‘Hamas Against Zionist Ideology, Not Judaism’
by David Cronin
14 May 09 | IPS
A founding member of Hamas says he hates all weapons and insists that his organisation is not anti-Jewish.
In an interview with IPS, Sayed Abu Musameh described frequent claims in the European and U.S. press that Hamas’s charter is based on enmity towards Jews as a “big lie”.
Speaking in the remains of the Palestinian Legislative Council headquarters in Gaza City – bombed by Israel on the third day of the offensive against Gaza it launched in late 2008 – Husameh drew a distinction between followers of Judaism and the Zionist ideology to which most politicians in Israel’s main political parties subscribe. Such an ideology, he said, has led Israel to tighten its control of the Palestinian territories and their most important natural resources, including water.
“In our culture, we respect every foreigner, especially Jews and Christians,” he said. “But we are against Zionists, not as nationalists but as fascists and racists.”
Musameh also contended that Hamas has long been ready to agree a truce – known in Arabic as a hudna – with Israel but that Israel had refused all offers and imposed a crippling economic blockade on Gaza. The firing of Qassam rockets on the Israeli cities of Ashkelon and Sderot was designed “not to destroy Israel or to destroy Israeli people” but to “make them notice our siege.” >>>