10 Lies About the Israel-Hamas Conflict

Hw5Refl1IUAwIPT News:

A ceasefire between Israel and Hamas may have been reached on paper, but evidence already indicates that it is unlikely to hold. A top Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader has already warned that the ceasefire would be short and that a “new, more savage round” of fighting with Israel lies ahead. The agreement establishes Egypt as the guarantor of peace between Israel and Hamas even though President Mohammed Morsi and members of his government openly aided and supported Hamas in the conflict.

The ceasefire will likely embolden Hamas, which views it as a victory over Israel. History shows that ceasefires do not deter Hamas from firing rockets into Israel. Further, Iran’s admission that it has given improved weapons technology to Hamas serves as a warning of an increased Iranian effort to destabilize Israel. In the end, this ceasefire represents merely a lull in the fighting, not a beginning of lasting peace. Here are 10 examples of misleading assumptions and conventional wisdom:

1. Hamas Will Adhere to a “Ceasefire”

Hamas accepted a ceasefire with Israel in this latest escalation. However, the Arabic word for truce, “hudna,” is perceived differently within the Hamas mentality. In this modern context, a hudna involves a temporary lull in the violence that allows Hamas the necessary time to organize and re-arm itself in anticipation of a future conflict with Israel. It is different from a ceasefire in that it is an agreement to halt hostilities for a defined period of time only, not a peace agreement.[1]

The duration of Hamas’s current hudna with Israel remains unknown, and we can be assured that fighting will resume once Hamas decides to do so. Once a hudna is agreed to, observing it becomes a religious duty for the Muslim party as long as the non-Muslim party observes it.[2] It runs counter to the term sul d’aim, which means permanent peace and the recognition of the non-Muslim party’s right to exist. [3]

Hudna was the first word used in Muslim history to describe a ceasefire, found in context of the 7th century Treaty of al-Hudaybiyya – referring to a truce that came six years after Muhammad and his followers deserted Mecca for Medina. This agreement allowed Muhammad and his followers to pray in Mecca, which was then under control of the Quraysh tribe, for a decade. However, when Muhammad’s army became strong enough, it used an attack by the Quraysh-aligned Banu Bakr tribe two years into the pact as a pretext to give the Quraysh an ultimatum to disavow their allies, pay restitution for their attack against the Muslims or nullify the treaty. The Quraysh chose the final option and Muhammad marched on Mecca and easily conquered the city.

This event set a precedent, justifying the abandonment of operations for the purposes of regrouping and rearming, allowing for a future attack on the territory left behind.[4] The late PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat alluded to the Treaty of al-Hudaybiyya while giving a speech in a mosque in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1994, suggesting that peace with Israel would be temporary.

History has proven that Hamas subscribes to this perspective, and that it uses hudnas as temporary lulls in the fighting prior to renewing hostilities. In June 2003, Hamas announced a hudna with Israel, yet it ended violently with a suicide bombing two months later in Jerusalem that killed 22 people and wounded more than 130. Likewise, Israel’s 2008 incursion into Gaza led to a hudna as well. However, Hamas ended this temporary truce by firing rockets into Israel sporadically since the last “ceasefire,” escalating the attacks dramatically in the past month.

Modern interpretations of hudna mean there will be no end to the religiously-inspired struggle until Israel is defeated. The Hamas covenant proves this point: “There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals, and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.” Hamas co-founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin regarded the hudna as a “tactical move” in its war with Israel.[5] Discussing the prospect of peace with Israel earlier this year, Hamas leader Moussa Abu Marzook indicated that his organization would be open to a hudna with Israel, but it would never renounce its goal of Israel’s destruction.

2. Hamas is Interested in Peace

Hamas, designated as a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union, does not distinguish between the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and pre-1967 Israel. To it, all of “Palestine” is occupied. The Hamas charter explicitly calls for the destruction of the Jewish state as its top priority. In fact, Hamas prides itself as the main “resistance” (code word for terrorism) movement against Israel. “All the energies of the people and the ummah (nation) [are needed] in order to uproot the oppressive Entity,” al-Qassam Brigades Commander Muhammad al Deif said just before the current ceasefire.

