Hamas senior Mahmoud al-Zahar has recently given a vicious anti-Semitic speech to justify the elimination of Israel and the deportation of Jews from the “entire territory of Palestine”. The speech contains themes reminiscent of those found in Al-Zahar’s anti-Semitic book No Future Between Nations, found on board the Mavi Marmara.

The cover of Dr. Mahmoud al-Zahar’s book: [Jews have] No Future Between Nations. The book’s foreword was written by two Algerian Islamists, one of them the head of the Algeria delegation on board the Mavi Marmara.
The cover of Dr. Mahmoud al-Zahar’s book: [Jews have] No Future Between Nations. The book’s foreword was written by two Algerian Islamists, one of them the head of the Algeria delegation on board the Mavi Marmara.
Overview
  1. Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar gave an anti-Semitic speech shown on November 5 on Hamas’ Al-Aqsa TV (see Appendix I). In his speech, Al-Zahar reiterated the thesis (which was also the subject of his book) that Jews have “no future between nations”. Al-Zahar covered the long history of acts of murder and persecution against Jews and their expulsion from European countries. He claimed that the calamities that befell the Jews stemmed from their various characteristics (murder, theft, betrayal, etc.), presenting it as proof that the elimination of the State of Israel and the expulsion of the Jews from the entire territory of Palestine is a historic necessity dictated by reality.
  2. In Mahmoud al-Zahar’s book, No Future Between Nations (published in Algeria in 2008), he developed the thesis according to which the Jews are a foreign presence rejected by the world’s countries (see Appendix II for details). In the book, Al-Zahar uses verses from the Quran to justify the murder of Jews and as proof that Zionism is doomed to extinction as it has “no future between nations”. Mahmoud al-Zahar’s book was found on board the Mavi Marmara, in all likelihood in the possession of Algerian activists. It was published by an Algerian publishing house and features forewords written by two Islamist activists, one of them Abd al-Razzaq al-Maqri, the head of the Algerian delegation on board the Mavi Marmara (the largest delegation from any Arab country).
Analysis
  1. The vicious anti-Semitic line has always been an outstanding characteristic of Hamas, being an important part of its identity and a tool for propaganda and recruitment among certain populations. It is reflected in numerous statements made by senior Hamas officials and clerics affiliated with the movement,[1] also appearing in the Hamas 1988 charter.[2] The anti-Semitic incitement is aimed to inculcate various targets audiences with hatred against the Jews and provide legitimacy—based on Islam as well as on the history of European countries—for waging a campaign of terrorism to Israel’s destruction and the expulsion of all Jews from it. The terrorist campaign is Hamas’ alternative to the path of negotiations chosen by the Palestinian Authority (which “trades away its homeland”, according to Al-Zahar’s book), a path that Hamas denies.
  2. Mahmoud al-Zahar’s speech is characteristic of an attitude prevailing among modern Arab and Muslim anti-Semitism, turning the victim (the Jew) into a criminal. Arab and Muslim anti-Semites show understanding and even justify the killing, expulsion, and persecution of Jews, accusing them of bringing the persecution upon themselves by their eternally despicable qualities. According to that approach, Jews in whatever society they lived brought upon themselves persecution and hatred in each and every generation, including in modern times, and even the Holocaust was the Jews’ fault.[3]
The distribution of anti-Semitic content by Hamas to Arab and Muslim communities in Western countries
  1. Mahmoud al-Zahar’s anti-Semitic speech was shown on Al-Aqsa TV, the Hamas satellite channel, whose broadcasts are also watched by Arab and Muslim communities outside of the Middle East. It relies on the services of the Egyptian satellite company Nilesat and the inter-Arab satellite company Arabsat, mostly owned by Saudi Arabia (despite Hamas’ problematic relations with Saudi Arabia and Egypt). Through the Arabsat satellite (as well as a European satellite called Atlantic Bird 2), Al-Aqsa TV is distributed to the Middle East, North Africa, and most of Europe (the south and west parts of the continent). This means that Muslim and Arab communities in southern and western Europe are still exposed to vicious anti-Semitic incitement spread by Hamas, one example of which is Mahmoud al-Zahar’s speech (see Appendix III for information on how Al-Aqsa TV bypassed the French ban on its broadcasts).

[1] Another example of anti-Semitic incitement shown on Al-Aqsa TV can be found in the Friday sermon broadcast on October 8. The preacher, a cleric named Wa’el al-Zard, lashed out at the Jews, accusing them of violating the honor of Palestinian women held in Israeli prisons.
[2] The Jews are portrayed in an extremely negative light in the Hamas charter. They are said to have been condemned to humiliation and a life of poverty for provoking the wrath of Allah, turning their backs on the Quran, and killing their prophets. The charter also contains anti-Semitic myths in the spirit of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion (mentioned in Clause 32 of the charter) about the Jewish control over media, education, and cinema. The charter repeats the anti-Semitic myth according to which the Jews were behind most of the world’s revolutions, and demonizes the Jewish people.
[3] For further information, see study dated April 17, 2008: “Contemporary Arab-Muslim anti-Semitism, its Significance and Implications”. Another example of the approach which blames the Jews themselves for the persecutions they endured can be found in Witnesses and Testimonies, a series broadcast on Palestinian TV (controlled by the PA). Muhammad Dawhal, one of the people interviewed for the series in the episodes aired on October 17 and 24, 2010, said as follows: “The Jews were hated in whatever society they lived… the Jews are only interested in all Arab land… or at least the Arab region around Palestine… to control the region with its economic and material potential…