The enduring and highly complex conflict between Hamas and Israel remains a defining feature of the turbulent Middle East landscape. Stretching back several decades, this conflict has been marked by persistent violence, profound ideological differences, and it has had a profound impact on the lives of countless individuals living in the region.
The Historical Perspective
The roots of this ongoing confrontation are deeply intertwined with historical, political, and religious factors, and its consequences have reverberated far beyond the borders of Israel and the Palestinian territories.
The conflict can be traced back to the early 20th century when the Zionist movement sought to establish a Jewish homeland in the territory that was then part of the Ottoman Empire.
After World War I, the British Mandate for Palestine emerged, further fuelling tensions between Jewish immigrants and the Arab population. This dynamic ultimately set the stage for the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, leading to a series of Arab-Israeli wars.
While the Arab-Israeli conflict has multiple dimensions, the emergence of Hamas as a major player began in 1987 during the First Intifada, a Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation.
Hamas, formally known as the Islamic Resistance Movement, was founded as a response to what it saw as the failure of other Palestinian movements to achieve their goals. From its inception, Hamas adopted a distinctive ideology that emphasized the establishment of an Islamic state in all of what it called Palestine, a stance directly at odds with the existence of Israel. This claim by Hamas flew in the face of the historical proof that Israel had a much longer and stronger claim to the land.
Israel is the region known in the Old Testament Bible as Canaan. Canaan encompasses parts of modern-day Israel, the Palestinian territories, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. Biblical accounts describe the journey of the Israelites from Egypt, and their conquest of Canaan under the leadership of figures like Joshua to establish their Promised Land (promised by God), which is often associated with the land of Canaan.
The specific geographic boundaries and the extent of the territory that the Israelites occupied have been a subject of much historical and archaeological research, but the biblical narrative places a strong emphasis on the importance of the land of Canaan in the history and identity of the Israelites.
The first mention of Israel in the Bible can be found in the Book of Genesis, specifically in Genesis 32:28. This passage describes an event where the patriarch Jacob wrestled with an angel or a divine being. During the struggle, the divine being renamed Jacob, saying, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” In this context, Israel refers to the new name given to Jacob, and it is a significant moment in the biblical narrative.
The Roman general Pompey captured Jerusalem and incorporated the area into the Roman Republic during the 63 BCE. He named this new area Palestine, to mark the beginning of Roman rule in the region.
Later, in 6 CE, the Roman province of Judea was established, and that region became part of the Roman Empire.
The area of Palestine had a tumultuous history during Roman rule, including the First Jewish-Roman War (66-73 CE), which resulted in the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE. The Romans continued to maintain control over the area until the 4th century CE when the Roman Empire itself underwent significant changes, and Christianity became the state religion.
Israel and Palestine Today
Hamas’s rise to prominence and its control over the Gaza Strip in the mid-2000s marked a significant turning point in the history of the area. This development intensified hostilities between Hamas and Israel, leading to repeated military confrontations, including the 2008-2009 Gaza War, the 2012 Gaza conflict, and the 2014 Gaza war.
The central issues at the heart of the dispute include the control of territory, the status of Palestinian refugees, and the very existence of Israel, as enshrined in Hamas’s charter.
The consequences of this protracted conflict are profound and far-reaching. It has resulted in the loss of thousands of lives, a humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, and ongoing insecurity and instability in the broader region. The conflict also has wider international implications, influencing the foreign policies of key regional and global actors.
Who and What is HAMAS?
Hamas, formally known as the Islamic Resistance Movement, is a Palestinian political and military organization that was founded in 1987. It operates primarily in the Gaza Strip and, to a lesser extent, in the West Bank.
Hamas is widely regarded as a terrorist organization by several countries, including the United States and Israel, while it enjoys varying degrees of support in the Arab and Muslim world.
The Goals of the HAMAS Charter
The Hamas Charter has five major goals that govern everything the organization does. (Download the Charter below)
Goal 1: Raising the Banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine is Hamas’ primary objective, as outlined in Article 6 of its charter. The aim is to establish Islamic rule over all of historic Palestine, which includes modern-day Israel and the Palestinian territories. This reflects a broader aspiration for the land to be governed by Islamic principles and values. Hamas seeks to replace the state of Israel with an Islamic state, making it incompatible with the two-state solution favoured by the international community.
Goal 2: The Destruction of Israel: The preamble of Hamas’ charter includes a controversial statement about the destruction of Israel. It asserts that Israel will continue to exist until Islam obliterates it, drawing a parallel with other empires that have been eliminated in history. This goal of destroying Israel has always been a point of contention and conflict in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It has contributed to the organization’s designation as a terrorist group by many countries.
