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Hamas leader responds to accusations of Antisemitism: We’re not against Jews, we’re against Zionists, “who [are] occupying our lands”

Al-Jazeera TV (Arabic)  |
Al-Jazeera English program UpFront, interview with senior Hamas leader Osama Hamdan

Reporter Mehdi Hasan: “You and many other Hamas officials often say that you’re in conflict with the Israelis, and it’s a political conflict, that you’re opposed to Zionism, not Judaism. You often say it’s not a religious war, you’re not Antisemitic, you’re not against Jews. And yet the Hamas charter is filled with Antisemitic references to Jews being behind Communism, being behind World War I, World War II. It endorses the famous Antisemitic conspiracy, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a global Jewish conspiracy. Aren’t you embarrassed by that kind of language? Why not take it out of the charter, to show good faith, to show that you’re not all Antisemitic?”
Senior Hamas Leader Osama Hamdan: “When we talk about the Jews we are not against their religion, we are not against their beliefs, we are not against them as a people who believes. In fact, we believe in Musa (i.e., Moses), we believe that he was a prophet, like Muhammad, and we believe they are the same. So we are against the one who is occupying our lands. We are against the ones who is occupying our cities, villages.”
Hasan: “So why not say that in your charter, instead of accusing them of being behind all of the problems in the world.”
Hamdan: “Okay, I will answer you about this point, and this is why: We have said clearly, we will have a clear political document, which is supposed to be in the near future, clarifying all those points. And you will find in this document a clear word that we are against the Zionists, against the occupation of our land, and we will resist the occupiers, whoever they were, and we are not against anyone regarding his religion or to his race.”
Hasan: “When will this document be coming out?”
Hamdan: “Very soon.”
Hasan: “And will it blame the Jews for Communism, World War I, and World War II?”
Hamdan: “Ask me after this document is declared.” […]
Hasan: “In this interview, Osama Hamdan, you have seemed to be trying to imply that there are shifts going on in Hamas. It seems like you’re almost hinting about a two-state solution, about a peace process, about changing the Hamas charter. It feels like you want to say more than you can. Let me just finish by trying to get some clarity with you. If I were to say: ‘Look, I interviewed Osama Hamdan. Looks like Hamas now supports a two-state solution.’ Would I be wrong to say that, is that inaccurate?”
Hamdan: “Well, it will be inaccurate, in fact. I want to say clearly, I am not in charge of saying ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ for what you’re concluding of my words. But I am clear. Hamas is clear about everything. We have supported the Palestinian state on the lines of 4th of June, ’67, including the right of return and Jerusalem as the capital for the state-“
Hasan: “But that’s the two-state solution!”
Hamdan: “No, it’s not. Well, you can consider that whatever you want. But this is what we have accepted, nothing more than this, nothing less than this. This is clear. Isn’t it clear?”
Hasan: “Yes it’s clear that you would support a Palestinian state on 1967 lines that would live side-by-side with Israel if Israel left you alone.”
Hamdan: “Well, you have said that. That last point you have added from your side.”
Hasan: “No you said, you said if Israel were to leave us alone, we would accept a truce, negotiations, we would accept a state. You said that at the start of this interview. I’m just trying to clarify before we finish.”
Hamdan: “Okay, okay, okay. This is the point which I want to say now: That means Hamas is talking politics, while everyone is not trying to listen. They have to listen well, they have to understand well, they have to act according to this, not to act according to some stereotype ideas sent to them every day, every time by the Israelis, against the Palestinians, against the resistance, against Hamas.”

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