OpinionAntisemitism

Hamas is the dark heart of the Israel-haters

Those who claim to be anti-Israel but not antisemitic are quoting the genocidal terrorist group.

An anti-Israel protest at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. Photo by Rachel Cook.
An anti-Israel protest at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. Photo by Rachel Cook.
Jerome M. Marcus
Jerome M. Marcus
Jerome M. Marcus is a lawyer in Philadelphia.

Those who attack Israel always claim that they are not attacking Judaism. Therefore, they assert, they are only anti-Israel and anti-Zionist, not antisemitic.

This shows, among other things, how little the attackers know or care about the tenets of Judaism. But even putting the depth of this ignorance aside, their claim is belied by its source, which is not some abstract history treatise but the Hamas charter.

The 2017 version of that charter proclaims: “Hamas rejects any alternative to the full and complete liberation of Palestine from the river to the sea.”

“From the river to the sea” sounds familiar, no? Hamas is the source of this ringing phrase, now on posters across campuses and even high schools and middle schools throughout the United States. All those signs are quoting the Oct. 7 murderers.

What is an Israeli or Jewish student at an American school supposed to think when he or she sees Hamas quoted on school walls? What is such a student, or any Jew, supposed to think of the people shouting this phrase, coined by the people who raped women to death on Oct. 7?

In a country where we have removed the names of racists from schools and buildings—even the likes of Democratic President Woodrow Wilson—what are Jews supposed to make of the endorsement of Hamas’s aspiration to destroy the Jewish state and turn the entire Land of Israel into what Hamas calls an “Islamic Waqf”? That is, per Hamas’s 1988 charter, holy territory “consecrated for future Muslim generations until Judgement Day.”

Americans are also quoting Hamas when they excuse attacks on Israel and call for the Jewish state to be destroyed. Here are Hamas’s own words from its 2017 charter: “Hamas does not wage a struggle against the Jews because they are Jewish but wages a struggle against the Zionists who occupy Palestine. Yet it is the Zionists who constantly identify Judaism and the Jews with their own colonial project.” Sounds familiar again, no?

This is the argument advanced by anti-Israel activists everywhere when accused of antisemitism. They are directly quoting Hamas.

No one who knows anything about Jewish prayers, Jewish customs or the Hebrew Bible could possibly believe such nonsense. Yet those who spout it include Jews whose only Judaism consists in invoking their Jewish identity to attack Jewish beliefs, like the genius a few weeks ago at the Oscars who “refuted” his Jewishness being “hijacked” by Israel’s insistence on preventing another Oct. 7. What did his Jewishness consist of that day? How had he expressed his commitment to the Jewish people, Jewish belief or leading a Jewish life beforehand? It appears that it was only by claiming to be a virtuous person who denied the Jews’ right to defeat their would-be destroyers.

Hamas, like all enemies of the Jews, cannot be allowed to define Judaism or Jew-hatred. No white person would dare tell a black man or woman what it means to be black. No straight person would presume to teach a gay or lesbian person what it means or how it should feel to have a family, be married or be in love.

The same goes for the Jews. We get to decide these things.

Ironically, Hamas itself proclaims that it is antisemitic. Its 1988 charter explicitly states: “Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious. … Israel, Judaism and Jews challenge Islam and the Muslim people.”

Everyone who recognizes that flying a Confederate flag is racist must acknowledge that quoting Hamas is antisemitic. No one who opposes antisemitism should be quoting Jew-haters. And no schools, colleges, workplaces, restaurants or other place of public accommodation should allow Hamas’s racist words to shriek from posters and flags.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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