Hamas is on a new offensive. This one is not fought with rockets and missiles, but words. With the gruesome murder of reporter James Foley last week, people are making the connection between the ideology of Hamas and that of ISIS. I posted this blog just before Foley’s execution. Benjamin Netanyahu minced no words when he made the obvious comparison:
“Hamas is ISIS. ISIS is Hamas, they’re the enemies of peace, they’re the enemies of Israel, [and of] of all civilized countries, and I believe they’re the enemies of the Palestinians themselves.” He added that Israel faces the “same savagery” that befell Foley, noting that Hamas is known to “wantonly rocket our cities and conduct mass killings, and when they can, they murder children, teenagers, shoot them in the head, throw people from the sixth floor, their own people, and use their people as human shields.”[i]
A Hamas official took issue with the comparison on twitter: “This is a cheap and deplorable attempt from Netanyahu to compare between the organizations. They aren’t fooling anybody.”[ii]
Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal went even further to explain the differences between ISIS and Hamas.
Mashaal stressed that Hamas differed from ISIS — which he called a “religious, violent group” that is a “totally different phenomenon” from Hamas — in that [Hamas] does not target civilians, aiming its rockets “most of the time” at military targets and IDF bases.
“This is an opportunity for me to say we are against the killing of any civilians, any journalists,”… Mashaal vowed that Hamas would, in the future, take measures to warn Israeli civilians of impending attacks, just as Israel does in the Gaza Strip.[iii]
And it was reported that Mashaal said all that with a straight face… Impressive!
Hamas is on a rebranding PR offensive to convince you that “Hamas is a national movement and its members are freedom fighters who are trying to liberate Palestine along with its citizens and their rights.”[iv]
Let’s examine these claims one by one.
1. Hamas is a liberation, freedom movement? Lie!
Hamas is not the PLO. And the PLO was not created to liberate Gaza or the West Bank, as they were in the hands of Egypt and Jordan (not Israel) when the PLO formed in 1964. They wanted to liberate Tel Aviv and Haifa—not Gaza! Hamas is a branch of the now-outlawed-in-Egypt Muslim Brotherhood—a radical Islamic terror group.
Mashall claims that Hamas is not seeking a caliphate (one large Islamic State) like ISIS, but is merely resisting the occupation. Zvi Mazel, former Israeli ambassador to Egypt and expert on foreign affairs, disagrees:
Hamas is a radical Islamic movement founded by Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, with the express purpose of destroying Israel and establishing on the ruins of the Jewish state an Islamic state, which will go on fighting until it has restored a caliphate in the entire Middle East.[v]
2. Hamas does not target civilians with their rockets. Lie!
This is laughable. Just yesterday, as we were worshiping at the end of our service, sirens began to sound. We stopped the music and prayed. Then we heard several booms, indicating that the Iron Dome had taken out the Hamas rockets.
So, Hamas, that doesn’t target civilians, aimed its rockets at Tel Aviv, a city full of civilians, and shot. In fact, Hamas has not killed or injured even one soldier on duty[vi] with its rockets—only civilians including four-year-old Daniel Tragerman on Friday.
Hamas released a music video in Hebrew at the beginning of this war, meant to strike fear in all Israel. It has had the opposite effect and has become a summer hit and a favorite tune of Israeli soldiers. All laughs aside, the song calls on Palestinians to “eliminate all Zionists”—not just soldiers. It goes on to encourage Palestinians to “attack, carry out terror strikes.” By definition, terror acts target civilians. So again, Hamas is lying.
3. Hamas is concerned about the rights of Gazans. Lie!
Was Hamas concerned about the rights of the 18 suspected collaborators it executed on Friday? A witness said Hamas lined up seven men on a street and opened fire. Six were grabbed from a mosque. Eleven more were gunned down earlier in the day. Dozens of Muslim Arabs have been executed in the last month by Hamas.
But they were collaborators. Really? Without a trial? Without evidence? What about the dozens of tunnel diggers Hamas executed out of fear they may reveal tunnel locations to the “Zionist enemy”?
4. Unlike ISIS, Hamas is not a ‘religious, violent group.’ Lie!
Hamas has a religious police. They have turned Gaza into a Taliban-like prison. One female reporter was arrested for not wearing a hijab while swimming and for laughing in public. A young man was kidnapped and blindfolded. His crime? Using hair gel!
“I could hear the screams of people being beaten in the rooms next to me,” he recalled. “Two men held my legs down and tied them together on a wooden board then they beat the soles of my feet with a plastic rod. They beat me for at least five minutes. I was crying and screaming with agony. It was the worst pain I’ve ever felt.”
