Britain, Hamas and The Terrorism Label

Published November 23rd, 2021 - 05:16 GMT
From the 2014 War on Gaza
From the 2014 War on Gaza (AFP/Getty Images File Photo)

For the British government to label Hamas as a "terrorism organization" is really like the pot calling the kettle black to use a quaint English expression for many historical, political reasons.

I mean really, and with no mincing words, Britain has been the source of the problem all along with its Balfour Declaration in 1917 that "practically" handed Palestine to the Jews. What sheer audacity of its mandatory status to hand a piece of geographical territory it was entrusted with and protect to transfer Palestine into a Jewish Israeli state 30 years later. Then, it talked from a position of strength as an empire, still spanning the world.

To come back more than a 100 years later and declare Hamas as a "terror outfit" surely just adds to sore wounds and gross injustices that Britain once preferred to brush under the carpet. Now with such talk, and at a time when the terrorism designation is becoming a dying breed - as openly acknowledged by the Americans through their nod and wink to the Taliban of Afghanistan - aren't the Brits making it to the alter a bit too late.

The designation already panders to the Israeli narrative - with Naftali Bennett very pleased - but really no one else! The world is now grappling with the new definition of terrorism as set by US president Joe Biden and his Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and may not give too hoots about what the British think.

The new British designation which is yet to be voted on by parliament underlines the close relationship of London with Tel Aviv by simply selling them the high fire-power to beat the Palestinians with not only in Gaza but the West Bank, Jerusalem, the holy places and the so-called "Arab Green Line territories". They, and for everyone to see, have been in the front line of weapons, missiles and tanks.

Whether we like it or not, Hamas is here to stay. It has ruled Gaza since 2007, practically since the time when Israel imposed a blockade on the strip; and it is still governing about two million people under the harshest embargo of circumstances just because Israeli doesn't believe in the Islamic brand of Hamas or more openly, let's be frank here, in granting the Palestinian determination and their just state.

It is up to Israel to come up with solutions rather than just squeeze the living day light out of the Palestinian people and territories for months, years, decades on end whilst trying to get them into the "Israeli line" by bloody wars and deadly conflicts and then sugarcoat coat their actions by blaming terrorists and organisations who dare speak about just rights which Palestinian factions like Hamas, Fatah, Jihad Al Islami, Popular Front for The Liberation of Palestine and the many other organisation are doing.

For Britain to label an organisation that is an effective administration with its apparatuses and bureaucracy in the Gaza Strip - and regardless of our views and of western states like the UK - will be worsening the lot of the Palestinian man-in-the-street languishing in Gaza camps since 1948 and saw nothing but the label of refugees and who stood at the barrel of Israeli guns and missiles in 2009, 2012, 2014 and 2021 .

While many in the Arab world are livid about such designation - especially since much western literature including academics from Harvard who consistently wrote about the positive relations between the Hamas governors and the different communities in Gaza - Britain should look at the overall picture.

Condemning Hamas would be condemning the people in the Gaza Strip whose livelihood is already crippled. It will be stifling badly needed aid at a time when Gaza is in most need of. The Strip is still reeling from under the last Israeli war conducted in May 2021 with enormous damages - $44 million for factories, $22 million to the energy sector not to mention the loss to houses dubbed at 16,88 with 1000 completely destroyed - created through Israeli bombs and missiles.

So hasn't the British government got its priorities wrong, just at a time when it should be helping Gaza Palestinian to get back on their feet rather to indulge in obscure recriminations that is likely to lead to nowhere but to more anguish, disgust and hatred.

Aside from the past "Empire" and "imperialism", where is the sense of British fair play which London has always claimed Britons possess. If the blanket "terror" labelling does go through - the UK in 2001 designated the Izz Aldin Al Qassam Brigades, the military arm of Hamas, as a terrorist organization - then all will be lost in favor of opportunism, political meanderings and more political extremism.

Where has the prevailing view gone about the world looking for pragmatism and practicalities, and you don't get that by attempting to shun an organization that has long been in governance and politics and responsible for a geographical area with high population density and trying to make it under the most difficult of circumstances.  

If the aim is to get rid of Hamas in Gaza this is also mistaken. The Palestinian Authority couldn't do it, nor do they want to now, the Israelis couldn't not do it and not for the lack of 'bloody' trying. So let's get real here and see what does the mother Albion really want!

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