Misinformed column contains inaccuracies about Hamas
In her recent column “Hamas is not ISIS, ISIS is not Hamas: UN speech misleading,” Margarita Rosario attempts to take Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to task over what she calls “fallacious rhetoric” before the United Nations General Assembly, where he delivered the line “Hamas is ISIS, and ISIS is Hamas.” Her piece goes on to become apologia for Hamas, a group designated by the U.S. State Department and the European Union as a terrorist organization.
There are several problems with her piece — mischaracterization of fact, improper context and lastly, several blatant lies. The author contrasts ISIS, a group whose mission she says “is driven by extremist ambitions such as ethnic and religious cleansing” with Hamas, which she calls the “largest means of social welfare in Palestine.” Perhaps Rosario should acquaint herself with Hamas’s charter, which calls both for the destruction of the State of Israel (not just the expansions over the Green Line, Tel Aviv and Haifa as well) and the murder of Jews.
This is a direct quote from the Hamas charter, signed in 1988 (Via Avalon Project and Yale Law School): “The Day of Judgment will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.”
That is Hamas, in its own words, calling for both ethnic and religious cleansing.
Furthermore, she claims Hamas is aimed at “resisting Israeli expansion into the West Bank.” However, Hamas has no authority in the West Bank — the Palestinian Authority, led by President Mahmud Abbas, governs it. This is Palestinian politics 101, yet Rosario seems ignorant of it.
Moreover, in her defense of this U.S.- and EU-defined terror organization, Rosario brings up the civilian casualty count from the latest clash between Israel and Gaza this past summer, something which has nothing to do with her thesis, yet, it seems she is wont to pass up an opportunity to misuse figures to attack Israel. She cites a BBC figure that “of the 2,100 Palestinians killed, nearly 1,500 were civilian,” yet the BBC itself disputes this figure. In an article published on BBC.com on Aug. 9, the headline reads, “Caution needed with Gaza casualty figure.” The article went on to outline how “the UN numbers being reported are, by and by large, based on the Gaza health ministry, a Hamas-run organisation.” Additionally, the article stated, “An analysis by the New York Times looked at the names of the 1,431 casualties and found that ‘the population most likely to be militants, men ages 20-29, is also the most overrepresented in the death toll.’”
Lastly, Rosario concludes her tangent by calling Israel “a threat imposed on them [the Palestinians] without their consent 66 years ago.”
It is true that Israel did come into existence 66 years ago in 1948, following the U.N. Partition vote in 1947. Israel accepted the partition planned and was willing to set up a state alongside an Arab one. The Arab League rejected this plan, and declared war. Tiny Israel had to fend off troops from Syria, Iraq, Transjordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and others. This mischaracterization is simply emblematic of the tone of the entire piece, and perhaps The Daily Targum should question why a writer entrusted with a column every two weeks can, in good faith, submit such a column.
Joshua Blachorsky is a School of Arts and Sciences senior majoring in history.