By Jack Mendel
Monday’s Parliamentary vote to recognise Palestinian statehood made clear that Hamas’s status as a terrorist organisation has become irrelevant,
The organisation is recognised as a terrorist group by the United Kingdom and United States, the European Union, Israel, Japan, Australia, Canada and Egypt, as well as being banned in Jordan.
When MPs voted for a motion to recognise Palestine’s statehood, the fact that Palestine’s ‘unity’ Government includes Hamas was not sufficient to stall the motion.
The motion passed 274 to 12 votes. Near unanimous. Barely even a consideration.
As part of a unity Government within the Palestinian territory, Hamas is thus being offered recognition and legitimacy, despite being classed as a terrorist organisation.
Surely, before any recognition of Palestine can be taken seriously, it needs to be established that any official and legitimate Palestinian authority is committed to peace?
It is perfectly clear that Hamas is not. Its terrorist status is well earned, and it doesn’t show any signs of climbing down.
Its charter calls for death to Jews (not Israelis, but Jews), overtly.
Hamas match its vile rhetoric with violent and radical extremism. Upon being elected, it drove out political opponents. There has not been an election since.
The group showed during Operation Protective edge, that it has no qualms with using its own people for political propaganda, gained off the back of this questionable mandate.
It used aid meant for its people to build terror tunnels, then blamed the blockade for its situation. It fires rockets from civilian areas in Gaza, into civilian areas in Israel (a double war crime), and prevents journalists from reporting facts on the ground.
Hamas attempts to infiltrate Israeli territory will, of course, provoke a a response from a democratic state that values life.
In voting yes, It seems only natural to therefore conclude that either they are no longer considered a terrorist organisation (despite their charter still being in place), or that the new Palestine Unity Government will be in part considered as having terrorists within it. This would a terrible start.
It makes no sense to offer legitimacy to a group you consider a terrorist organisation.
It makes no sense to recognise Palestine ‘alongside Israel’, when the Unity Government of Palestine contains a group which rejects Israel’s existence, and wants to kill Jews.
In Parliament, MPs cam add motions to ensure rhetoric is in line with a two state solution, but it is impossible to pursue a two state solution when one protagonists reject it (Hamas).
Hamas wants a one state solution, with no Jews.
Whereas in Cairo, on Sunday 12 October, $5.4bn (£3.4bn) billion was pledged to rebuild Gaza by the International community, the UK Government votes and talks.
The International community recognises that the key to solving this crisis in Gaza is to create stability and help the people, not reward Hamas for provoking a conflict with legitimacy.