Jessica Menton
From the Royal House of David

They Don’t Want to Free Palestine

Graffiti found in Tehran, Iran that reads: “Israel, go ahead and strike; they don’t have the courage,” (Navid Mohebbi, 2024).

Hamas are not the freedom fighters you think they are.

A few days ago, the Islamic Republic of Iran launched a barrage of missiles towards Israel from their own soil. This is the first time in history that the regime has directly attacked Israel, rather than relying on their terror proxies in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and Palestine.

This offensive is said to be a response to Israel’s recent hit on an Iranian consulate in Syria which was sheltering IRGC terrorists. However, it is this type of surface-level interpretations that guide global geopolitical misunderstandings. 

The Islamic Republic of Iran has involved itself in the Israel-Palestine conflict for decades, solely to serve their own Islamist goals.

The Islamist movement first developed in the 19th century as an Islamic “substitute” to the decline of the Ottoman Empire- which drowned from its debt with European powers. By definition, Islamism is an extremist political ideology that supports sharia law, pan-Islamic political unity and the (re)establishment of the Caliphate- while rejecting any non-Muslim influences.

The Muslim Brotherhood was one of the first major unions to accept this ideology.

Founded in 1928’s Egypt by scholar Hassan al-Banna, the Muslim Brotherhood was a transnational Sunni Islamist organization aiming to establish a sharia-ruled caliphate. Back in the day, the Muslim Brotherhood heavily integrated itself within the Arab World, especially through benevolent societal affairs. This technique allowed for the local population to acclimate themself amidst the group with a favorable attitude. The Muslim Brotherhood’s popularity only continued to escalate, especially after the 1967 war when Islamism officially replaced Arab nationalism in the Middle East.

It’s indisputable that the Muslim Brotherhood had gained major support within the Arab World, subtly influencing society towards their ultimate aspirations. Oftentimes, this came at the expense of minority groups- like the Jews. The Muslim Brotherhood openly declared antisemitic beliefs, most notably in their weekly Islamic magazine called Al-Nadhir.

From publishing “The Danger of Jews,” a series of articles warning of Jewish plots against Islam to casually referring to Jews as a “societal cancer” that has “corrupted Egypt and its population,” regional hostility greatly amplified. Al-Nadhir also incited boycotts of Jewish-owned businesses and deadly riots against the “outsiders.” This was all prior to 1948’s establishment of the modern State of Israel.

However, antisemitism in West Asia is nothing new. In fact, such Arab attitudes towards Jews have persisted since the Caliphate.

The Arab Empire conquered the Levant (modern-day Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria and some of Turkey) in the seventh century from the occupying Byzantine Empire. Ancient Israelite city Beit She’an was among the first to fall, and in 636 CE Jerusalem joined the rest of the captured.

To solidify the Arab victory in the Levant, the conquerors had to mitigate the land’s indigenous presence. The process started with the creation of settler colonies that exploited the land’s natural resources and later intensified with the Pact of Umar- a treaty that allowed the “People of the Book” to practice their traditions as long as they followed a certain set of Dhimmi rules. 

Caliph Uthman (644 CE – 656 CE) continued to push for more Arabization policies- one of which instructed all vineyards in the land to be destroyed, as wine is banned in Islam. Viticulture was one of the Levant’s main agricultural products sustained by the indigenous populations, so this left many Jews without livelihoods- unable to provide for their families and pay jizya, a discriminatory tax.

To really stress how crippling jizya was, Diaspora Jews created Halukkah- an organized collection of charity funds for those who remained in the Levant, especially since Dhimmi who failed to pay this tax were subjected to the cruelest of punishments, including death. This taxation and torture lasted well into the Ottoman period (1516 CE – 1918 CE).

Other significant colonial measures taken to ensure Judean suppression included coercive religious conversions, the construction of Al-Aqsa on top of the Jewish Temple and the alterations of Israelite city names (eg. Jerusalem to Al-Quds or Beersheba to Beer-Sabe).

Due to the Arabization of the Levant, indigenous communities were not only belittled and marginalized, but forced to flee.

Thus, almost 75% of today’s Arab World carries antisemitic attitudes.

How does this relate to the current Israel-Hamas war?

The Islamic Republic of Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas are all connected through Islamism- specifically the ideology’s goal to (re)establish the Caliphate under sharia law.

The link between the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas

In 1979, Israel attempted to break up the terror-oriented, Soviet-supported Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) by nationally recognizing a new Palestinian force: Sheikh Ahmed Yassin’s Islamic charity, Mujama al-Islamiya- despite Yassin’s Muslim Brotherhood ties.

