Giovanni Giacalone
Eyes everywhere

UN Chief claims that Hamas is not terrorism but ‘a political movement’

Martin Griffiths

According to the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Martin Griffiths, Hamas is not a terrorist group, and that’s what he told a representative of Sky News on Wednesday when asked about Israel’s war on Hamas in Gaza:

Hamas is not a terrorist group for us, as you know, it is a political movement. But, I think it is very very difficult to dislodge these groups without a negotiated solution; which includes their aspirations”.

As if it wasn’t enough, he also added that he understands the “trauma” that the October 7th events caused Israel but that Israel would need to build a relationship with its neighbors regardless.

The Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs, Israel Katz, replied shortly after with a tweet in English: “Shame on him”, and one in Hebrew: “The United Nations reaches a new low every day…We will eliminate Hamas with or without them,” he pledges. “Jewish blood is not cheap.

Griffiths’ remarks are absurd, considering what Hamas perpetrated on October 7th: people burnt alive, chopped, slaughtered massacred in front of their parents and vice versa, women raped and murdered. Others were taken hostage in Gaza and the women raped. A systematic massacre was carried out against men and women, infants and elderly and with one and only reason, because they were Jewish, Israelis.

It is also worth recalling that the IDF recovered several Mein Kampf copies from various homes in Gaza, not that it surprises anyone who knows the historical links between Islamists and Nazis.

How can an organization that committed such atrocities, crimes against humanity, not be considered a terrorist entity? It seems so naturally obvious. But no, according to Griffiths it’s not a terrorist group but rather “a political movement”.

Additionally, according to his claims, Israel has to relate with his neighbors regardless. Does this mean that Israel should live with the fact that “neighbors” want to exterminate its citizens?

There is something really twisted about such claims. However, we must not forget that Griffiths was appointed in May 2021 by UN Chief Antonio Guterres, whose statement “the October 7th attack did not happen in a vacuum” and his systematic attacks against Israel are well known.

We must also recall the links between Hamas and UNRWA recently exposed by Israel, including the 12 UN employees accused of taking part in the October 7th massacre and the Hamas base uncovered under the UNRWA HQ in Gaza.

There were no doubts that, according to the UN, Hamas is not a terrorist organization but rather a “political movement”; all signs were heading in that direction and, in some way, we should also thank Griffiths for giving us further confirmation about this and for providing more evidence backing the need for dissolution of many of the UN bodies, including UNRWA.

Let’s take a very objective definition of “terrorism”, free of any type of subjective values, as provided by Dr. Boaz Ganor, Director of the International Institute for Counterterrorism: “The deliberate use of violence perpetrated against civilians for political goals”. It seems clear and indisputable. Now, if we add the atrocities committed by Hamas on October 7th, the whole picture is even clearer.

If some UN high representatives are unable to distinguish between “terrorism”, “crimes against humanity”, and “political movements”, then there is something very wrong within the Organization and something must be done to fix it.

About the Author
Giovanni Giacalone is a senior analyst in Islamist extremism and terrorism at the Italian Team for Security, Terroristic Issues and Managing Emergencies-Catholic University of Milan, at the Europe desk for the UK-based think tank Islamic Theology of Counter-Terrorism, and a researcher for Centro Studi Machiavelli. Since 2021 he is the coordinator for the "Latin America group" at the International Institute for the Study of Security-ITSS. In 2023 Giacalone published the book “The Tablighi Jamaat in Europe”.
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