By participating in an academic boycott of Israel in support of the Palestinians, Stephen Hawking is sending an implied message of support to the Palestinian leadership, which in the Gaza Strip is composed of the terrorist group Hamas. It might be worthwhile for Professor Hawking to learn more about what sort of people he is siding with. First up is a report from Israel National News.
Hamas is lobbying for a stricter enforcement of Islamic law in Gaza – including provisions to cut off the hands of thieves, and execution of individuals who cheat on their spouses. A report in the Al-Hayat daily newspaper said that Hamas expects the new regulations to take effect in the coming months, after introduction of the legislation in the PA parliament.
Existing laws mete out the death penalty to individuals convicted of murder, spying, homosexuality, or selling land to Jews. The new legislation will expand the crimes for which individuals can be executed to include disloyalty to a spouse – having sexual relations outside the context of marriage. Other provisions of the law include chopping off the right hand of a thief (along with at least a seven year jail sentence), and lashes for a large number of “crimes,” including drinking alcoholic beverages and gambling. All the punishments are derived from sharia, Islamic law.
In addition, girls age 15 will be able to decide to marry on their own, without requiring permission from their parents. Individuals age ten and over are considered adults under the new legislation, and are subject to the full force of the law for offenses.
Hamas has a large majority in the PA parliament, with 74 of the 134 parliamentarians belonging to the Islamist party. Many of them belong to the fundamentalist Salafist movement, and they are behind the push for the new laws. While there is opposition in Hamas to the passage of the legislation at this point, it is expected to easily pass. Once it does, the laws will be extant in both Gaza and Palestinian Authority-controlled areas of Judea and Samaria, but it is not clear if they will be enforced there.
A prominent Islamic scholar making a landmark visit to the Gaza Strip declared Thursday that Israel has no right to exist and voiced his support for rocket fire on Israel, giving a boost of legitimacy to the militant Islamist Hamas rulers of the Palestinian territory.
Yusuf al-Qaradawi is the latest of a few high profile figures visit Gaza, boosting the Hamas effort to break its international isolation. The U.S., EU and Israel brand Hamas a terror group, while the rival Fatah, which rules in the West Bank, enjoys Western backing.
Al-Qaradawi issued the strongest anti-Israel declarations of any of the visitors to date.
“This land has never once been a Jewish land. Palestine is for the Arab Islamic nation,” said al-Qaradawi, a Qatar-based cleric made famous by his popular TV show and widely respected in the Muslim world.
“The rockets made in Gaza are more powerful than the (Israeli) occupation’s rockets,” he added.
Hamas seized control of Gaza in 2007 following several days of fighting against the rival Palestinian faction Fatah. Since then, Hamas militants have launched thousands of rockets into Israeli towns. Israel carried out two punishing military offensives, one in the winter of 2008-2009 and another late last year which killed the chief of the Hamas military wing.
Israel pulled out of Gaza in 2005, but imposes a maritime blockade and controls the flow of goods coming from Israel into the territory. Gaza’s Hamas rulers and their backers still refer to Israel as “the occupation,” referring to Israel’s control of the West Bank and reflecting a belief that the presence of a Jewish state in the Middle East is an illegitimate occupation.
The Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority, which governs in the West Bank, condemned al-Qaradawi’s visit, saying his presence is cementing the rift between the two Palestinian factions.
Fatah and Hamas have tried to reconcile their differences in recent years but failed. Western leaders have demanded that a unified Fatah-Hamas government must recognize Israel and agree to enter peace negotiations. Hamas has refused.
How do you make peace with people who will not concede you have a right to exist? Please note that while the Fatah faction is not so openly calling for the destruction of Israel, that is their goal too. The difference between the two factions is that the leadership of Fatah has enough sense to downplay their genocidal ambitions, at least before Western audiences.
wo senior Palestinian Authority officials praised the use of violence against Israel last week.
Senior PA official Sultan Abu Al-Einein expressed his open support for the murderer who killed Evyatar Borovsky, an Israeli who was stabbed to death by Palestinian terrorist Salam Al-Zaghal while he was waiting for a ride.
Abu Al-Einein, who was until recently an advisor holding the rank of minister to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and who was subsequently appointed Head of the Palestinian Council for NGO Affairs by Abbas, honored the murderer:“We salute the heroic fighter, the self-sacrificing Salam Al-Zaghal.”
Abu Al-Einein also praised the murderer and his killing with the words:“He insisted on defending his honor, so he went against the settler and killed him. Blessings to the breast that nursed Salam Al-Zaghal.”
The audience applauded and whistled at this statement.
Another senior PA official, Jibril Rajoub, also praised the use of violence against Israel. During an interview on a Lebanese TV channel, the host referred to “the negotiations game” with Israel, and Rajoub expressed the view that negotiations are held because the Palestinians lack military strength:
“I swear that if we had a nuke, we’d have used it this very morning.”
Jibril Rajoub is the Deputy Secretary of the Fatah Central Committee and Chairman of the PA Olympic Committee. The interview was broadcast on the Lebanese Al-Mayadeen TV channel and also published on Rajoub’s Facebook page on May 2, 2013.
Senior PA officials often state that avoiding violent confrontation or war with Israel is only temporarily, due to the PA’s inability to take on such a conflict. They claim that negotiations with Israel are the right course of action for now, because conditions are not right for violence.
Mahmoud Abbas himself has also said on several occasions that if the Arab nations would begin a war against Israel, “Palestine” would join them.
The following is an excerpt of senior PA official Sultan Abu Al-Einein’s interview, in which he praises a murderer as a “heroic fighter”:“Praise Allah who honored us and designated us to be in Ribat (religious war defending or liberating “Islamic” land) until Judgment Day, until the dawn of freedom and national independence will shine [on us]… On behalf of all those who fell as Martyrs or were wounded, we salute the heroic fighter, the self-sacrificing Salam Al-Zaghal from the Tulkarem District, whose honor and pride would not let him remain silent, consenting to the settlers’ aggression against him in his vehicle. He insisted on defending his honor, so he went against the settler and killed him. Blessings to the breast that nursed Salam Al-Zaghal.”[Palestine Live TV, May 2, 2013]
The following is the translation of senior PA official Jibril Rajoub’s interview, in which he swears that the PA would use nuclear weapons against Israel, if it possessed them:Lebanese TV host: “The American [John Kerry] came to the PA. They are talking about reviving negotiations, about getting back to the table with the Israelis… Will you go back to the negotiations game?”
Jibril Rajoub: “There is no going back to negotiations unless the source of authority is the international resolutions, with a time frame and with the freezing of all unilateral Israeli steps: Jerusalem, the fence, settlements and prisoners.”
Host: “You’ve heard Israel’s refusal.”
Jibril Rajoub: “That doesn’t matter. Listen. We as yet don’t have a nuke, but I swear that if we had a nuke, we’d have used it this very morning.”
- Palestinian leaders tell their own people what they really mean (legalinsurrection.com)
- PA Official: ‘If We Had Nuke, We’d Have Used It This Morning’ (israelnationalnews.com)
- Islamic cleric in Gaza rejects Israel’s existence (stripes.com)
- Stephen Hawking joins academic boycott of Israel in solidarity with Palestinians (rawstory.com)
- New PA Laws: Cutting Off Thieves’ Hands, Lashes for Drinking (iamnotashamedofthegospelofchrist.com)
- Stephen Hawking joins academic boycott of Israel (worldbulletin.net)
- Furore deepens over Stephen Hawking’s Israel boycott (guardian.co.uk)