from Pressure Points and Middle East Program

A Reminder From Hamas

August 02, 2012

View of the Auschwitz Museum's main gate near the former death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau in Oswiecim January 18, 2010. (Courtesy REUTERS/Eric Gaillard).
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What are the beliefs of the terrorist group Hamas and how likely is it any peace can be negotiated with Hamas?  Hamas is a part of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the advent of an MB government in Egypt--with which American officials at the level of the Secretaries of Defense and State are now dealing happily--may lead some analysts to suggest that we, and Israel, should overcome our refusal to deal with Hamas.

So we can be grateful that Hamas supplied us with a useful reminder of who it is and what it believes.  The Arab news site Maan today reports that Hamas has denounced the visit to Auschwitz of a Palestinian Authority official named Ziad al-Bandak, who is an aide to PA president Mahmoud Abbas.

"It was an unjustified and unhelpful visit that served only the Zionist occupation," said Fawzi Barhoum, a spokesman for Hamas....Barhoum further called Bandak’s visit to Auschwitz, a camp where the Nazis killed 1.5 million people, most of them Jews but also other Polish citizens, during World War Two, as "a marketing of a false Zionist alleged tragedy."

The Hamas Charter, the group’s constitutional or founding document, is a vicious anti-Semitic screed, but once in a while it is suggested that that’s an old document that does not really represent the organization’s views any more. That’s false, as this incident shows: hatred of Jews, including Holocaust denial, remains central to the Hamas belief system. It is a terrorist group, not a potential negotiating partner. Its hold on Gaza must be ended, not accommodated.