Approval for Hamas

An article appeared last week in the Guardian’s politics section on the subject of George Galloway’s recent deportation from Egypt which provoked such a barrage of bigoted anti-Israeli rhetoric on the part of below the line commentators that it is frankly not possible to bring it all here for view. All the usual conspiracy theories, apartheid analogies and liberal doses of plain distortion of history were evident, but I would like to highlight some of the comments which were rather more exceptional in character.
First, there’s this chap who seems to be bragging about a recent trip to the Middle East, implying the use of some underhand methods.

8 Jan 2010, 12:57PM
I suppose the ‘Rage Against The Machine’ put the Hamas and Galloway ‘laissez faire’ contingent firmly in its place in the word of ‘Killing in the Name’.
“Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me!” And, that’s precisely how this old age pensioner feels about the Israeli subjugation of the Palestinians. And, for you ‘Monday morning quarterbacks’, I’ve just returned from Palestine. I would be resisting Israel if I was a Palestinian! As it is , I’m just a simple Irishman.

8 Jan 2010, 2:18PM
Sydsnot? – Moi? A bullshitting Irishman? Of course I am. That’s how I enter and depart Israel At will. Of course, my cousin, a nun, is a great prop.
If you want to see suppression of a nation – go to Hebron and see whole streets deserted except for the ‘odd’ macho settlers flexing their strength in front of an appreciative IDF audience. I was there in October taking money for equipment for a local school. And, before you suggest the money is spent elsewhere, inspecting the equipment we financed last year through the Irish Campaign for Solidarity with Palestine.

Also on this thread were a relatively large number of comments which downplayed the effects of Hamas terrorism upon the civilian Israeli population; nothing new there, of course. In addition though, were comments expressing open support for and approval of Hamas and its terrorist activities, despite the fact that Hamas’ Izz al Din al Qassam brigades constitute a proscribed organization under UK legislation.

8 Jan 2010, 11:26AM
Bravo George! If only some of the members of the cabinet had the balls to tackle the Israelis/Americans over this inhumane blockade.
Providing aid to Palestinian human beings being deprived of basic human rights does not make you a supporter of terrorists.

Possibly not, but handing over cash donations to the leaders of a proscribed terrorist organization would rather indicate otherwise.
Now here’s someone obviously having trouble with definitions of terrorist groups, even though the Home Office has provided a list.

8 Jan 2010, 11:36AM
Do you think Hamas are terrorists?
If you can give me your definition of terrorism I would be very interested to read it. Oh, by the way collective punishment is illegal under International Law.

And someone who seems to be equating Hamas with the British government:

8 Jan 2010, 11:42AM
Do you support Hamas?
Yes. I support the domocratically elected government of Palestine. Funny how the USA and UK can ignore democracy when it doesn’t give the result they want.
1. Why are you making a moral equivalence between our government and Hamas?
Because they were both voted in to power. Or not, if you are Gordon Brown.
Our government has not (yet) murdered the opposition.
No, but it has murdered innocent bystanders.
It does not use women and children as human shields.
Maybe not in London. But it has done in the past in Belfast and Derry and continues to do so by its mere presence in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It is not anti-semitic.
Whilst anti-semetism cannot be condoned, it is probably unavoidable when you have spent the last sixty-five years oppressed by the nation-state of Israel. Anywaay, Hamas has denied it is antisemitic in a report carried in an Israeli newspaper.
It does not condone suicide attacks.
But it does issue posthumous medals for valour in a war in a country in which we have no right to be.
Hamas does all of these things and more.
And so does the UK and USA governments.
2. Hamas are blamed because they deserve the blame based on their actions. What else are we supposed to do, give them the benefit of the doubt?
Hamas are blamed because of a campaign of disinformation from the UK, US and Israeli governments, all of whom wish to protect their business communities invetments in the Occupied Territories. We have to negotiate with them as they are the elected representatives of the Palestinian people.
Please do not take the line that we do not negotiate with terrorists. We cooperated with Haganah and negitiated with the Irgun and the Stern Gang. There were also many negotiations with the IRA in the seventies and eighties.
As for George Galloway – I can’t stand him as a person, but I support some of his politics. There should be more with those politics in Parliament, and then we would not have to suffer his ego.

Ah, Hamas have denied being anti-Semitic: well one would have to be pretty gullible to believe that – roughly as much as those who believe the ‘they were driven to it’ theory of terrorism analysis, as demonstrated below.

8 Jan 2010, 12:16PM
Thank ghod someone is actually doing something, rather than just talking about it.
btw, Without 6 decades of illegal Isro occupation and ethnic cleansing and there would be no Hamas.

