Here was a David! When comes such another?
As my colleague Robert Spencer observed, Israeli President Shimon Peres appeared flummoxed by Hamas’ intransigence in comments made to Haaretz, reported December 30, 2008. “This shooting has no point, no logic, and no chance,” Peres told Haaretz after Hamas’ open renunciation of the ceasefire agreement (not to mention its prior extensive violations throughout the course of the so-called “tahdiah”), and brazen resumption of missile and mortar attacks into southern Israel—which has triggered a dramatic, aggressive Israeli military response. Worse still, the elder statesman remains dangerously ignorant of Hamas’ intimately related motivations—the genocidal destruction of Israel’s Jews, as a prelude to regional, then global jihad conquest. “Nobody in this world understands what are Hamas’goals and why it continues to fire missiles,” Peres asserted.
Mr. Peres is tragically emblematic of Israeli leaders and policymaking elites who for generations have ignored how the living institution of jihad war—conjoined in Israel’s unique case to Islamic Jew-hatred—were always, past and present, the primary motivations for those masses in the Arab and non-Arab Muslim world seeking the Jewish State’s destruction. Indeed, what was billed as the first discussion of global jihadism by the Israeli security cabinet even in the current world (not to mention local Israeli) environment was only just held at the end of this past July, 2008. The open jihad against Israel waged continuously for two decades by Hamas, since the jihad terror organization’s founding in 1988, combined with the astonishing ignorance and/or denial of this phenomenon by Peres (and the lost legions who share his mindset), represents the apotheosis of this alarming trend.
Contra Shimon Peres et al, and underscoring their corrosive folly, historian David Littman has waged an heroic personal campaign—in public, at the United Nations Human Rights Commission, since January, 1989—to elucidate key aspects of Hamas’ genocidal ideology, demonstrating unapologetically how this annihilationist hatred is sanctioned by Islam’s foundational texts. Littman reminded us why it is so critical to focus on Hamas’ odious foundational covenant as a binding documentary record of the organization’s specific beliefs and goals:
Hitler understood this when he wrote in the preface to Mein Kampf: “the basic elements of a doctrine must be set down in permanent form in order that it may be represented in the same way and in unity.” [Hitler, Preface to Mein Kampf (Reynal and Hitchcock translation)]. After his release from an Israeli prison and return to Gaza in October 1997, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the founder and spiritual head of Hamas, declared that Israel must “disappear from the map.” He added: “We have an aim and an enemy, and we shall continue our jihad against the enemy. A nation without a jihad is a nation without a purpose.”
Hamas cleric Wael Al-Zarad during a television program which aired on Al-Aqsa TV on February 28, 2008 explained that the Muslims’ blood vengeance against the Jews, “will only subside with their [the Jews] annihilation, Allah willing, because they tried to kill our Prophet several times.” These allegations are part of a central antisemitic motif in the Koran which decrees an eternal curse upon the Jews (Koran 2:61/ reiterated at 3:112) for slaying the prophets and transgressing against the will of Allah.
And Koran 3:112 is featured before the pre-amble to Hamas’ foundational Covenant—it is literally part of the very first statement of the document. [Here is the Arberry translation of 3:112: “Abasement shall be pitched on them, wherever they are come upon, except they be in a bond of God, and a bond of the people; they will be laden with the burden of God’s anger, and poverty shall be pitched on them; that, because they disbelieved in God’s signs, and slew the Prophets without right; that, for that they acted rebelliously and were transgressors”]
In classical and modern Koranic exegeses by seminal, authoritative Islamic theologians (for details, see here) this central motif is coupled to Koranic verses 5:60, and 5:78, which describe the Jews transformation into apes and swine (5:60), or simply apes, (i.e. verses 2:65 and 7:166), having been “…cursed by the tongue of David, and Jesus, Mary’s son” (5:78). Muhammad himself repeats this Koranic curse in a canonical hadith (Sunan Abu Dawoud, Book 37, Number 4322), “He [Muhammad] then recited the verse [5:78]: ‘…curses were pronounced on those among the children of Israel who rejected Faith, by the tongue of David and of Jesus the son of Mary’ ”.
Salah al-Khalidi (fl. late 20th century) makes plain how these motifs of Koranic Jew-hatred are interpreted by Hamas in a manner that is entirely consistent with classical exegeses. Extracts (translated from the original Arabic by Dr. Michael Schub in my The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism) are provided below from Khalidi’s major work Haqa’iq Koraniyya al Qadiyya al-Filastinniya [“Koranic Facts Regarding the Palestinian Issue”] which was first published in 1991 by the Hamas Publishing House Manshūrāt Filastin al-Muslima, and translated into Urdu, Hindi, Turkish, Russian, and English (formerly available online at www.assabeel.com) due to its international popularity.
