Strasbourg’s world: Hamas is not terrorism and Palestine is a State

It was really a nice idea to come up with while we were mourning the Peshawar school tragedy in Pakistan and the attack in Sydney was still making us shiver. A very good idea, coming from the EU General Court: with the Taliban, ISIS, Boko Aram, Hezbollah and Hamas itself operative worldwide, the Court ordered the removal of Hamas from its terrorist blacklist citing procedural problems.

Doing so, it gave a day of triumph to the hysterical anti-Israeli neurosis of Europe. As Benjamin Netanyahu harshly commented, “this is an example of the hypocrisy of Europe, which seems to have forgotten what it did to six million Jews”.

It is true that the EU unceasingly targets Israel, even when it would be an irrational and self-destructive thing to do. Yesterday, the European Parliament also voted to recognize the Palestinian State. During these years, we have witnessed the boycott, the labeling, and the harsh criticism toward the Israeli Army, alongside the enthusiasm for a Palestinian State, with no concern for it being democratic or tyrannical and violent. Many Parliaments have already voted for Palestine: Ireland, United Kingdom, and Spain… Then, yesterday’s collective epic came, and the European Parliament voted to recognize the Palestinian statehood “in principle”, to resounding applause.

However, the EU renounced to an immediate recognition, adding a few words about how it “should go hand in hand with the development of peace talks”. Meanwhile in Switzerland, 126 of the contracting countries of the Fourth Geneva Convention censured Israel for violation of human rights in Gaza. A typical case.

Still, something way more saddening is the EU Court’s decision to reconsider its 2003 choice to put Hamas on the blacklist, made after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and after those of the Second Intifada. The Court stresses that its choice was based on merely procedural grounds: Hamas contested the measures in the light of another similar action by the Sri-Lankan Tamil Tigers.

As in the Tigers’ case, the General Court decided that the allegations against Hamas are backed up only by political news and press reports, not by suitable evidence for a court of law. The Court explains – and it appears somewhat preposterous in this, since we all had the misfortune to see the blood shed by Hamas’ hands – that the organization will be put back in the list if evidence is presented in the next three months. Yet, Hamas rejoices for now.

The 28 judges of the EU Court have been law-abiding, but all this could pave the way for some dangerous legalistic procedures. However slippery the definition of “terrorist” may be, Hamas is part of the Muslim Brotherhood, and its principles are comparable to those of ISIS. In order to seize the power in Gaza in 2007, Hamas threw its Fatah enemies from the roofs; when Osama Bin Laden was killed, Ismail Haniyeh condemned the US.

Egypt denounced the connection between Hamas and Islamist groups linked to Al Qaeda. Moreover, Hamas receives funding by Iran, the Syrian Assad regime and Qatar. The Hamas Charter published in 1988 preaches genocide and the caliphate worldwide: Sheikh Younis Al Astal, member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, explains how the Quran “indicates that we must massacre the Jews”.

Hamas worked hard on that, carrying out 39.9 per cent of the suicide attacks that claimed around 2000 human lives in bars, restaurants and supermarkets. From 2001 to 2014, Hamas carried out a total of 18.928 attacks. Among the most infamous of them, the Passover massacre in Netanya, in which 30 elderly civilians were killed, and the Sbarro pizza restaurant bombing in Jerusalem, with its 15 victims, including many children.

The rockets raining on the civilian population are another Hamas’ forte. The group also tried to hit the chemical plants in Haifa and to carry out mass killings.

Its politics intends to hit the Christians as well, and it persecutes them on its territory. Hamas imposes the Shari’a, indoctrinates its kids to hatred. This year, around 15 thousand young boys, twice as many as last year, graduated in its paramilitary camps. As Ismail Haniyeh said, “This generation does not know fear, it is the generation of rockets, tunnels and suicide missions”.

We, the Europeans, found a path for them that will soon be thriving through every institution: the way of the legal Intifada.


This article originally appeared in slightly different form in Italian in Il Giornale (December 18, 2014)


About the Author
Fiamma Nirenstein is a journalist, author, former Deputy President of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, and member of the Italian delegation at the Council of Europe.
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