Reprinted from Honest Reporting.
Hamas’ political wing exists to sanitize and legitimize these goals.
Failing to recognize that both entities are inextricably linked effectively whitewashes Hamas’ brutal, totalitarian and genocidal ideology and its violent manifestations.
It’s that simple.
For that reason, the United States, the European Union’s 27 member countries, Canada, Japan and Israel have all designated Hamas in its entirety as a terrorist organization.
However, the United Kingdom has not. The government in London is one of the few in the world that has blacklisted only the Izz ad-Deen al-Qassam Brigades, the name of Hamas’ military.
Unfortunately, when reading British news reports it’s not at all clear that Hamas uses violence directed against civilians to achieve political aims, which is the definition of terrorism. Instead, articles often reference Gaza’s militant rulers or, even more obliquely, the Islamist group that rules the coastal enclave.
HonestReporting’s core mission is to ensure media accuracy and fair reporting. But this is made more difficult when one of the world’s most influential governments refuses to recognize Hamas for what it is.
Before tackling the media, therefore, Britain’s policy must be addressed.
As long as only the military wing of Hamas is proscribed under British law, it will remain legal for individuals to wave the Hamas flag on the streets of Britain. In contrast, by banning Hamas in its entirety, its proponents will be hard-pressed to raise funds for the Palestinian group throughout the UK.
Moreover, antisemitism remains a major threat to the Jewish community in Britain. Earlier this year, pro-Palestinian “activists” drove cars decorated with Palestinian flags through several Jewish neighborhoods in London, hurling violent abuse through megaphones, including threats to “kill the Jews” and “rape their daughters.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Priti Patel both swiftly denounced the incident.
The emergence of such open antisemitism reached a crescendo in the course of May’s 11-day Hamas-initiated war with Israel, during which the Palestinian group committed war crime after war crime by indiscriminately launching over four thousand rockets from the Gaza Strip at Israeli cities and towns.
Each and every missile fired at civilians constituted a war crime. And with many rockets manufactured, stored, transported through, and launched from predominantly urban areas, effectively using Gaza’s population as a collective human shield, Hamas commits countless additional war crimes.
Whitehall acts as if this is solely the doing of Hamas’ armed wing. In truth, orders are given by Hamas’ political brass.
After the latest conflict, it is long overdue that the British government hold Hamas leaders to account by describing them as they truly are: terrorists.
Join us in calling on London to formally recognize the entirety of Hamas as a terror organization, take a moment to email the British Embassy in Jerusalem.
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