Is Hamas Going Non-Violent?

The entire U.N. Security Council, representing 14 countries, voted to condemn Israeli settlement expansion as criminal only to have the resolution vetoed by the U.S.. Those 14 members united yesterday to criticize the U.S. position as one that prolongs the stagnated peace process and extends the subjugation of the Palestinian people. The press release at the U.N. described the status quo of the last month:

The past month witnessed a series of developments that are cause for “continued serious concern,” he said, noting the announcement of several new settlement constructions, the demolition of 57 Palestinian structures in the West Bank, an increase in settler violence, and over 300 Israeli military operations in the West Bank.

Gaza and southern Israel again witnessed “a dangerous deterioration” in the security situation, he added. During the reporting period, 45 projectiles were fired from Gaza into Israel, while the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) conducted nine incursions and 13 air strikes.

The condensed summation illustrates the obvious asymmetry of the conflict that has always been apparent. But according to some recent reports, it may become even more so. Bilal Y. Saab at the National Interest:

Jane’s, an internationally respected British security and defense risk-analysis firm, has recently reported that Hamas, the Palestinian militant group, is on “the brink of renouncing armed resistance and moving to a policy of nonviolent resistance to Israel.” Jane’s, with which I have been a monthly writer to three of its publications since 2007, has several hard-to-ignore quotes in its report of Hamas leaders saying that the move was not “tactical” but “strategic.” Also interviewed are Palestinian Authority intelligence officers who said that Hamas’s strategy was “gradual and nuanced,” with one senior officer telling Jane’s that Hamas “intends to keep its military and security units to control the situation in Gaza, not necessarily to fight the Israelis.” The interviewees’ names were not mentioned for obvious security reasons.

The article goes on to explain that “the springboard for this new strategic approach by Hamas is the Arab uprising,” and that Egypt, Qatar and Turkey played a key role in convincing Hamas to reconcile with Fatah and replace armed resistance with nonviolent resistance. “Hamas leader Khaled Meshal,” Saab writes, “in a meeting on November 24 in Cairo with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, accepted ‘in writing with a signature’ the need to embrace peaceful activism.”

Hamas has not yet gone public with this new approach, but if it does (and that does remain an ‘if’) Saab says it would be “a major boost for the Palestinian cause.” I’m inclined to agree. If there were an explicitly nonviolent united Palestinian front it would put increased pressure on Israel’s American enablers to stop supporting the ruthless subjugation of Palestinians. Then again, the ability of the U.S.-Israeli establishment to inflate threats and indoctrinate people away from peace has discredited such optimism before.

81 thoughts on “Is Hamas Going Non-Violent?”

  1. Yes, Hamas may go 'nonviolent'. Obviously that is why they have stockpiled well over 20,000 missles in Gaza, which together with tens of thousands of missles in the hands of Hizbollah, would be a viable demonstration of their new 'non-violent' intentions toward the 'zionist entitiy.' Indeed.

    1. Right Darren,

      So 20,000 rockets is evidence of violent intent, but 200 nukes, 500 F16s, 5000 tanks and 4 nuclear armed submarines proves Israel is non violent?

      Got it.

    2. There's a huge difference between 'non-violent resistance' and providing for defense of the realm should one be attacked. Given Israel's 'shoot first and deny everything afterwards' approach to foreign policy, I am all for Gaza- and the West Bank- arming itself to the teeth for self-defense purposes.

      Do you think the US will adopt a unilateral policy of world-wide non-violence? Do you think that, based on your logic, the US will completely destroy its stockpile of nuclear and conventional weapons and reduce its military to a border security force? If the answer to either of these question is 'no', you have no credentials to speak against the Gazans or anyone else in the world providing for their defense.

  2. Yes, , Israel did nurture Hamas in folly as a counterbalance to Arafat's murderrous PLO.

    Shinto, your analogy is false. Israel's weapons are the right of any democratic sovereing nation with a recent history of extermination against them, especially considering that virtually all their neighbors are run by either brutal dictators who slaughter their own people by the the thousands (Assad) or corrupt military juntas (Egypt) or fanatical theocrats (Iran). Hamas are hospital and orphan shelter builders who happen to specialize in torching Israeli buses and blowing up Sbarro pizza parlors. Such brave, Muslim heroes, those Hamas 'fighters'. Like sword dueling against soft butter.

