At the Knesset tomorrow: How Will British Jewry Cope with UK Protected Hamas in London?

 On Tuesday, the Knesset sub-committee on “Ties with the Jewish World” chaired by MK Einat Wilf will convene at 1PM at the Knesset to discuss the current anti-Israel climate in the UK, in the presence of more than a dozen Jewish groups from the UK.

British Jewry have a new challenge on its hands: How to cope with declassified Israel intelligence reports, and which provide hard evidence that Great Britain provides a safe haven for Hamas, despite the fact that the both the EU and the UK itself both define Hamas as a terrorist entity.

These declassified reports accuse the United Kingdom of being a “major source of publishing and distribution of Hamas incitement” and warns that Britain allows hate-filled anti-Israel and anti-Western propaganda glorifying suicide terrorism to go unchecked.

“British authorities have yet to take effective action to put an end to the exploitation of their country by Hamas for spreading incitement,” these reports assert.

The reports also say that while Hamas’ media is “guided from Damascus and assisted by Arab countries,” its “branch operating in Britain is used for printing and distribution of Hamas publications.”

Prominent among these publications is the monthly Filastin al-Muslimah, Hamas’ major publication since the 1980s, which is available in paper edition and on the Internet.Spreading incitement and hatred in the spirit of Hamas’ ideology, it preaches the justice of terrorism and glorifies its perpetrators. From Britain, it is distributed worldwide in both its online and hard copy editions. To avoid unwanted attention from British security services, Filastin al-Muslimah stopped publishing its address in the United Kingdom on the front page at some point during 2004. However, it is still published in the United Kingdom, openly and with impunity.

Directly associated with the monthly is a London-based publishing house called Filastin al-Muslimah Publications.

In the past, the publishing house has printed books commemorating terrorists responsible for planning and initiating suicide attacks. Books on senior figures in the Hamas operative-terrorist wing – such as Salah Shehada, Yahya Ayyash, and Imad Aqel – are typical of the kind of works in which the publishing house specializes.

In this context, one of the major founders of the Filastin al-Muslimah publishing house is Ghassan Daw’ar, hailed by Hamas as “the historian of the intifada” (i.e., the campaign of terrorism against Israel) and “the historian of the shahids” (i.e., suicide bombers). In addition to writing books about Yahya Ayyash and Imad Aqel, two of the most prominent architects of Hamas’ suicide bombings, Mr. Daw’ar also writes articles for Hamas’ main Web site.

In 1999, he was arrested in Jordan with other Hamas leaders. According to the Hamas Web site, the cause of his arrest was his involvement in a committee that objected to the normalization of relations with the “Zionist enemy.” Though it now avoids publishing its address in Britain, the publishing house continues to advocate Hamas’ terrorist cause – apparently without interference from British authorities.

Not all these publications are aimed at adults. For the junior jihadist, there is the online biweekly Al-Fateh (Arabic meaning “the conqueror”).

Combining articles and illustrations, it is geared toward children, whom Hamas considers a highly significant target audience. In particular, Al-Fateh is designed to inculcate in children support for radical Islam, violence and terrorism. Al-Fateh is published in London, a fact openly stated on its homepage.

Al-Fateh’s editor-in-chief and founder is Sami al-Halabi, although according to the report, this is the pen name of Abdallah al-Tantawi, a senior figure in the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood in the mid-1990s (Hamas is the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood).

These declassified Israeli intelligence reports assert that Hamas’ use of Britain as a major source of publishing and distribution of incitement is “hardly coincidental.”

On the contrary, “there are several factors at play: first, the policy of the British government, allowing Hamas – and radical Islamic elements in general – a relative freedom of action on British territory, particularly in the sphere of propaganda; second, the existence of a network of Arab/Muslim supporters in Britain; third, the technical ability to produce high quality publications in Britain and distribute them across the globe.

Over the past five years, our news agency and research center have forwarded these declassified Israeli intelligence reports to the Board of Deputies of British Jews, with two clear questions:

What is the response of British Jewry to the UK hosting oHamas in London?

Will British Jewry demand that the UK cease and desist their policy of allowing Hamas to function in their midst?

 We have never gotten an answer to either questions.

At the Knesset tomorrow, will representatives of UK Jewry tell the Knesset about what they intend to do about a UK protected presence of Hamas in London?

Stay tuned until Tuesday.

About the Author
David Bedein, who grew up in Philadelphia and moved to Israel in 1970 at the age of 20, is an MSW community organizer by profession and an expereinced investigative journalist. In 1987 he established the Israel Resource News Agency, with offices at the Beit Agron Int’l Press Center in Jerusalem, where he also serves as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research. In 1991, Bedein was the special CNN middle east radio correspondent. Since 2001, Bedein has contributed features to the newspaper Makor Rishon. In 2006, Bedein became the foreign correspondent for the Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. He is the author of " The Genesis of the Palestinian Authority" and "ROADBLOCK TO PEACE- How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict: UNRWA policies reconsidered"and the director and producer of the numerous short films about UNRWA policy which can be located at: