Enemies of Peace
Islamists and Hamas are the obstacles to peace in the Middle East
It is puzzling why the United Nations(UN) or the Biden administration doesn’t ask Hamas, the Islamist terrorist organization and also the ruling authority in Gaza, to return the 200 Israeli hostages they have taken and recognize Israel’s right to exist, before they ask for a pause in the war to facilitate humanitarian supplies.
Isabel Kershner of the New York Times put together a report informing us that Ghazi Hamad, a member of Hamas’s political bureau, “unabashedly Championed” the Oct. 7 terror attack that Hamas launched from Gaza on Israel. Hamad announced similar future assaults with the goal of “annihilating Israel”.
The surprise attack of Oct. 7 “was just the first time,” he noted. In an interview given to a Lebanese television channel on Oct 24, he said that the Jewish (Sabbath) holiday attack was only the beginning. He warned that there would b “a second, a third, a fourth”. The interview was later put online by a media watchdog organization, the Middle East Media Research Institute, or MEMRI, a non-profit monitoring group founded by an Israeli and an Israeli-American that is based in Washington, D.C.
According to clips of the interview translated and published, Mr Hamad threatened, “We must teach Israel a lesson, and we will do this again and again”.
As we know, at least 1,400 people, mostly Israeli civilians, were killed in the Hamas – assault, making October 7 the deadliest day in Israel’s 75-year history. Assailants abducted more than 240 hostages, among them grandparents and children, including a 9-month-old baby.
Mr. Hamad asserted that his group had not wanted to harm civilians on Oct. 7 “but ran into complications on the ground”. According to the same report, his comment could not be validated by instructions the assailants had received and executed. Many of the assailants filmed themselves killing civilians and perpetrating atrocities, uploading the images to social media in real time.
To the question, what he meant by occupation, he clarified, “all the Palestinian lands” and not only Gaza. Asked if that meant the annihilation of Israel, he said, “Yes, of course,” adding quickly that Israel’s existence was “illogical.”
“Nobody should blame us for the things we do,” he said, adding, “October 7th, October 10th, the millionth of October — everything we do is justified.”
In a separate interview, Hamad said that Hamas expected more support from its allies in the region, including the Iranian-backed Hezbollah organization in Lebanon.
A peace and prosperity-loving world community may ask the following question: If the leaders of Hamas hold this position, can there be a ceasefire based on negotiations or compromise with or without the mediation of a third party – the UN or the USA? It’s extremely important to note that the policy of Hamas is opposed to the reconciliatory stance of the PLO that, under the leadership of Yasser Arafat, recognized Israel’s “right to exist” as far back as in 1988.
In the face of such an existential threat, rooting out Hamas’s infrastructure would become the top priority of the Israeli airstrikes and ground operations.
[Originally from Darbhanga, Bihar (India), Dr Binoy Shanker Prasad lives in Dundas, Ontario (Canada). He is a former UGC teacher fellow at JNU in India and a Fulbright Scholar in the USA. Author of scholarly works including a book, “Violence Against Minorities”, “Gandhi in the Age of Globalization” (a monograph) and a collection of poems”, Dr Prasad has taught at Ryerson University, Centennial College and McMaster University. He has also been the president of Hamilton based India-Canada Society (2006-08 and 2018-20)]