At the Palestinian elections of 25-1-2006, Hamas has obtained a startling victory.
From the 132
seats of parliament, Hamas, which for the first time was participating in the parliamentary elections, obtained 74 seats,
in contrary with the then reigning Fatah-party, which obtained merely 43 seats.
The further 13 seats were obtained by different
smaller political parties, as well as independent candidates.
This great victory for Hamas was no surprise because
of the fundamental Hamas political and military resistance against the Israeli occupation and the Hamas social activities
on behalf of the impoverished population of especially Gaza.
In spite of this, leading American-European politicians,
as well as the newsmedia, didn't only show great astonishment, they also demanded, that Hamas, as the price for financial
support, would stop armed resistance (or what the Israelis and their supporters call "renouncing violence") against the Israeli
occupation and also acknowledge the State of Israel.
When the newly-formed Hamas-government refused to agree with those
American-European demands, the American and Canadian governments, as well the EU decided to freeze the financial support to
the Palestinian Authority, a measure, which went at the cost of the already seriously impoverished Palestinian civilian population,
since at least 45 % of the population [there are also reports about a higher poverty-rate varying untill 70 %] is living below
the poverty-rate and 15% is even living in extreme poverty.
Especially the educational and medical conditions are seriously
deteriorated since this boycott.
Moreover, 942.000 Palestinians or 25% of the total Palestinian population is living from
salaries, which are being paid by the Palestinian Authority However, due to those American-European measures, those payments
can't be done anymore, with all humanitarian consequences for the families involved.
Not only those boycott-measures
are morally highly reprehensible in regard with the humanitarian consequences for the Palestinian civilian-population, they
also can lead to amounting tensions within the Palestinian society.
With regard to those measures, many international
NGO's, as well as a number of UN-organisations, have uttered sharp criticism to those American-European boycott-measures.
consequence of the boycott-measure can be, that the Hamas-government, as a result of the freezing of EU financial support,
shall receive increased financial aid from the governments of the Arab and Islamic countries, with as a consequence the lessening
of EU political influence regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Recently a number of Arab governments, and Iran,
has either given, or promised, financial aid to the Hamas-government.
Probably aware of the above-mentioned political
consequences of her possible diminishing influence regarding the Middle-East, the EU, as has been represented by EU Commissioner
Louis Michel, former Belgian minister of foreign affairs has set aside a sum of 34 million euro in the form of emergency-aid
to the Palestinian territories, which are going to be delivered outside the official Hamas-channels.
Also the World
Bank, which is fearing further humanitarian crisis in the Palestinian territories, is exploring, in direct cooperation with
the Quartet [the EU, USA, the Russian Federation and the UN], to resume the financial aid to the Palestinian population, outside
Hamas-channels, and probably by way of the NGO's, which are active in the area.Double standards
main motives of the American-European boycott of the financial aid to the Palestinian Authority lies in the refusal of Hamas,
to renounce the violence against Israel and to acknowledge the State of Israel.
A further argument regarding the boycott
is the fact, that Hamas has had a main part in the incitement to suicide attacks against Israeli civilians and is still continuing
Although it is evident, that suicide-attacks as military attacks on civilians and civilian objects are
not only inhumane, but also illegal according International Law, it is seldom mentioned by the EU and the American-European
government, that these attacks are a matter of cause and effects, since they are the result of the now 39 years of Israeli
occupation, despite of the in 1967 unanimously accepted UN-Security Resolution 242, by which Israel was summoned, to withdraw
its troops from the in the june-war conquered territories, among else the Palestinian territories.
Also the boycotting
countries are ignoring the fact, that the attacks of Hamas are not only consisting of suicide-attacks, but also of the internationally
legitimated military attacks on the Israeli occupation-army.
Repeatedly Hamas has declared, as well before as after
her election-victory, her willingness to stop armed resistance when Israel is prepared to end its occupation of the Palestinian
territories [its international obligation under UN Security Council Resolution nr 242], to dismantle its settlements in the
Palestinian territories, which are illegal according International Law [see also 2 UN-Security Council Resolutions dd 1979],
to dismantle the Wall, which is being built accross occupied Palestinian territories [see verdict ICJ dd 9-7-2004], and is
acknowledging the Palestinian right of return, which is confirmed by the General Assembly Resolution 194, dd 1948.
these Hamas demands are being based on International Law, which has been confirmed by the above-named resolutions and therefore
Striking however is, that the American-European boycotting governments are demanding Hamas-disarmament
on the one hand, while at the other hand, no clear demands are being made on Israel, regarding the implementation of the above
mentioned UN-resolutions, which were voted for by the same American-European States.
Also this double standard-policy
is being applied with regard to Israeli and Palestinian violence.
Although the condemnation of suicide-attacks against
Israeli civilians is correct and justified, there is however a strong undervaluation of the serious character of the Israeli
human rights violations and war-crimes, which have been committed by especially the Israeli army from the beginning of the
occupation in 1967.
It is also significant to mention, that from EU-side there is no real political pressure on Israel
to end the occupation and withdraw from the Palestinian territories.
