makes it genocide.

It’s time to acknowledge the true nature of what Hamas and other Palestinian terrorists have been doing to Jews for more than a century. It’s not about politics. It’s not about policies. It’s not about territories or settlers. It’s genocide.

That’s what the young leaders of the Palestinian Arabs voted for last week. That’s the sad and ugly reality that Israel and its supporters will have to confront in the years ahead.

The writer is an attorney and the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in an Iranian-sponsored Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995. He is the author of A Father’s Story: My Fight for Justice Against Iranian Terrorism.