8 Jan 2010, 12:28PM
Hamas is the cause of all trouble in the Middle East,particularly Gaza strip where they have established their foothold. Because of their dangerous tactics, the Gazans have to pay a heavy price in lives and untold human suffering. It is futile to blame Israel for the crimes of Hamas. Mr.Galloway by carrying on this humanitarian mission has actually ignored the terrorist nature of Hamas politics and helped in igniting more tension and political friction in the Middle East. Egypt has taken the right step in sending him back to where he belongs.
Repeating this utter rubbish three times does not make it any more accurate.
Congratulations and all strength to Hamas as the only organisation making any real attempt to defend the Palestinian People (whatever some of their less attractive actions).

‘Less attractive’? That has to be a new record for British understatement!

8 Jan 2010, 12:52PM
to 1830 with your “Do you think Hamas are terrorists”, ad nauseam……..
Well, not the ones I’ve seen (admittedly only on TV).
I’m sick of this Pavlovian response we’re all supposed to provide….Hamas, terrorist.
Blah blah.
Script provided by Israel…….
Try some real analysis based on the real lives of people who daily try to survive conditions that would defeat the good behavior of the most sainted moralists of western democracy.

8 Jan 2010, 12:53PM
Would throwing elected officials from rival political parties off the roofs of buildings fall under the category of ‘less attractive actions’?
How about extra-judicial killings of Palestinian civilians? Or honour killings of Palestinian women? Or firing rockets at Jewish schools and hospitals?
I prefer the term ‘crimes against humanity’ rather than ‘less attractive actions’.
All rather pales into insignificance compared to the doings of the IDF though doesn’t it.
The more a subject and occupied people is brutally oppressed the more brutal their fight for freedom is likely to become – and to this extent it is the state of Israel that is responsible not only for their own war crimes, baut also those committed by Hamas – minor as they are in comparison.
And who is it that has encouraged, aggravated and exploited the differences between Hamas and Fatah – Israel again must take the major responsibility for the savagery sometimes arising from this struggle.

8 Jan 2010, 2:47PM
Do you support Hamas?

8 Jan 2010, 4:57PM
@Styxdweller The saving grace is how ineffably bad Palestinians are at fighting.
Now that is a little bit ingenuous and uncharitable – I guess women, children and other unarmed civilians, are just not very good at defending themselves against white phosphorus bombs, depleted uranium, dime bombs, high-explosive shells and cowardly air strikes with state-of-the-art weapons supplied by the US.
Israel is one of the most militarised societies on Earth so the Palestinians in Gaza are basically firing pea shooters at a giant – but hopefully they will get bigger missiles soon and more effective anti-tank weapons.

Well, there’s someone obviously not hoping for a peaceful solution.

8 Jan 2010, 6:12PM
Good on you George.
I’ll judge you by your actions rather than your words.
The UK media (especially the BBC) is a disgrace, and if the only way this shameful occupation and persecution can get airtime is through attempts to discredit George – well played – the cat suit was worth it.
What would you do? Your family and friends killed and their lives and deaths disrespected by an illegal invading army over decades? WMDs used against you, including white phosperous, for supposed crimes that you have no control over. Constant disrespect of your space your land, the crops you plant, and your fundamental right to life. What would you do? I am amazed they are so restrained. Hamas are probably their only hope.
As for peace process – you can stick that where the Sun don’t shine, there is no peace process and never has been – it’s an occupation and dispossion process, since the first Israeli terrorists started killing in the 1930’s.

Of course the 2006 Terrorism Act “makes it a criminal offence to directly or indirectly incite or encourage others to commit acts of terrorism. This includes the glorification of terrorism where this may be understood as encouraging the emulation of terrorism. “ In addition, UNSC Resolution 1624 highlights the responsibility of the media in this field.

“Stressing the importance of the role of the media, civil and religious society, the business community and educational institutions in those efforts to enhance
dialogue and broaden understanding, and in promoting tolerance and coexistence, and in fostering an environment which is not conducive to incitement of terrorism,”

Whether or not the above comments constitute a violation of British law is for others better versed in that subject than I to opine, but my thought upon reading them was that had these been comments in support of Al Qaida terrorism in the UK or attacks by the Real IRA in Northern Ireland, they would not have been permitted to stand on an internet forum by the Guardian’s moderators, if only for the sake of good taste. Whatever one’s opinion of the 2006 Terrorism Act, and it has been severely criticized as restricting freedom of speech, it seems to me that when an organization or individuals choose to define some of those terror organizations proscribed by law in the society in which they live as ‘acceptable’ on the basis of certain political sympathies, then the ethical limitations which are obviously at play are very worrying indeed.

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