Seeing from that perspective, the American-European
criticism of Hamas is lacking moral credibility and is testifying very selective indignation.A
The ideology of Hamas and the American-European political conception with regard to the alleged claim about ''destruction''
of the State of Israel
It is a common standard, that in nearly all American-European newsmedia, as
well in statements of politicians, the Hamas-ideology is being associated with the ''destruction'' of the State of Israel.
trying to unmask this stubborn American-European assumption I want to throw some light on the political history of the Hamas
Movement.History of the Hamas Movement
The word, Hamas, is an abbreviation
of Harakat al-muqâwama al-islâmiyya, which means Islamic Resistance Movement. It had been founded in 1987 as a religious-nationalistic
resistance organisation with Shaikh Yassin as the spiritual leader.
He was killed in an Israeli airstrike in march 2004,
which, being an extra-judicial execution, not only killed him but also 7 other Palestinian civilians.
the beginning of the eighties, there was a predecessor of Hamas, also under the leadership of Shaikh Yassin, which was mainly
an Islamic Revival Movement, which was mostly directed on social and charitable goals.
Although of course opposed to
the occupation, it didn't stimulate the resistance, since it considered the Israeli occupation as a punishment of God because
of Palestinian lack of religious devotion.
In other words, this revival movement was meant to make the Palestinian
population return to the basics of Islam, as explained by the movement, in their daily life.
Even when the official
Hamas organisation had been founded in 1987, initially there was no real resistance against the occupation, despite the anti-Zionistic
Charter of 1988.
Only later the Hamas organisation became part of the resistance, resulting in military attacks against
the Israeli occupation army and from 1994 in suicide-attacks against Israeli civilians.
The immediate cause was the massacre
by the Jewish-Israeli extreme rightwing Dr Baruch Goldstein on 29 Palestinians, who were praying in the Ibrahimi Mosque (also
known as the Cave of the Patriarchs) in Hebron.Hamas Charter
of the Hamas Charter, that is consisting of 36 articles, reveals that the basis is being formed upon as well the resistance
against the Israeli occupation, as well the assumption of the dismantlement of the Zionist State of Israel, to be replaced
by an islamic Palestinian State with equal rights for all the inhabitants and religious freedom regarding Jews and Christians.
from this perspective, the Charter has an anti-colonialist conception because of the fundamental criticism on the colonialist
character of the foundation of the State of Israel in historical Palestine, first being a colony of the Turkish-Ottoman Empire
and after World War I, a British Mandate-area.
According to the wish of the European Zionist movement, the foundation
of a ''Jewish'' State in historical Palestine took place, based on General Assembly Resolution number 181, in 1947, which
contained the division of Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab states, without any consultation of the autochtone Palestinian
It is of importance to mention here, that the objections of the Palestinians were not against the settlement
of Jewish people in Palestine, but against the division of their country into two different States.
Yet apart from
that, Hamas is justly protesting against the present Zionist State, which is for an important part based on discriminatory
laws and measures, which are at the cost of the so-called ''Israeli Arabs'', especially regarding educational and medical
One of the most striking example of those discriminatory laws of State is the fact, that any Jewish man
or woman in the world has the right to settle in Israel, while the right of return of the Palestinian descendants of the 750,000
refugees who were evicted from their homeland by Zionist militias, which was confirmed in General Assembly Resolution 194,
in 1948, is not being acknowledged by Israel.
Notwithstanding anyone's opinion about this anti-Zionist point of view
and the Hamas-assumption about the undesirable foundation of an Islamic State, it is evident, that the expulsion or even killing
of Israeli-Jewish inhabitants of Israel, which is often suggested by the American-European politicians and newsmedia, is out
Although in the Charter is being referred to ''the Jews'', a thorough reading makes clear, that it is a reference
to the Israeli Zionist regime and the Israeli occupation, not to the Jews as an ethnic-religious group.
Also in Hamas bulletins,
the word ''Jews'' is not used. Rather, the words ''Zionistic enemy'' or the ''Zionist entity'' are usually used.B Suicide-attacks
Mentioning Hamas, mostly the emphasis is being laid on the suicide-attacks
against Israeli civilians, for which it bears responsibility. It is evident, that those actions are not only inhumane, but
also they are serious violations of the International Humanitarian Law, that states, that in each military conflict a clear
distinction is to be made between combatants [soldiers or fighters] and non-combatants [civilians].
From that point
of view it is completely right, that those attacks are being condemned severely by the International Community.
it is important to realize, that the cause of those suicide attacks is rooted in the Israeli occupation since 1967, which
resulted in oppression, humiliations and mostly unpunished war crimes, it is no justification whatsoever for any resistance
group for also to commit war crimes.
According to International Law it is illegal, to respond one violation of human
rights by committing a reciprocal violation, even with regard to an occupation.
On the other hand, any military action
against an occupation-army is internationally legitimated as a right of an occupied population to resist against the occupying
However, there is too little international press attention for the fact, that an important part of Hamas strategy
is also the use of this legitimated resistance method.