Alas, in the 1980s, Israeli intelligence discovered Yassin’s organization was collecting weaponry with malicious intent, resulting in his arrest. Later on, Yassin would be released during a prisoner exchange.

A few years later, as the First Intifada rampaged Israeli streets, members of the Muslim Brotherhood gathered to discuss their next initiative: Hamas. With the help of prison-released figurehead, Yassin, support for Hamas spread quickly and the coup violently took over the Strip. Now, 17 years later, Hamas is still the self-declared governing ruler of Gaza.

Hamas has flourished as a branch of the antisemitic Muslim Brotherhood. The 1988 Hamas Charter is actually described by the Anti-Defamation League as “a modern-day Mein Kampf ” due to its openly antisemitic and genocidal agenda. 

Hamas has also flourished through the Islamist angle of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Hamas Charter outlines this Islamist intent:

The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgement Day… This is the law governing the land of Palestine in the Islamic Sharia and the same goes for any land Moslems have conquered by forces, because during the times of conquests, the Moslems consecrated these lands to Moslem generations till the Day of Judgement.

Even in December of 2023, Hamas leader Fathi Hammad declared:

The [Palestinian] people have been soldiers throughout History…[They] are preparing to establish the Caliphate, with Jerusalem as its capital city of Palestine as an independent state- it will be the capital city of the Islamic Caliphate…

Words like these are one thing, but actions are another. Islamism has physically impacted Gaza’s minority groups. For example, 98% of the Gazan population is Muslim while the remaining 2% is Christian- and they’re suffering immensely. From enduring forced conversions to being stripped of their sites (ex. disinterring graves), it is clear Hamas plans to exterminate the community’s existence in their Islamist state- similar to the Jewish experience during the original Caliphate.

Even individual Hamas members have demonstrated such Islamist ideals on their own terms. For instance, October 7th hostage Agam Goldstein-Almog reported she was forced to recite the Quran, was given an Islamic name and was threatened with marriage by her captor. 

A full circle back to the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Because of their shared interests, the Iranian regime trains and funds the Muslim Brotherhood’s Hamas with the expectation of implementing Islamic initiatives in Palestine. It has been revealed the regime provides  $70 to $100 million per year to Hamas alone, alongside other Islamic groups like ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, the Taliban and the Houthis.

Hamas does not actually fight for the advertised Palestinian cause- for a “Free Palestine.”

They fight for the Islamic Republic’s goal to (re)establish the Caliphate under sharia law. 

Have you ever heard of the Copts or the Kurds? How about the Assyrians or the Armenians? Maybe the Cypriots or the Samaritans? The Druze? The Imazighen? The Kabyles? The Moronites? The Circassians? 

There are about 20 different native communities across the MENA region that were uprooted at the expense of the Caliphate and Arabization. The region can not afford to face another round of such cultural erasure and destruction again.

As a Judean, I speak on behalf of  my indigenous, West Asian cousins: To support the Iranian regime and Hamas is to support imperialistic colonization with an Islamist twist.

Is the Palestinian cause a lie?

One of the largest claims within the “Free Palestine” movement surrounds the concept of Palestinian indigeneity. 

To enhance their historical claim to the Levant, many Palestinians claim to be the aboriginal Canaanites who were colonized by the invading Israelites. Although I could delve deeper into the scientific analysis which evidentially supports Israelites were Canaanites themselves, right now let’s solely focus on the Palestinian identity.

The present day “Palestinian” identity is an Arab ethno-national label- a nationality with an Arab-ethnic background.  The Levant’s Arabs separated themselves from the greater Arab identity after the first world war, making their descriptor a post-colonial identity drafted 1200 years after the Caliphate (and almost 3000 years after the Canaanites).

For transparency, recent studies have shown both Jews and Arabs have DNA similarities to Canaanites. Yet, it is important to note that the Canaanites were a handful of nomadic peoples in the region- they’d definitely leave genetic markers in an array of modernized groups. Genetics do not represent indigeneity.

While on such a topic, many Palestinians also have Jewish or Samaritan ancestry, but their token ancestor would have forcibly been assimilated into Arab society a long time ago.

There must be a distinguished link to pre-colonized indigenous land and customs or else a native individual would dissolve into the aggressor, becoming an active part of the colonial agenda.

The Palestinian language, culture and religion does not come from the ancient Canaanites- it all originates in the Arabian Peninsula, unlike Judean heritage. 

Nonetheless, this does not hinder the humanistic right for Palestinian self-determination in the Levant, but prosperity will not come about through the land’s current political systems and the lack of historical awareness. 

About the Author
The writer is a simple Judean gal dedicated to finding truth while simultaneously understanding multiple experiences can exist at once.
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