What is Israel - and the World - to conclude when Gaza’s Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh addresses 100000 cheering Gazan Arabs on 14 December 2009 to mark 22 years since the formation of Hamas and tells them:
“We will never give up on Palestine from the [Jordan] river to the [Mediterranean] sea.
It is not enough for Hamas to liberate Gaza, nor to establish an emirate in Gaza, nor a state, nor an independent entity… Hamas strives to liberate all of Palestine.”
Is this the rant of a madman or a leader on a deadly - but seemingly hopeless - mission to get rid of 6.5 million Jews who live in what was formerly 22% of the British Mandate for Palestine - today called Israel and the West Bank?
When Haniyeh talks of liberating “all of Palestine“ does he also include the remaining 78% that is today called Jordan?
Is his territorial conquest only related to “all of Palestine” or does it extend far beyond Palestine’s former boundaries?
One can draw an analogy in Haniyeh’s message with a disbelieving world which blithely ignored Hitler’s warnings in his book “Mein Kampf” - written in 1923 - calling for territorial conquest and a war on the Jews. 16 years later and because of such complacency World War 2 resulted.
Hitler was in 1923 the failed leader of a coup, possibly a future potential leader but without power, land or an army and languishing in prison. His writings in 1923 could have been regarded as no more than expressed fantasies incapable of fulfillment.
Hamas- formed in 1987 - had its own constitution which clearly set out its quest for the identical goals as Hitler wrote about in 1923 - territorial conquest and a war on the Jews - but in addition contained provisions calling for the subjugation of Christianity and Judaism to Islam, the defeat of secularism and the overthrow of secular Arab regimes making peace with Israel.
The major difference from 1923 was that the Jews now had their own country - Israel - and an army to defend them. Israel represented the major obstacle to Hamas achieving all its stated goals.
This made the Hamas fantasy far more difficult to believe as its sights were directed towards the improbable destruction of Israel as the first step in achieving its international ambitions.
Hamas in 1987 - like Hitler in 1923 - was a dream without any foundation of power, land or an army.
Yet today Hamas exercises power and rules over territory which contains 1.5 million citizens. Gaza is home to a large number of terrorist groups many of whom swear allegiance to Hamas and others who are allowed to operate from Gaza with impunity.
Hamas has an army of well trained and disciplined fighters and is steadily building up a huge supply of rockets and armaments in pursuit of its goal to liberate all of Palestine.
The acquisition of nuclear weapons by Hamas cannot be discounted.
Haniyeh’s coup in ousting the Palestinian Authority from political control of Gaza in 2007 did not fail as Hitler did in 1923 - but was achieved in a matter of days with spectacular success.
Whilst the governments of Canada, the European Union, Israel, Japan, Australia, and the United States classify Hamas as a terrorist organization - Haniyeh basks in the international limelight with such persons as Iran’s Ahmadinejad, Syria’s Assad, Britain’s George Galloway and former American President Jimmy Carter beating a path to his door.
Haniyeh hides behind the findings of the Goldstone Report believing Israel’s hands are tied in the actions it can take in future to uproot Hamas from Gaza following its unsuccessful attempt to do so one year ago.
Haniyeh basks in the international opprobrium following Israel’s invasion that sees well meaning but ill informed organizations and members of the public focusing their anger on Israel for seeking to protect its citizens from threats like that being uttered by Haniyeh - instead calling for boycotts of - and divestment from - anything that has to do with Israel.
These sympathisers ignore the provisions of the Hamas Covenant which provide that:
1. Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences are in contradiction of the principles of Hamas… These conferences are only ways of setting the infidels in the land of the Moslems as arbitrators.
2. There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavours.
3. Liberation of Palestine is an individual duty for every Moslem wherever he may be. It is necessary to instill in the minds of the Moslem generations that the Palestinian problem is a religious problem, and should be dealt with on this basis.
4. Freemasons, Rotary Clubs and Lions Clubs, are nothing more than cells of subversion and saboteurs… These organizations operate in the absence of Islam …. The Islamic peoples should perform their role in confronting the conspiracies of these saboteurs. The day Islam is in control of guiding the affairs of life, these organizations, hostile to humanity and Islam, will be obliterated.
5. Jews were behind World War I, when they were able to destroy the Islamic Caliphate,making financial gains and controlling resources. They obtained the Balfour Declaration,formed the League of Nations through which they could rule the world. They were behind World War II, through which they made huge financial gains by trading in armaments, and paved the way for the establishment of their state. It was they who instigated the replacement of the League of Nations with the United Nations and the Security Council to enable them to rule the world through them. There is no war going on anywhere, without having their finger in it.
6. Leaving the circle of conflict with Israel is a major act of treason and it will bring curse on its perpetrators. Egypt has already been cast out of the conflict, to a very great extent through the treacherous Camp David Accords, and she has been trying to drag other countries into similar agreements in order to push them out of the circle of conflict. [Jordan has since signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1994 - author]
7. Israel, Judaism and Jews challenge Islam and the Moslem people.
8. Under the wing of Islam, it is possible for the followers of the three religions - Islam,Christianity and Judaism - to coexist in peace and quiet with each other. Peace and quiet would not be possible except under the wing of Islam.
9. Secular thought is diametrically opposed to religious thought.
These are no longer expressed fantasies being dreamt up by someone powerless to execute them - nor are they limited to hatred of Jews only. Christians, secularists,and Arab States making peace with Israel are also targets.
From the Hamas perspective the time for achieving these goals is rapidly approaching - particularly as consistent efforts are made by many in the international community to delegitimize the State of Israel.
There is no longer any room for complacency - as might have existed in 1987. Appeasement is not an option.
The defeat of Hamas and its hatred filled agenda, its removal from Gaza and the freeing of Gaza’s citizens fed up with the devastation wreaked by Hamas control must be confronted and dealt with before Hamas sucks the world into another unwanted war.