Afterwards, Hamas operatives shaved his head and dropped him off at home. He could not walk for three days.
Hamas seeks to impose a strict Sharia law on Gaza.
Jonathan Schanzer writes, that in the two years since the 2007 coup, the Gaza Strip has exhibited the characteristics of Talibanization, a process whereby the Hamas government has imposed strict rules on women, discouraged activities commonly associated with Western or Christian culture, oppressed non-Muslim minorities, imposed Sharia law, and deployed religious police to enforce these laws.[vii]
5. Hamas is against the killing of civilians and journalists. Lie!
Two months ago, three teenage boys were kidnapped and shot by Hamas operatives, which Hamas now admits. Mashaal would have you think that they were legitimate targets because they live in the West Bank. But even if you could make the ridiculous case that adults who live in the West Bank are actually ‘militants,’ these were children who did not live there by their own choice.
Michael Grynszpan recently met with a Spanish journalist coming out of Gaza.
He was very friendly. I asked him how come we never see on television channels reporting from Gaza any Hamas people, no gunmen, no rocket launchers, no policemen. We only see civilians on these reports, mostly women and children. He answered me frankly: “It’s very simple, we did see Hamas people launching rockets, they were close to our hotel, but if ever we dare pointing our camera on them they would simply shoot at us and kill us.”[viii]
6. Hamas Cares About the Common Palestinian. Lie!
We already shared how Hamas executed dozens of tunnel diggers. Yesterday they fired upon their own border crossing, injuring several Arabs! The crossing is used to transport wounded Gazans to Israeli hospitals where we treat them for free (once again, showing that our war is not against Gaza, but Hamas). However, they would prefer these people die than get treated in Israel. When Palestinians get help from Israel it makes Hamas look weak and incapable, and reveals Israel’s compassion. So to prevent that they fire on their own wounded!
But this should not be news. In the twisted logic of Hamas and its leader Khalid Mashaal, they are doing their Arab brothers a favor! See last part of this Hamas tweets (Al Qassam is the name of Hamas’ military wing) from just a few days ago.
We are continuing our struggle.
ALLAH IS OUR GOAL, THE PROPHET IS OUR LEADER, JIHAD IS OUR WAY, AND DEATH FOR ALLAH IS OUR MOST EXALTED WISH
No, Hamas has not changed—they are simply rebranding. They are trying to distance themselves from ISIS for one reason and one reason only. ISIS dared to reveal to the world how evil they are and Hamas prefers to keep it quiet. Nevertheless, ISIS is Hamas and Hamas is ISIS.
After a week of quiet, it is back on. Hamas is firing rockets (sometimes 10 at a time) all over Israel. But it’s all paradise in the Holy Land, because we have the #IronDome. Or is it? While the U.N. Humans Rights ‘cartel’ says we have unfair advantage over the terrorists who attacked us and even hinted that we should share our #IronDome technology with Hamas, there are some myths about its effectiveness.
1. #IronDome is 100% effective.
While the #IronDome has been a miracle in so many ways, 10% of the missiles evade it. That means one out of every ten missiles the #IronDome targets will get through. While these are pretty good odds, we are talking about a living, functioning society. Imagine San Francisco being bombarded with rockets. I use San Francisco because of Nancy Pelosi’s absurd declaration that Hamas is a Humanitarian organization—or at least the Qataris assure her of this (by the way, the Qataris, those fine humanitarians told the leader of Hamas that if he signed the Egyptian ceasefire, he could be kicked out of the country).
Thank God for His intervention. Today a rocket slammed into an Ashkelon mall injuring no one! All my in-laws are from Ashkelon.
Another soldier reports targeting a Hamas missile with the #IronDome but missing three times. He said the rocket would’ve hit close to Tel Aviv’s tallest building, but at the last minute, a powerful gust of wind redirected it into the sea. Thank God, but still, we must live with these near misses.
2. Because of the #IronDome Israel’s economy has been unaffected
My friend Yosi works as a cook at a beachside restaurant in Ashkelon. When we delivered a check to him and his wife to help with their expenses, he was going to work for the first time in three weeks. Hamas had agreed to a ceasefire. Of course, by the time we left, the #IronDome was taking on incoming fire. That was one of the eight ceasefires that Hamas has broken.
Yosi is back home.
Israel’s tourism industry has taken a hit. Who wants to come to a country that is being bombarded with Rockets? Families are not going out to eat. Jobs are being lost. Wages can’t be paid. Hamas knows this—the media doesn’t tell you.
Sure, it is easy to say that this is nothing compared to what Gazans are going through—and that is true. But Israel is taking on fire simply because we exist as a Jewish state. Gaza is taking fire for blatant, belligerent and illegal targeting of noncombatants by their Terrorist leaders. Israel has no choice.
