No, an op-ed published in the Guardian on Nov. 14th (Judge Hamas by the measures it takes for its people) was not the first time a Hamas member was granted a forum by the media group.
Over the past couple of years the Guardian has published commentaries by the deputy head of Hamas’s political bureau, Musa Abumarzuq, Hamas’s ‘Prime Minister’ Ismail Haniyeh, their head of international relations Osama Hamdan, and advisor Azzam Tamimi.
However, what stands out in the piece by Ahmed Yousef (senior political adviser to Ismail Haniyeh), which attempts to rebrand the Islamist terror group as a benign democratic political movement, is a claim in the following passage, which follows a risible defense of their (evidently misunderstood) racist charter.
Were pundits to truly scrutinise Hamas’s actions since its inception, they would find not a single official statement or position that is based on denigrating another faith, certainly neither Judaism nor Christianity. Nor can anyone produce a shred of evidence that Hamas formally encourages prejudice against anyone’s ethnicity.
Though we know by reading public opinion polls that Palestinian society is nearly universally compromised by the acceptance of anti-Jewish bigotry, you don’t need to even burden yourself with fisking the methodologies of such empirical analyses, or to even read the group’s antisemitic founding charter, to familiarize yourself with Hamas’s ‘official’ embrace of the most racist narratives about the alleged danger posed by international Jewry.
Indeed, antisemitism can accurately be characterized as “a major pillar in the ideology of Hamas”, and Hamas’s state-run media consistently ‘explains’ to Palestinians the evil character of Jews – not merely Israelis or Zionists, but “Jews”.
Whilst there are countless examples of ‘official’ statements “denigrating” Jews (documented by sites such as Palestinian Media Watch and MEMRI), here are just a few videos and quotes:
Top Hamas Official Osama Hamdan: Jews use blood in their Passover Matzos
Hamas top leader Mahmoud Al Zahhar: Jews are “blood suckers” and “wild beasts” who deserve to be annihilated.
Sermon delivered by ‘Atallah Abu Al-Subh, former Hamas minister of culture, which aired on Al-Aqsa TV, April 8, 2011, translation by MEMRI
The Jews are the most despicable and contemptible nation to crawl upon the face of the Earth, because they have displayed hostility to Allah.
Dr. Yussuf Al-Sharafi, Hamas representative, April 12, 2007; as reported by Palestinian Media Watch, April 23, 2007
…the Jewish faith does not wish for peace nor stability, since it is a faith that is based on murder: ‘I kill, therefore I am’… Israel is based only on blood and murder in order to exist, and it will disappear, with Allah’s will, through blood and Shahids [martyrs].
Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Bahar, acting Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, April 20, 2007; as reported by Palestinian Media Watch, April 23, 2007
This is Islam, that was ahead of its time with regards to human rights in the treatment of prisoners, but our nation was tested by the cancerous lump, that is the Jews, in the heart of the Arab nation…
Host Saraa, a young girl: “Sanabel, what will you do for the sake of the Al-Aqsa Mosque? How will you sacrifice your soul for the sake of Al-Aqsa? What will you do?”
Sanabel (a young Palestinian girl on the phone): “I will shoot.”
Farfur, a Mickey Mouse character in a tuxedo: “Sanabel, what should we do if we want to liberate…”
Sanable: “We want to fight.”
Farfur: “We got that. What else?”
Saraa: “We want to…”
Sanabel: “We will annihilate the Jews.”
Saraa: “We are defending Al-Aqsa with our souls and our blood, aren’t we, Sanabel?”
Sanabel: “I will commit martyrdom.”…
Despite our frequent criticism of UK media outlets, this blog rarely accuses commentators and media outlets of engaging in outright ‘lies’.
However, it speaks volumes that Guardian editors chose to publish the claim that Hamas is NOT antisemitic – an inversion of reality so complete that it could only be expressed (or accepted as reasonable) by those immune from the cognitive dissonance normally affecting those who possess any measure of honesty or integrity.