Financial Times erases Hamas’s extremism

A Financial Times article (Rival Palestinian factions hold talks in Moscow, Feb. 29) written by Mehul Srivastava, Polina Ivanova and Andrew England about talks in Moscow between rival Palestinian factions is a good illustration of the media’s tendency to whitewash the extremist ideology of the terror group which carried out the mass murder, rape, torture and mutilation of Israelis on Oct. 7.

The article explained that the talks, which followed the resignation of the Fatah-led West Bank government, were “aimed at ending decades of rivalry to present a united front in pushing for an end to Israel’s offensive in Gaza and its occupation of the West Bank”. The negotiations, the FT continued, were designed to create a mechanism for delivering aid, and “pave the way for the set-up of a new technocratic administration”. The US and Arab states have pushed such a “technocratic” government, the FT explains, partly as “a step in efforts to make gradual progress towards talks on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”.

This of course would have been where FT journalists could have explained the immense difficulty of such an outcome given Hamas’s rejection of two states – or any outcome which allows for the continued existence of the Jewish state. But, they declined to edify readers regarding this important point.

The article then notes the unlikelihood of such a two-state outcome “until Hamas and Fatah work out their long-running differences”, but fails to note what those differences are.

Further into the article, the writers aver that “For Israel, the infighting between Fatah and Hamas has been a boon as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu capitalised on the divisions and rebuffed any moves towards a Palestinian state.”.  This observation is debatable, but represents another opportunity where the outlet could have explained that such “divisions” relate to the fact that, unlike Fatah, who at least publicly supports a two-state solution, Hamas is adamant that they will never agree to any outcome other than Israel’s annihilation.

Also, note this paragraph further into the article, representing another opportunity for the outlet to explain Hamas’s extremist and antisemitic worldview, which manifested in the barbaric attacks of Oct. 7.

But for Palestinians the refusal of their two most powerful political entities to work together has been disastrous. The two sides remain far apart on how to share what little power they have; on the ideology that underpins them; on how best to overcome Israel’s refusal to allow a Palestinian state; and on the role of the west.

So, not only did the FT authors fail to explain “the ideology that underpins” Hamas, but suggested that it was Israel who refused to “allow a Palestinian state”.  This ahistorical narrative erases not only the terror group’s rejection of two-states, but also the three Israeli peace offers which would have created the first sovereign Palestinian state in history – proposals which were rejected by Palestinian leaders.

Another opportunity to reveal Hamas’s ideology is missed in the following paragraphs:

Polls show that since October 7, when Hamas launched a cross-border raid into Israel, killing 1,200 people and taking 240 hostage, the militant group has eclipsed Fatah in popularity among Palestinians. But Fatah has insisted on broad reforms to Hamas’s core ideology before it shares power within the Palestine Liberation Organization, the political entity with which Israel agreed to negotiate towards peace in the early 1990s.

A return to the PLO would signal an ongoing role for Hamas in any negotiations for a broader peace. The US and Israel have rejected this outright.

It’s only in the last paragraph do readers glean any information about the views of Hamas which represent an impenetrable obstacle to peace:

“We know that Hamas must be part of the PLO,” said Nofal, the ambassador to Moscow. “And if they will be part of the PLO, they need to recognise Israel they need to set down their weapons to find peaceful solutions.

The suggestion that Hamas leaders would ever, under any circumstances, recognise Israel, yet alone ‘set down their weapons’ and pursue peace is beyond parody, and ignores their genocidal antisemitic founding charter, as well as unequivocal statements by the group’s leaders stating their intention to repeat their Oct. 7 massacre – the worst antisemitic attack since the Holocaust – again and again if they have the opportunity.

By eliding Hamas’s extremist, antisemitic ideology, the FT is obfuscating one of the most important, and painfully intuitive, lessons of Oct. 7: that peace between Israel and the Palestinians will never be possible as long as Hamas plays a part in the region’s politics,

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1 Comment

  1. says: Sid

    One can expect no better than this unadulterated rubbish when the Editor in Chief is Roula Khalaf a British-Lebanese citizen, who aspires at every opportunity to besmirch Israel.
    The article also quotes the “Palestinian Ambassador to the UK”- guess what? He is is not to be found in the UK government Diplomatic List and is NOT accredited to the Court of James (official recognition)- as such the FT attribute him with a inaccurate title – just like most of the article

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