Moussa Abu-Marzouq, an Hamas official says they will accept a Palestinian state based on pre ’67 borders. He also indicates they will not recognize Israel and attacks against it should continue. According to Abu-Marzouq, the only difference between Hamas and Fatah is Hamas refuses to accept Israel and Fatah does.

Whats’ Changed?

 Before anyone starts jumping up and down seeing this as a breakthrough, his words need to be fully understood. Sometimes one must pay more attention to what is not said, as opposed to what is said. This is one of those times.

 His use of the words “accept a Palestinian state” may sound positive to some, however in reality his statement changes nothing. Hamas still refuses to accept Israel, which is an essential component of the long sought after two state solution most of the world has promoted.

 He also claimed Hamas and Fatah have only one difference, which is Fatah’s acceptance of Israel. Apparently Mr. Abu-Marzouq had his TV off every time Mahmoud Abbas, Fatah’s Chairman said he “will never accept a Jewish state of Israel.” Let’s clarify this. If Israel is not accepted as a Jewish state, which is what it is, it’s not accepted, period. Thus neither organization accepts Israel.

Compromise Not Possible

 As to accepting a Palestinian state, in order to fully understand what Abu-Marzouq means it must be viewed from Hamas’ point of view. They are a Muslim fundamentalist organization which is sworn to adhere to uncompromising Islamic tenets. One of these tenets is any land previously controlled by Muslims is seen as belonging to them forever. This means Israel is seen as “occupiers” of their land. Therefore Hamas  will continue to pursue the destruction of Israel in accordance with Islamic faith. Non-adherence is considered blasphemy by fundamentalists. This is why they are uncompromising.

 There’s another part of their faith which drives them that typically is not mentioned in most mainstream media. It’s regarding their plan for salvation. The Jews await the coming of Messiah. Christians await the second coming of Messiah. For Muslims their promised messiah is the return of the Mahdi [guided one] or 12th Imam. However, there is an ominous element associated with his return. Both Jews and Christians are considered enemies of Islam. As such the Quran has numerous hateful versus about them. Examples include:

  • “Evil is the handwork of rabbis and priests.” [5:59]
  • “Christians and Jews are perverse. Allah himself fights against them.” [9:30]

 A critical element of Islamic eschatology requires the Jews and Christians have to be destroyed. This is precisely why Abu-Marzouq says attacks against Israel need to continue. Some might choose to dismiss this, however doing so would be a mistake since it’s one of the guiding principles of Hamas. Either ignorance or naïveté by far too many has fostered unrealistic expectations of compromise by Hamas.

What’s the Real Message?

 So what’s the real message he is delivering? It’s pretty straight forward. Hamas is willing to accept a free gift of land, which requires the Jews to give up 100% of Judea/Samaria, the eastern part of Jerusalem, which includes the Old City. Doing so would require relocation of several hundred thousand Jews living beyond these borders. It means no Jewish access to their holiest sites- Temple Mount and the Western Wall. It also means reducing Israel to a mere 9 miles in width north of Tel Aviv, which would place several million Israeli’s within rocket range.

Since Hamas refuses to recognize Israel, it will not sign a formal agreement even if Israel were to comply with their demands. So any movement by Israel would in effect be unilateral. Let’s not forget after Hamas receives this free gift from Israel, they will continue to pursue its destruction in accordance with their faith.

Mr. Abu-Marzouq I would like to thank you for your offer. In response may I say “don’t call us we’ll call you….”

Dan Calic is a writer, historian and speaker. See additional articles on his Facebook page