Humiliation is attached to the Jews for their entire lifetime: they were humiliated in Egypt, and when they arrived in [sic] Palestine, and when they were exiled from Palestine, and when they dispersed into the valleys of the earth. What concerns us here—in our discussion of the Jewish character—is to indicate that this humiliation is to be considered as an inveterate Jewish character trait, and a destructive Jewish perversion. Humiliation is one of their historical attributes, a fixed fact of their existence, and a qaa`ida, basis of their life… (Koran 2:61) The Jews are humiliated because they disbelieved in God, killed His prophets, disobeyed His emissaries, transgressed His prohibitions—all of this is humiliation. They are humiliated—and this is why they search out lustful indulgences, and have become their slaves. All of this is humiliation.
It is impossible that the Jews could not be cursed. How could they not be accursed when they are attributed with such degenerate inveterate character traits, twenty of which we have demonstrated above. (Note: Khalidi earlier states, ‘We have extracted from Koran twenty Jewish traits. The Jews are: liars, perverters (of the Text), envious, tricky, fickle, mercurial, sardonic, treacherous, in error, causing others to be in error, merchants, fools, humiliated, dastards, misers, avid for (this) life, disloyal to their firm contracts, rush into sinful aggression, concealers of true evidence, corrupters in the earth, and obstructors in God’s path.’ For specific Koranic citations confirming his litany see here). They are worthy of eternal curse because of the villainous traits they display and the corrupt evils they have perpetrated.
The Jews are in a condition of mal`ana, i.e. everyone pours out curses on them; God has cursed them, the angels have cursed them, their prophets have cursed them, the good people among them have cursed them, and everyone has cursed them. They are deserving of this eternal and continual damnation until the day of resurrection when they will encounter God’s wrath, fury, and punishment. They were accordingly exiled from God’s mercy, and kept afar from His goodness.
Many Koranic verses were revealed emphasizing…the judgement upon them of cursed damnation, and exile from His mercy, e.g. Koran 5:13: “For breaking their covenant, We curse them, and have made their hearts hard.” And Koran 5:60…And Koran 5:64…And Koran 5:78…
The recent annihilationist sentiments regarding Jews, as expressed by Hamas cleric al-Zarad, are also rooted in Islamic eschatology [end of times theology], and incorporated permanently into the foundational 1988 Hamas Covenant. As characterized in the hadith (the words, deeds, and even unspoken gestures of Muhammad as ostensibly recorded by his earliest pious Muslim companions), Muslim eschatology highlights the Jews’ supreme hostility to Islam. Jews are described as adherents of the Dajjâl—the Muslim equivalent of the Anti-Christ—or according to another tradition, the Dajjâl is himself Jewish. At his appearance, other traditions maintain that the Dajjâl will be accompanied by 70,000 Jews from Isfahan wrapped in their robes, and armed with polished sabers, their heads covered with a sort of veil. When the Dajjâl is defeated, his Jewish companions will be slaughtered— everything will deliver them up except for the so-called gharkad tree, as per the canonical hadith (Sahih Muslim, Book 41, Number 6985) included in the 1988 Hamas Covenant (in article 7). This hadith is cited in the Covenant as a sacralized, obligatory call for a Muslim genocide of the Jews:
…the Islamic Resistance Movement aspires to realize the promise of Allah, no matter how long it takes. The Prophet, Allah’s prayer and peace be upon him, says: “The hour of judgment shall not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them, so that the Jews hide behind trees and stones, and each tree and stone will say: ‘Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him,’ except for the Gharqad tree, for it is the tree of the Jews.” (Sahih Muslim, Book 41, Number 6985)
Littman cites an April 12, 2002, Friday sermon delivered by the Palestinian Authority’s Sheikh Ibrahim Madhi at the Sheikh Ijlin Mosque in Gaza City, broadcast live on Palestinian Authority television demonstrating how the destruction of Israel’s Jews heralds further Islamic conquests.
Madhi quoted from this hadith — including the curious reference to the “Jewish” Gharqad tree — and then stated: “We believe in this hadith. We are convinced also that this hadith heralds the spread of Islam and its rule over all the lands… ‘from the ocean to the ocean…’”
Article 28, which is free of any eschatological references, clearly “widens the circle of hate” towards Jews, as Littman has observed, targeting all contemporary Jews: “Israel, Judaism and Jews challenge Islam and the Muslim people: ‘May the cowards never sleep.’”
Articles 22 and 32 invoke modern conspiratorial themes reminiscent of European (secular) antisemitic motifs, especially the latter (32), which makes explicit mention of the Czarist Russian forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. But even these articles are peppered with Koranic citations, including references in both 22 and 32 to Koran 5:64, a sort of ancient antecedent of The Protocols. (Arberry translation, Koran 5:64: “The Jews have said, ‘God’s hand is fettered.’ Fettered are their hands, and they are cursed for what they have said. Nay, but His hands are outspread; He expends how He will. And what has been sent down to thee from thy Lord will surely increase many of them in insolence and unbelief; and We have cast between them enmity and hatred, till the Day of Resurrection. As often as they light a fire for war, God will extinguish it. They hasten about the earth, to do corruption there; and God loves not the workers of corruption.”)