Canada’s media have consistently avoided describing Hamas as terrorists with the commendable exceptions being the National Post and Sun News who have properly called terror by its rightful name. Instead, they have euphemistically substituted the T-word with the term “militant,” thereby whitewashing Palestinian terror. While Hamas is now talking about “non-violent resistance” for the public’s consumption, our media have taken the bait by reporting that Hamas may have evolved from terrorists to pragmatists.
On December 16, the National Post published an above-the-fold front-page article under the headline: “Hamas set to reject violence: report”. The article by Peter Goodspeed based claims that Hamas was set to renounce “armed resistance and move to a policy of nonviolent resistance” on speculative reporting by IHS Jane’s, the well-respected defence and security intelligence analysis agency.
Yet, Hamas’ own pronouncements contradict notions that they are becoming pragmatic. Hamas’ own leader in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, just last week boldly declared in front of tens of thousands of supporters that “armed resistance and armed struggle are the strategic way to liberate the Palestinian land from the sea to the river.” As if it was a badge of honour, Hamas boasted the following “achievements” since its inception: “11,093 rockets fired into southern Israel, 1,117 armed attacks, 87 suicide bombings, 1,365 Israelis killed, 1,848 Hamas “martyrs.”
Martin did note that Israelis have every reason to be sceptical about Hamas’s proclamations. Martin quoted Israeli analyst Barry Rubin of the Global Research in International Affairs Center who is “concerned that people may be taken in by what could be just a ploy by Hamas.” Indeed, Hamas has proven time and again that their commitment to a tactical hudna or truce – replenishing their strength during the quiet periods – is only a means to return with increased deadliness. Until this group publicly renounces violence, ends the capacity for violence (stops smuggling deadly weapons/rockets and destroys its arms depots), amends its charter calling for the destruction of Israel and the genocide of Jews, and stops indoctrinating their children towards martyrdom, we will believe that this organization has undergone a Palestinian paradigm shift of sorts.
In his article, Martin interviewed Ahmed Yusef, a leading Hamas figure in Gaza, who explained that “the practice of suicide bombings had been a mistake as it gave Hamas nothing but a bad reputation.” It’s instructive to note that this organization views suicide bombings as merely damaging to its reputation and not as being morally repugnant.
Rest assured, HonestReporting Canada communicated the aforementioned sentiments in commentaries that were prominently published in the National Post and Globe and Mail on December 19 and 21 respectively. Lest us not forget, Hamas praises death instead of celebrating life. Until the inverse is true, Israel and the international community cannot rely on speculative reporting claiming that it’s “set to reject violence” or that “Violence is no longer (Hamas’) ‘primary option'”. Hamas’ words, and more importantly, its deeds should be the yardstick that measures if this group has repudiated violence and become moderate.