Any recognition of Israel’s right to exist is unacceptable to the Hamas leadership. This belief is the root of the conflict. In light of a Nov. 21 bus bombing of in Tel Aviv, Hamas member Ezzat Rishq confirmed that the attack was a “repercussion of the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip.” Rishq added that “the Zionist Entity should know that the continuation of aggression and crimes against our defenseless people in Gaza will double the state of rage, boiling excitement and discontent among our people everywhere against their crimes, soldiers and extremists, pointing out that the Zionists have to expect worst.”

3. The Problem is Israel’s Siege of Gaza

With Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005, removing every Jewish resident and soldier from the territory, Palestinians were given a chance to fully govern themselves and build their society. However, instead of trying to improve Gaza’s standard of living, Hamas remained focused on its hostility toward Israel by firing rockets at the Jewish state immediately after taking over. Since Hamas first exerted control in Gaza in 2006, 6,109 rockets have hit Israeli territory. It fully seized power in a bloody Palestinian civil war with the rival Fatah faction in 2007. In response, Israel imposed a blockade on Gaza in an attempt to curb the flow of arms to Hamas. This year alone, 1,822 rockets have hit Israeli territory. From November 10-13, immediately prior to Israel’s operation, Hamas fired 121 rockets into Israel. Hamas launched another 1,500 rockets after Israel initiated Operation Pillar of Defense on Nov. 14. Israel’s blockade is by no means an “occupation” – rather, it is a necessary response to stem Hamas’ weapons smuggling into Gaza, actions that threatens Israel’s security. This tactic is nothing new, as the United States blockaded Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, and the United Kingdom blockaded the Falkland Islands during its war with Argentina in 1982. A 2011 United Nations report concluded that Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip is legal under international law.

4. Israel Deliberately Targets Civilians

Israel went to extraordinary means to minimize innocent Palestinian casualties in response to the terrorist rocket barrage. Prior to any action, the Israeli military dropped thousands of leaflets in Arabic warning Gaza residents of impending attacks. This effort gave residents time to evacuate the area. Collateral damage happens because Hamas intentionally embeds itself in population centers in violation of international law. If Israel deliberately targeted civilians, its military superiority would allow it to inflict far greater casualties. An Israeli pilot actually aborted a strike mission on a rocket launch pad located in a playground because he saw Palestinian children nearby. That rocket ended up being fired at Tel Aviv, causing Israeli children to run for the bomb shelters. Imagine what the United States government would do if the Mexican drug cartels fired thousands of rockets at San Diego, Phoenix, or other cities along the Mexican border from the safety of Mexico.

5. There is a Moral Equivalence Between Actions by Israel and Hamas

Israel strives to minimize civilian casualties. Hamas tries to maximize Israeli civilian casualties and strike fear into the population. This is self-evident based on the fact that Israel strategically targets Hamas terrorists with accurate, pinpoint airstrikes. Hamas, on the other hand, indiscriminately fires deadly rockets at Israeli cities with the intent of killing or maiming Israeli civilians. Hamas purposefully fires from Palestinian population centers to elicit an Israeli response that occasionally results in civilian casualties that who it can use for strictly propaganda purposes. The terrorist group also uses Palestinians as human shields to protect military targets, which is considered a war crime under international law.

“Hamas … has a media strategy,” Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren wrote last week. “Its purpose is to portray Israel’s unparalleled efforts to minimize civilian casualties in Gaza as indiscriminate firing and children, to Israel’s rightful acts of self-defense into war crimes. Its goals are to isolate Israel internationally, to tie its hands from striking back at those trying to kill our citizens and to delegitimize the Jewish state.”

Unfortunately, many in the mainstream media implicitly allude to a moral equivalence between Hamas and Israel by insinuating that both sides are at fault for this recent escalation. For instance, Ethan Bronner from the New York Times started his Nov. 17 report by stating: “When Israel assassinated the top Hamas military commander in Gaza on Wednesday, setting off the current round of fierce fighting …” Bronner conspicuously omitted the fact that Hamas fired more than 100 rockets in the days leading up to Israel’s operations. There is absolutely no moral equivalence between actions by Hamas and Israel – this recent escalation would have been avoided had Hamas not initiated the rocket fire.