Goal 3. Create an Exclusive Islamic State called Palestine in Article 11, declaring it a consecrated Islamic Waqf, which means a religious endowment. According to the charter, this designation is valid until Judgment Day, and no one can renounce or abandon any part of it. This idea reflects Hamas’s commitment to the religious and historical significance of the land and is linked to its goal of establishing an Islamic state in the region.
Goal 4. Demand that Every Muslim must contribute to Liberate Palestine Article 13 of the charter. It asserts that the liberation of Palestine is an individual duty for every Muslim, regardless of their location. This concept is significant in terms of mobilizing support for the Palestinian cause across the Muslim world. It reinforces the idea that the struggle for Palestinian liberation is not confined to the Palestinian territories but extends to the broader Muslim community. Given this, there can be no ‘innocent’ Palestinians. Anyone who chooses to live in Gaza is complicit in this Goal, without exception.
Goal 5. The Call to Jihad in Article 15 states that the day the enemies usurp part of Muslim land, Jihad becomes an individual duty for every Muslim. In the face of what Hamas perceives as Jewish usurpation, the charter insists on the compulsory raising of the banner of Jihad. This reflects the organization’s belief in armed resistance as a means to achieve its goals.
Hamas’s charter makes its goals and principles very clear, emphasizing the establishment of an Islamic state in all of historic Palestine, the destruction of Israel, the exclusive Islamic nature of the land, and the duty of Muslims worldwide to support the liberation of Palestine through Jihad.
These principles have contributed to the ongoing conflict between Hamas and Israel and present significant challenges to the broader peace process in the Middle East.
The key element that the peacemakers and Western Nations need to keep in mind is that Israel was established many centuries before the Romans invented Palestine. Given that, Israel has a much stronger reason for defending its existence than any claims by Hamas or the Islamic nations.
The Dangers of an Islamic Palestinian Republic
There are dozens of Suras (Sura = Chapter) in the Quaran that make it compulsory for believers to kill all non-believers, including but not limited to: Quran (2:244), Quran (2:216), Quran (3:56), Quran (3:151), Quran (4:74), Quran (4:76), Quran (4:89), Quran (4:95), Quran (4:101), Quran (4:104), Quran (5:33), Quran (8:12), Quran (8:15), Quran (8:39), Quran (8:57), Quran (8:67), Quran (8:59-60), Quran (8:65), Quran (9:5), Quran (9:14), Quran (9:20), Quran (9:29), Quran (9:30), Quran (9:38-39), Quran (9:41), Quran (9:73), Quran (9:88), Quran (9:111), Quran (9:123), Quran (17:16), Quran (18:65-81), Quran (21:44), Quran (25:52), Quran (33:60-62), Quran (47:3-4), Quran (47:35), Quran (48:17), Quran (48:29), Quran (61:4), Quran (61:10-12), Quran (66:9), Quran (2:191-193). All Suras can be read here: https://quran.com/
Although the Quran commands Muslims to kill all non-believers, it is not alone. The Bible also contains many passages commanding believers to do the same thing, listed here: https://www.openbible.info/topics/killing_non_believers
The difference is that the majority of Christians no longer do this, although it has occurred in smaller Christian cults occasionally.
All rabid religious followers have the potential to put aside their good judgment and moral behaviour without rational thought if their beliefs are challenged. We have seen this throughout history. It is only in recent times that Christians have developed their civilization and stopped following the Bible to the letter.
However, Islam continues to encourage followers to kill all non-believers even today. We have seen what ISIS did in the name of Islam, as well as the death and destruction wreaked in places like Iran, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and other Islamic nations in recent years.
Should Hamas ever achieve its goals, there is no doubt that the world will see plenty more death and destruction in the name of Islam spreading across the globe. We in the West need to be vigilant and do everything we can to ensure that this does not happen.
Government and police need to monitor activities in the mosques and Jewish temples closely, as well as keeping the peace at any demonstrations in support of Israel or Palestine. We also ask that the AFP keep a particularly close eye on the idiot brigade calling themselves “Gays for Palestine”. Clearly, these people are not intelligent enough to understand the danger they would be in if they were ever stupid enough to travel to Gaza. They would, of course, likely be thrown off the nearest tall building…. assuming Hamas can still find an intact building there.
Australia is a relatively peaceful country, and we want to keep it that way. We must demand that our government does everything in its power to ensure that peace continues.
Download the HAMAS Charter here…