Same old Hamas

By: Gilead Sher

In recent weeks, the Arab media have been releasing reports in dribs and drabs about an impending dramatic publication of the amended Hamas Charter.Those expecting Hamas to recognize the State of Israel or waive the right of return for Palestinians will likely be disappointed: They won’t find it here. The softened language and the ideological invigoration are for internal political purposes in the Palestinian arena, for foreign policy purposes vis-à-vis the Arab world, and for gaining international political legitimization.

There are two major changes in the charter. The first is an acceptance of the establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, based on the 1967 borders, and the second is severing ties with the Muslim Brotherhood movement. These two changes, however, come with a demand to cancel the Balfour Declaration, the Partition Plan and the Oslo Agreements, and statements about a holy war to fully liberate historic Palestine, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, from north to south. The “Zionist entity” is illegitimate, Palestine is to be a Muslim Arab state (“a blessed and holy land”), while the colonialism that followed the creation of the Zionist movement due to anti-Semitism “must disappear from Palestine.”

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