3. Israelis must be enjoying the action knowing that the #IronDome will protect them.
I shot this video while seeking protection from an incoming rocket. When it was all over and I got back on my bike to ride home, I broke down in tears over the absurdity of living in a country where terrorists indiscriminately target civilians to murder them—and then other countries justify it.
I am a forty-nine-year-old man—and I was in tears. Imagine being a five-year-old boy or girl… Living in Ashkelon, not Tel Aviv… Where every night you have to run for your life—several times! It is traumatizing, illegal and inhumane. A country cannot be expected to live like this.
I was driving home from Ashkelon last week when I saw traffic stopped on the other side of route 4. On the other side, a car was engulfed in flames. While I am sure the there was no one inside, as we are told to leave our cars as soon as the siren sounds, it doesn’t lessen the emotional trauma on children seeing that image.
The aforementioned Yosi has been sleeping in a tiny protective room with no air conditioner in 90-degree heat, along with this wife, child, mother-in-law and sister-in-law.
4. The #IronDome quietly does it job!
My brother-in-law has an #IronDome battery almost next door to his home. I don’t have the exact stats, but of the over 3,400 rockets fired at Israel from Hamas, Ashkelon has been a favorite target. I would guess that about 15 to 20 rockets a day are launched towards the coastal city. Just a few hours ago, he called to tell us of several explosions this morning.
Each time, a siren sounds that is designed to wake you up quickly. Then, if the #IronDome believes the rocket is a threat to civilians, it targets the rocket. My brother in law told me, “Each time it is like a plane taking off.” – from his backyard! Try getting a good night’s sleep.
5. Once the #IronDome hits it’s all is good
This is true, unless shrapnel falls from the sky and hits you. In the moments after I shot the video of the #IronDome taking out its target—a Hamas Rocket meant to kill innocent civilians—a huge piece of shrapnel fell to the ground at a murderous speed, landing in a public park where children were playing.
Just minutes ago, Hamas sent 13 Rockets to areas all over Israel.
According to Israel Police, pieces of rocket (shrapnel) fell on Jerusalem’s Hebron Road, a major thoroughfare in southern Jerusalem. A boom was heard over the capital minutes before, likely from the interception of the rocket. (TimesofIsrael.com)
The giant piece of shrapnel fell in a public park where kids were playing.
6. Israel can shoot #IronDome anti-rocket missiles forever
Well, hopefully we can, but please understand, each Rocket costs $50,000. $50,000 is well beyond the average yearly income of Israelis.
7. Hamas Rockets are “not armed”
I heard a legal advisor for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas state this. In reality, each Qassam Rocket has between 12 and 44 pounds of explosives in its warhead consisting of metal bearings. You must fact-check EVERYTHING that the Palestinian Authority or Hamas say. The same advisor said Hamas is absolutely not using children as Human Shields, despite the overwhelming proof to the contrary. (Then she claimed Santa was real!)
8. The #IronDome eliminates any lasting trauma
Understand that I missed most of this war because I was in the U.S. Since returning, I have only had to run from rockets four times. And still, every sound that I hear, whether it is a car speeding up, a washing machine on the spin cycle, or children playing, I think it is a siren announcing an incoming rocket.
If that is what I am going through, imagine what type of PTSD symptoms the children of S’derot, Ashkelon and Ashdod are experiencing. Fear of going to sleep, dreaming of incoming rockets, thinking that you will die before summer’s end or that you parents will be killed… this is a traumatic experience I would not wish on anyone.
Just today a woman was seriously injured in a traffic accident when the sirens began to blare. So despite the lack of direct success that Hamas rockets have achieved, there is an indirect success that can life altering and deadly.
In conclusion, I would to suggest that every talking head, like Jon Stewart, who assumes that living through a war like this is easy because we have the #IronDome, come to Israel and rent a hotel room in Ashkelon or S’derot. Let’s see how long you last. And maybe, just over your hotel, to be fair, we won’t use the #IronDome…as you say it is using disproportionate force. But what you will discover, is that when it is you and your family being attacked, disproportional force is exectly what you will want!
Ron Cantor and the Maoz Media team bring you the 70th episode of the Maoz Israel Report Podcast!
This week Ron and Tal Guinness discuss the latest news and topics from and about Israel: a testimony from Tiferet Yeshua Congregation, Israelis and PTSD, Muslim Israeli man marrying a Jewish woman, Hillary Clinton coming out against President Obama, is Israel really committing a genocide as many claim, why would the Palestinian church disappear and much more.
This week’s featured song is Our Homeland by Talia Bar-David from the album A Perfect Heart.