Mel Alexenberg
Author of "Through a Bible Lens"

Wave Flags that Tell the Truth

Having been professor of art and education at Columbia University and research fellow at MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies, I am an expert on the power of visual images. However, anyone can see the radical difference between the aims of Israel and of Hamas/Fatah by the design of their flags and emblems.

It is important to see artistic creativity from my viewpoint as an Israeli Jew in relation to the viewpoint of the historian of Islamic art Elisabeth Siddiqui. She writes in the Arabic journal Al-Madrashah Al-Ula that art and design is the mirror of a culture and its worldview.  She emphasizes that there is no case to which this statement more directly applies than to the art of the Islamic world.  “Not only does its art reflect its cultural values, but even more importantly, the way in which its adherents, the Muslims, view the spiritual realm, the universe, life, and the relationships of the parts to the whole.”

The flag of green, white and black stipes with a red chevron that is waving in marches and demonstrations celebrating the barbaric murder of Israelis is an attempt to look respectable. It plagiarizes the flag of Jordan, an Arab nation at peace with Israel, to hide the genocidal aims of Hamas. The flag was officially adopted in 1988.

The original flag displays the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) emblem on a yellow background showing rifles and hand grenades representing the aim to wipe Israel off the map and slaughter all its Jews. See the emblem and flag at Fatah at Wikipedia. I updated the image shared by Hamas and Fatah by superimposing their emblem on the four color flag to tell the truth.

On Israel’s flag with a six-pointed blue star between two horizontal blue lines, I superimposed its emblem that shows a menorah candelabrum and olive branches symbolizing light and peace. It was adopted in 1948 at the rebirth of the State of Israel after two thousand years of the Land of Israel being occupied by foreign powers.

Israel’s emblem shows the menorah that illuminated the Temple in Jerusalem, Israel’s capital two millennia ago. It expresses the values of Israel’s Declaration of Independence:

The State of Israel will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture. We extend our hand to all neighboring states and their peoples in an offer of peace and good neighborliness, and appeal to them to establish bonds of cooperation and mutual help with the sovereign Jewish people settled in its own land.

The emblems of the five Arab countries at peace with Israel display peaceful images of eagles with national colors of Egypt and United Arab Emirates, jeweled crowns of the kingdoms of Jordan and Morocco, and a decorative abstract image of Bahrain. See the emblems at Arab State Logos.

In radical contrast, the Hamas emblem appropriated from the Fatah/PLO emblem displays weapons of war and a map of the Land of Israel as if it were Arab Palestine. The Charter of Hamas states:

Israel, by virtue of its being Jewish and of having a Jewish population, defies Islam and the Muslims. Muslims will fight the Jews until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him. I indeed wish to go to war for the sake of Allah! I will assault and kill, assault and kill, assault and kill.

The genocidal Charter of Hamas was realized by their bloody orgy of hate of October 7th when Hamas terrorists viciously murdered 1,200 men, woman, young and old, children and babies living in tranquil farming villages. It was the most lethal attack on Jews since the Holocaust. When the massacre began, they shot everybody in sight, broke into homes burning to death entire families and children tied together, raping and decapitating women, killing children in front of their parents, and beheading babies. The barbarian Hamas murderers also kidnaped 240 Israelis including children. After the attack, Hamas officials vowed that they would repeat this savagery “again and again and again.”

The Fatah led Palestinian Authority in Judea and Samaria celebrated this horrific bloodbath by designating three million dollars to pay the families of these Hamas murderers in accordance with its “Pay for Slay” policy in which they spend hundreds of millions dollars to reward Arabs who murder Jews and their families. Although the Oslo Accords were signed to create peace between Israel and the Palestinians, between 1994 and 2023 there were ten times as many Israelis killed and injured in attacks by Palestinian terrorists as there were during the entire period between the 1948 birth of Israel until Oslo signing in 1993.

Following the October 7th brutal attack on Israel, Hamas flags flew in thousands of antisemitic demonstrations from London, Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, Madrid, New York and Washington. The flags in the marches were accompanied by banners that not only called for annihilation of Israel but also called for the destruction of all Western civilization. Some of the banner texts are: Globalize the Intifada, Muslims Rise against the Crusaders, Islam will dominate the World, Jihad to Defend the Muslims, Sharia for the Netherlands, and the more common attacks against Israel: Boycott Israel, From Gaza to Jerusalem Support Palestinian Resistance, and From the River to the Sea Palestine will be Free.

I am ending this article with the viewpoint of an insider. Mosab Hassan Yousef is the first-born son of the co-founder of Hamas. He wrote an autobiography Son of Hamas that tells the story of his defection from the violent world of Hamas. Here is an excerpt from his YouTube talk that addresses the ignorance of the protesters and the media.

There is a movement in the West, angry in the street, protesting. Some call themselves pro-Palestinian, some call themselves free Palestine, other shout end occupation. What occupation are you talking about? Do your mean in Israel and give Hamas what they want? Weaponry, territory, army, so that they can mess more with the global security? Are you totally blind, how can’t you see the things common between the West and Israel? And how can’t you see the brutality and violence of the Hamas movement.

You have nothing to do with Palestine. You are just inflecting hatred and emotional pain on the Jewish people as they mourn a modern-day Holocaust? Do you think this is how you help Palestine? There is no such thing as Palestine. Palestine what? Yasser Arafat’s Palestine, PLO Palestine, PA Palestine, Hamas Palestine, Islamic Jihad Palestine? What Palestine are you protesting for? You have no idea what you are talking about.

I have the right to be emotional because I speak on behalf of the children as a Palestinian, as a child of the land. I qualify to talk about the subject, but you have never been there, you did not live the pain of that land. So what are you protesting against or about? What is your problem?  Let me be clear: This war will go the way we want it to go. Your opinion doesn’t matter; even if you were a majority. It’s not your business. You can protest against your politicians in London in Paris, wherever you want. That’s your business. But in the Middle East we deal with business in the Middle East style. We are going after Hamas leaders and kill all of them and nobody can get in the way. Those are criminals, those are terrorists with lots of blood on their hands.

Let’s go back to 23 March 1918 when Hussein bin Ali, Sharif of Mecca, responded to the Balfour Declaration. Al Qibla, the daily newspaper of Mecca, attested that Palestine was a sacred and beloved homeland of its original sons, the Jews. The return of these exiles to their homeland will prove materially and spiritually to be an experimental school for their Arab brethren. The Sharif of Mecca called on the Arab population in the British Mandate of Palestine to welcome the Jews as brethren and cooperate with them for the common welfare.

When Hamas like ISIS is defeated, it will not only bring peace to Israelis, but also bring freedom to the Gazan Arabs who have been enslaved and abused by the Hamas Terrorist Organization, an Iranian franchise that brutally took over ruling Gaza in 2007.

About the Author
Mel Alexenberg is an artist, educator, writer, and blogger working at the interface between art, technology, Jewish thought, and living the Zionist miracle in Israel. He is the author of "Through a Bible Lens: Biblical Insights for Smartphone Photography and Social Media," "The Future of Art in a Postdigital Age: From Hellenistic to Hebraic Consciousness," and "Dialogic Art in a Digital World: Judaism and Contemporary Art" in Hebrew. He was professor at Columbia, Bar-Ilan and Ariel universities and research fellow at MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies. His artworks are in the collections of more than forty museums worldwide. He lives in Ra’anana, Israel, with his wife artist Miriam Benjamin.
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