It is however striking, that as Israel as well as the USA, qualify
those military attacks against the occupation-army, as ''terrorist'', ignoring the internationally legitimated character.
yet Mr Solana, Secretary-General of the Council of the European Union for foreign affairs, has confirmed the right on resistance
against a foreign occupation.C The Israeli liquidation-policy
internationally reprehensible are the Israeli liquidations of the leaders and activists of the Palestinian resistance-movements,
Those liquidations started in the beginning of the seventies of the former century and were being practiced
by successive Israeli governments.
They took the form of frontal shootings of cars, the exploding of mobile telephones
and nowadays mostly, the airstrikes, whether on civilian targets like refugee-camps, flat-apartments, houses, or marketplaces.
commonly known, those attacks are severe violations of International Law, which states, that every human being has a right
on a fair and independent trial.
Moreover, because of those still daily-committed liquidations, in many cases also civilians,
who just pass by, as well co-habitants of houses, apartments and refugee-camps are being killed.
In those cases war-crimes
are being committed, since the presence of civilians at civilian goals [streets, market-places, cars, apartments and refugee-camps]
is highly expectable.
However, despite the high humanitarian risk for the civilian-population, recently the Israeli
prime-minister Olmert has made clear, that those airstrikes are to continue, despite of the loss of Palestinian civilian lives.
is a striking example of Western selective indignation, that although the Hamas-led suicide attacks are leading to the freezing
of the financial help to the Palestinian Authority, but with regard to those Israeli extrajudicial executions, as well the
indiscriminate military attacks on Gaza, no sanction measures are being taken against Israel.
Regarding the fact that
Israel being the occupying country bears the lion's share in the escalation of the present conflict, especially the EU, which
claims to defend the Palestinian humanitarian interests, is held accountable for this hypocritical point of view.D Social-charitable Hamas activities
A hitherto undervalued aspect regarding the activities
of Hamas are the social-charitable activities of Hamas on behalf of especially the serious impoverished population in Gaza.
by doing this, Hamas is fulfilling the international-judicial obligation of the Israeli occupation-power to take care for
the occupied Palestinian population.
According one of the most important articles of the 4th Geneva Convention, an occupying
power is head-responsible for the safety, the wellbeing and the welfare of the occupied population, the so-called ''protected
International reports about the humanitarian situation in Gaza have learnt, that the Israeli occupation-authorities
have failed to fulfill this obligation regarding the occupied Palestinian population.
The impoverished situation of
the Palestinian population is still being intensified by the Israeli military attacks in Gaza and the West-Bank, which have
resulted mostly in serious human rights violations and war-crimes.
So especially in Gaza [but also in the West-Bank]
mass-house demolitions took place, which is forbidden according article 53, 4th Geneva Convention.
Also especially in
Gaza several times the border with Israel had been closed.
Due to this measure the Palestinians, who work in Israel,
are thus loosing their daily necessities of life.
Recently Israel has, as a retaliatory measure for the abduction or
imprisonment [the news sources are giving different messages regarding to that], not only closed the border with Gaza, but
also bombed parts of the infrastructure [bridges and main roads], which caused considerable damage and has cut of the water
anf electricity-supplies of the population.
A thus token retaliatory measure is as a collective punishment a serious
breach of International Law [article 33, 4th Geneva Convention is forbidding any collective punishment.
When such Israeli
measures were taken in the past, Hamas has supplied the most impoverished part of the population.
Mostly the financial
donors of Hamas were donors, stemming from the Arab world.
However, in contrary with the Palestinian Authority, Hamas
wasn't corrupt at all.
Of course, this led to a great popularity of Hamas and the striking outcome of the elections.Epilogue
In this article I've tried to make clear, that not only the American-European freezing
of the financial help to the Palestinian Authority is immoral, because it is at the cost of the impoverished Palestinian population,
also it is a double standard to condemn the Hamas violence and to consider the Israeli violence, due to the Israeli occupation,
as a minor issue.
No resistance-organisation whatsoever can be expected to lay down the arms, while the occupation
and oppression is being continued with the most extreme measures.
However it is evident, that also a resistance-movement
must be based on the obligations according to International Law.
However, without closing the eyes for the very reprehensible
suicide-attacks against Israeli civilians, in which Hamas played an important part, the Hamas fundamental stand against the
Israeli occupation and settlements policy has to be respected, as well its fundamental resistance against the Zionist State
Therefore, I sincerely hope, that Hamas will not yield to the growing American-European political pressure
to make the Israeli occupation and settlements policy points of negotiation.
However, when Hamas really wants to be
respected by friend and foe, it has to refrain from the attacks on Israeli civilians or civilian-goals.
being, whether Palestinian or Israeli, has the right on the same humane treatment and to my opinion, being occupied is no
justification to violate those inalienable rights.
Declaration of Human Rights:www.unhchr.ch/udhr/lang/eng.htm
The 3th Geneva Convention, relative to the treatment of prisoners of war:www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/7c4d08d9b287a42141256739003e636b/
The 4th Geneva Convention, relative to the protections of civilian persons in time of war:www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/7c4d08d9b287a42141256739003e636b/
Israeli human rights violations:
Hamas human rights violations:
Israeli discriminatory measures against Palestinian-Arab children in the Israeli education-system:
Israeli discriminatory laws:
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those