The word Hamas has been all over the media. Protesters everywhere have declared their support of the murderous terrorists, denying the truth of the photos that Hamas themselves have posted. Hamas has earned its notoriety not through its “fight for freedom” but through acts of mind-numbing horror and evil. Many have heard their name, but few know much about their genealogy, ideology, and aims. It begins with the Nazis. Yes, the Nazis.
For the Nazis, the object of extermination was the teaching and testimony of Judaism that the Jews represent through their very presence in the world. The Nazis were not antisemites because they were racists—they were racists because they were antisemites: they had to establish an anti-Judaic premise in order to arrive at a racist outlook. Because the Judaism is in the blood, every Jew is a carrier of the contagion, so that the extermination of the Jews must be total. That is why Jewish students on college campuses are attacked, reviled, and humiliated whenever the Jewish state defends itself.
Hamas is a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, founded in March 1928 by Hasan al-Banna, an admirer of Hitler. For Hitler and al-Banna, the first principle is not that all Jews are evil but that all evil is Jewish. Therefore the Jews must be exterminated. For the Brotherhood, it is a holy act pleasing to God. Founded by Brotherhood member Ahmed Yassin, Hamas emerged during the First Intifada on 9 December 1987. Yassin made no distinctions between Jews, Zionists, and Israelis.
After Yassin’s assassination on 22 March 2004, Abdel Azziz al-Rantisi succeeded him, only to meet the same fate on 18 April 2004. In 2006 Ismail Haniyeh was voted the leader of Hamas in Gaza. Nowhere is the linkage between the Nazis and Hamas more evident than in the Hamas charter, deemed “The Charter of Allah,” with the clear implication that the word of Allah is the word of Hamas.
For Hamas, a key to redemption is the universal extermination of the Jews, a position justified by Article Seven’s invocation of a teaching from the al-Bukhari hadith: “The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said: ‘The Day of Judgment will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews, when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say, ‘O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.’” Nature itself vomits up Jews as an alien, unnatural entity.
To ask a Jihadist to negotiate peace with the Jews is to ask him to renounce Islam. Therefore “so-called peaceful solutions… are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement” (Article Thirteen). Because there can be no peaceful solutions, Article Fifteen ends with the refrain: “I will assault and kill, assault and kill, assault and kill.” Assault and kill and rape and torture and butcher and mutilate women, girls, and toddlers.
Article Twenty-Two states: The Jews “took control of the world media, news agencies, the press, publishing houses, broadcasting stations, and others… . With their money they were able to control imperialistic countries and instigate them to colonize many countries… . There is no war going on anywhere, without having their finger in it.” In a word, the Jew is the hidden source of every evil: for Hamas, the butcher, rape, and mutilation of Jewish children, women and men is for the salvation of humanity.
Here is Article Twenty-Eight: The Zionist invasion uses “all evil and contemptible ways to achieve its end…, undermining societies, destroying values, corrupting consciences, deteriorating character and annihilating Islam… . Israel, Judaism and Jews challenge Islam and the Moslem people.” In keeping with National Socialist ideology, the Jews cannot be rehabilitated; they fall outside the circle of redemption.
In Article Thirty-Two we read: “After Palestine, the Zionists aspire to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates… . Their plan is embodied in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” Casting the Jew in the category of an invisible evil, both Hitler and Hamas render the Jew as invisible as Satan. Rendering the Jew invisible, they transform the Jew into a ubiquitous threat, and the effort to eradicate the evil must be equally ubiquitous in the name of God. Thus the situation in our streets and our college campuses. And what begins with the Jews never ends with the Jews.
David Patterson, Ph.D., is a professor of Literature and History and a Hillel A. Feinberg Distinguished Chair in Holocaust Studies at The University of Texas at Dallas. Patterson has published over 30 books and over 140 articles in philosophy, literature, Judaism, and Holocaust education, winning the National Jewish Book Award and the Koret Jewish Book Award.