One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. Which is why Khaled Hroub’s book – Hamas: A Beginner’s Guide – is enlightening and timely.
We have seen the vilification of groups representing oppressed people so many times in history that we really should be more discerning when confronted with this.
Indeed, years after the conflict is over, Nelson Mandela was hailed as a hero by the very same establishment and corporate media that were happy to see him castigated as a terrorist during his resistance against apartheid.
Likewise, Hamas is not the organisation it is portrayed to be. The media runs with claims that Hamas routinely uses civilians as human shields, even though there is little or no evidence to support this. There is also no challenge to the claim that Hamas is purely an extremist organisation, but the Hamas leadership has shown arguably more interest in pursuing a lasting peace with Israel on the basis of a two-state solution – which includes an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza – than Israel has.
Take the example of ‘Hamas hardman’ Ahmad Jabari, who has assassinated in 2012 by the Israelis soon after receiving the draft of a comprehensive peace agreement he was intimately involved in negotiating. If Israel was really interested in peace, why would they murder the very person who could have delivered it?