It’s A Religious War in Gaza

The fighting in Gaza is portrayed as a political battle between the terrorist group Hamas and Israel. Hamas claims to be “resisting Israeli occupation” and seeks the support of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. Israel wants to end the threat posed by Hamas rockets and tunnels and to weaken the organization to the point where the Palestinian Authority can resume control of Gaza. The international community, including the United States, are determined to stop the fighting to protect the innocent; however, world leaders fail to recognize this war has far broader implications. Israel is on the front line defending the West against the imperial ambitions of the radical Islamists.

In Death to the Infidels, I document how the Arab-Israeli political conflict has been transformed since the Iranian revolution into a religious war in which radical Islamists believe they are on the march. Their goal is world domination under their brand of Islam. Israel, for them is a mere speed bump in the road; however, Jews around the world are infidels who also deserve death or a return to the status of dhimmis, which makes them subservient to Muslims and denies them most rights guaranteed to the majority.

Hamas is fighting to achieve a political outcome, but it is driven by its Islamist ideology, which holds that sacrifice in the name of Allah is meritorious and those who fall in battle are martyrs who go onto Paradise. Hamas is not fighting to “end the occupation,” which ended with Israel’s 2005 disengagement from Gaza, it is fighting to eradicate the Jewish cancer from the Islamic body.

Unlike the PLO, which typically says one thing in English and another in Arabic, Hamas makes no effort to disguise its intentions, which are codified in its covenant. Here are a few lowlights:

  • Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious. . . . It strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine.
  • The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said: “The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews [killing the Jews], when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say ‘O Muslims, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.’”
  • There is no solution for the Palestine question except through jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors. Palestine is an Islamic land.

The principles of the covenant are blatantly anti-Semitic, containing classic conspiracy theories accusing the Jews (not Israelis) of “undermining societies, destroying values, corrupting consciences, deteriorating character and annihilating Islam.” Jews are also “behind the drug trade and alcoholism . . . to facilitate its control and expansion.”

The jihad against the Jews is not just a Palestinian obligation; Hamas expects the entire Islamic world to join the holy war. After liberating Palestine, Hamas believes that it can create an Islamic state, which will “become the vanguard of a larger Islamist movement that will embrace all Muslims, who will eventually shed their respective nationalist convictions and restore the universal Islamic polity and the glories of the past.”

Anyone who doubts Hamas means what it says has not been paying attention for the last ten years.

Though Hamas is a Sunni organization, it has been armed and financed by Shiite Iran. Even as Iran seeks to dominate Sunni-led states, Tehran has allied with Hamas because “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” both countries seek Israel’s destruction and both share the ultimate goal of reconstituting the Muslim Empire from Asia to Spain and, eventually, the entire world.

According to the Obama Doctrine, these terrorists are far away and do not directly threaten the United States. This naïve and specious view is why Obama has failed to act against the rising tide of radical Islamists first in Egypt and now in Iraq and Syria. He fails to recognize that Hamas, an ally of the Muslim Brotherhood, and its patron Iran represent the shift from a political to a religious conflict. Political conflicts can be resolved through negotiations and compromise; religious ones are more difficult, if not impossible, to reconcile.

We have already seen that the terrorists do not stay far away; if they are not confronted where they are, they will soon be in our backyard. Israel is barring at least one of the doors and deserves our thanks and support.

Dr. Mitchell Bard is the author/editor of 23 books including After Anatevka: Tevye in Palestine and Death to the Infidels: Radical Islam’s War Against the Jews.

About the Author
Dr Mitchell Bard is the Executive Director of the nonprofit American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (AICE) and a foreign policy analyst who lectures frequently on U.S.-Middle East policy. Dr. Bard is the director of the Jewish Virtual Library, the world's most comprehensive online encyclopedia of Jewish history and culture. He is also the author/editor of 24 books, including The Arab Lobby, Death to the Infidels: Radical Islam’s War Against the Jews and the novel After Anatevka: Tevye in Palestine.
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