    Hamas's rockets are there for the express purpose of riddling civilian school buses and apartment buildings in Tel Aviv with bloodshed. If you think they even make a feeble attempt to target any kind of military target, you're dreaming.But I don't expect to convince anybody here… tolerance for differing viewpoints only exists towards Muslims, not towards Jews or Christians.

    1. If Israel's nuclear stockpile is legitimate, why won't Israel sign on to nuclear accountability and inspection protocols adopted by other civilized nations? In this respect, Iran has more credibility than Israel has had for a half-century.

      As for tolerance, I believe I speak for many- if not the majority- of regular commentators here in saying that we would condemn unwarranted violence committed by anyone, Muslim, Christian, or Jew or Hindu or what have you. If you read our posts with any frequency you'd find many forceful denouncements of the violence that plagues the world- it's not our fault that much of it is precipitated by Israel and it's US lackeys.

  3. Darren,__I agree with you. We need to rid this world of Hamas. Let's start by getting rid of zionism. Let the holy land be the inclusive land of both Palestinian (Muslim and Christian) and Jews and not just Jews alone. Let us return the 85% of Gazans who used to live in what is now Southern Israel back to their ancestorial lands that they were ethnically cleansed from in 1948 by European jews who first converted to Judaisism in the 9th century and have no connection to the holy land. Let us return the 500 Palestinian villages which were wiped off the map when Israel was created.

    1. Yes the Irgun and Stern Gang were very peaceful, calm outfits. I hear they loved to send flowers to British troops in appreciation for their efforts in Palestine.

  4. Darren,

    Let us also not forget who introduced terrorism to the holy land. It was the early zionists who used to leave bombs in the Arab souks in the 30s and 40s that terrorized Palestinian civilians. The most heinous and bloody terrorist attacks that the holy land has ever witnessed was the bombing of the King David Hotel and the Deir Yassin massacre where 94 and over 200 Arab and Jewish civilians were killed. As you probably already know, these brutal attacks were committed by the Irgun and Stern gangs, led by two former Israeli Prime Ministers Yitzak Shamir and Menehim Begin.__Tolerance does not have a religion or ethnicity and nobody who proclaims to be tolerant can tolerate what Israel is doing in the name of Judaism to Palestinian people (Muslim and Christian).

  5. Why would HAMAS need to be violent when Israel is perfectly capable of shooting itself in the foot? Pretty soon the only people that will support Israel will be hopelessly mislead Jews and fascist Rabbis.

  6. Of course, there's a shill to jump right in and keep spreading the propaganda about those "Palestinian missiles." What a joke. They are hardly more than fireworks or model rockets. Palestine has shot 50,000 of them over the years and only killed 25 people. Israelis shoot more pregnant women and children than that at checkpoints in a just few month's time.

  7. To some extenet, Darren Brown's views demonstrate the flaw in the articles thinking. It suggests that being "non-violent" somehow gives Hamas more legitimacy. It ignores the fact that Israel at its very inception was created through violence, ethnic cleansing and appropriating land and resources through force. This is the same way Europeans came to build the modern nations in the Americas, the US included. If the Palestinians had been but pacifists frm the very beginning, the sort of Americans that support Israel would still say that such weak, cowardly people had no right to that land anyway. A common thread amongst Europeans is that "might makes right" and that territory captured through force of arms is rightful spoils of war.

    1. The problem with the Europeans and Americans, Raashid, is that it is "right makes might" that actually works in this world, which is exactly why the Americans can´t win wars against the poorest nations of the world.

  8. @ Darren, non violence doesn’t mean one should make himself defenseless in the face of enemy aggression. Second if Israel has the right to hoard 200 Nukes then why is Israel threatening Iran for wanting to exercise just this very right. After all Iran is facing a very real threat of attack bei two nuclear armed warthirsty nations America and Israel.

  9. it will be an interest to know that many of Hamas leaders have been trained , talked to, attended many conferences on Nonviolence, any one cam make a choice to use violence or nonviolence if Hamas want to use Nonviolence is good for them. If people can get their freedom, aspiration and dignity through nonviolence it make their future better and less violence.
    Mubarak Awad
    Nonviolence International, DC, USA

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