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Toxic Taqiyya – “Satan’s greatest victory was getting the world to believe that he did not exist”

By David Meir-Levi at Frontpage:

On May 10th, 1994, just a few months after signing the Oslo Accords (September, 1993), Yasir Arafat addressed an assembly of Muslims in a Johannesburg mosque  where he justified his actions by explaining: “This agreement, I am not considering it more than the agreement which had been signed between our prophet Muhammad and Quraysh.”  And he concluded by calling on the worshipers “to come and to fight and to start the jihad to liberate Jerusalem.”

What did those words mean?

Muhammad signed a 10-year truce with the Arabian pagan Quraysh tribe in the city of Mecca (the Treaty of Hudaybiyah, 628 AD). At the beginning of the second year of that ten-year period he found a pretext to justify breaking the truce. He pounced on the Quraysh in a surprise attack, conquered Mecca and defeated the Quraysh, who were not prepared for more hostilities since they were honoring the 10-year accord and assumed that Muhammad was too.  Since then this agreement between Muhammad and the Quraysh has been an example for Muslims world-wide of how to trick the enemy in wartime. In other words, Arafat explained to his Muslim audience that he gave his word to President Clinton and Yitzhak Rabin, and signed the Oslo Accords, only because he planned to annul his commitments and attack Israel as soon as it was expedient for him to do so.  He lied to Clinton and Rabin; but once he was out from under the scrutiny of western media and in the comfort of a Muslim group whose support he could assume, he told the truth to his Muslim audience.  He was not aware that his speech was recorded.

Arafat’s lies to Clinton and Rabin were an excellent example of a 1,400 year old Muslim tradition of Taqiyya: tricking the enemy in wartime by offering a false peace or truce, but preparing to attack once the enemy lets down its guard.

Taqiyya (lit. ‘caution’) denotes the deceit or dissimulation used by Shiites, who may lie and even commit blasphemous acts to conceal their religion when they are under threat of persecution from majority Sunnis. It has long been used in its other manifestation, as an integral part of Muslim military strategy, employing trickery and deceit to mislead the enemy (for a detailed discussion see John Esposito’s The Oxford Dictionary of Islam, Oxford University Press, 2003).

The Qur’an in a variety of verses (2:225, 3:28, 3:54, 9:3, 16:106, 40:28, and 66:2) establishes the religious legitimacy of breaking oaths, lying, unilaterally violating treaties, and generally scheming against non-Muslims.  Allah Himself is described as “the best of schemers” (3:54, 8:30, 10:21), and Muhammad declared, as a justification for murdering unarmed prisoners after offering them safe passage, “war is deceit” (see the Hadith collection of  Bukhari, vol. 4, book 52, nos. 268-271).  So during the negotiations of Oslo I and II, Arafat’s willingness to acquiesce to Israeli demands was merely his acting as a good Muslim warrior, using taqiyya, deceit in warfare, to put his enemy at a disadvantage.

Arafat’s taqiyya began long before Oslo. For decades he told the West that he was just a scruffy little guy doing his best to keep his rough-neck boys (Fatah, the PLO, the el-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade and Hamas, inter alia) under control so that he could make peace with Israel; even as he called in Arabic for a million martyrs to march on Jerusalem to destroy Israel and create their “Palestine…from the river to the sea”.  Similarly he told the west that he was trying to rein in Hamas and enforce the ban on terrorism to which he had agreed in the Oslo Accords.  Yet, as became apparent when Israel invaded his muqata (military compound) in Ramallah during Operation Defensive Shield in 2002, and translated thousands of documents taken from his files and computers,  he in reality had partnered with Hamas, funded Hamas, armed Hamas, and aided in Hamas’ terrorism.  Far too many in the West fell for his “good cop – bad cop” act.

Hamas too uses the taqiyya ruse at will, frequently telling the West that it really wants peace, but reminding its followers in Arabic that they must continue the ‘struggle’ (the terror war against Israel) until victory or martyrdom.

Examples of taqiyya are endless.  To the west the PA explains its refusal to negotiate with Israel as a result of Israel’s settlement construction.  But the reality is revealed in the Palestine Strategy Group’s 2009 proposal for a strategy of “intelligent resistance”  (i.e., the priority of law fare, boycott campaigns and other anti-Israel propaganda over terrorism) as a means of continuing the struggle against Israel.

Fatah leader, Abbas Zaki, has repeatedly revealed the duplicity of the PA leaders. On April 9th 2008 he told NBN TV the following: “The PLO has not changed its platform even one iota….The PLO proceeds through phases…..Allah willing we will drive them out of all of Palestine.”  The following year he revealed on Lebanese TV: “When we say that the settlement should be based upon these (1967) borders, President (Abbas) understands, we understand, and everybody knows, that the greater goal (destruction of Israel) cannot be accomplished in one go. If Israel withdraws from Jerusalem, evacuates the 650,000 settlers and dismantles the wall – what will become of Israel? It will come to an end.”  He then cautioned his listeners: “It is not acceptable policy to say that we want to wipe Israel out. Don’t say these things to the world, keep it to yourself.”

Mahmoud Abbas in an interview with European reporters (December, 2011) insisted that the PA’s unification with Hamas did not threaten the so-called “peace process:”  ”We set the agreement’s pillars, and Hamas agreed with us that resistance will be popular and adopt peaceful ways, rather than military resistance.” But when Hamas celebrated its 23th anniversary in Gaza the same week (14 Dec 2011), Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh called upon the Muslim Brotherhood to start a war to liberate Jerusalem: “We affirm that armed resistance is our strategic option and the only way to liberate our land, from the (Mediterranean) sea to the River (Jordan.) God willing, Hamas will lead the people… to the uprising until we liberate Palestine, all of Palestine”.

Palestinian Media Watch recently published “Deception: Betraying the Peace Process,” which documents the hate-speech, hate-preach and hate-teach promoted by PA officials and Arab media, and the manner in which they lie about it to the west. The book, recently reviewed in the NY Times (but see here for a very harsh but accurate critique of the reviewer’s minimization of the PA’s strategy of deceit), lists many examples of deceit.

Despite its public pronouncements in English, the PA glorifies terrorists, libels Israel and promotes a culture of violence. Palestinian Authority television programs, including those on children’s quiz shows, portray cities along Israel’s Mediterranean coast, like Haifa, Jaffa and Acre, as being part of “Palestine.” Some news reports refer to Israel as the Palestinian interior.

A constant theme is the Palestinian denial of any Jewish historic or religious connection to Jerusalem or the Holy Land (see here for a summary and rebuttal of this Israel-denial).

A most recent example of Israel-denial is an op-ed in the Washington Post (12.21.2011) by the PA’s political representative in Washington, in which he promotes a series of fantasy assertions that Palestinians lived in Jericho 10,000 years ago, that Jews and Arabs lived in harmony until 1948, that Israel is to blame for Arab terrorism, and that the PA today has agreed to a two-state solution (for an accurate discussion of this new taqiyya, the invention of Palestinian ancient history, see here).

It is nothing more than common sense that deception of the enemy during war is a commendable tactic and an important part of an effective military strategy.  But in the context of war with Muslim powers, there is a critical difference that must be taken into consideration: jihad is eternal and “The duty of the jihad exists as long as the universal domination of Islam has not been attained. Peace with non-Muslim nations is, therefore, a provisional state of affairs only.”  Therefore, every truce, treaty or cease-fire agreement made by a Muslim entity with a non-Muslim entity is nothing more than a treaty made to be broken, as soon as the Muslim side finds it useful to do so. This being the case, the most frightening aspect of Palestinian taqiyya is that our own leaders are repeatedly deceived by it, or worse, turn a blind eye to it. Recall that taqiyya is a strategy of deceit against adversaries in wartime. By making taqiyya such a major part of their strategy, PA leaders and Hamas demonstrate that, rather than trying to make peace, they are engaged in continuous war against Israel. So much for the peace process.

A Catholic anecdote says that Satan’s greatest victory was getting the world to believe that he did not exist. Did Satan learn about taqiyyeh from Allah, or the opposite?