The Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, expressed its support for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel in a Twitter post last week.
“We salute and support the influential BDS Movement,” the Islamist faction tweeted on its official English-language account.
We salute and support the influential BDS Movement
— Hamas Movement (@HamasInfoEn) July 5, 2017
“For once #Hamas is honest,” Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan tweeted in response. “Terror and #BDS are 2 sides of the same coin. Both aim to destroy Israel. Both spew hate…and both are failing.”
Jonathan Schanzer, senior vice president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, substantially backed up Erdan’s claim while testifying before Congress in April 2016. Schanzer told lawmakers that the leadership of “three organizations that were designated or shut down, or held civilly liable for providing material support for the terrorist organization Hamas … appears to have pivoted to leadership positions within the American BDS campaign.”
At least seven individuals who had worked for the Holy Land Foundation, Islamic Association for Palestine, and KindHearts, all of which had been fined or shut down for providing material support to Hamas, had “gravitated to a new organization called American Muslims for Palestine (AMP),” Schanzer told Congress.
AMP has in recent years become the “leading driver of the BDS campaign,” he added. AMP is also “arguably the most important sponsor and organizer for Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), which is the most visible arm of the BDS campaign in campuses in the United States.”
In addition to these organizational ties, leaders of both Hamas and the BDS campaign have explicitly expressed their desire to eliminate the Jewish state.
While Hamas was reported in March to have drafted a new charter that didn’t call for Israel’s destruction, The New York Times observed at the time that the document “would not recognize Israel, however, nor would it give up future claims to all of what Hamas considers Palestinian lands.” It is unclear whether the document would replace the infamous 1988 Hamas charter, which declared, “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it.”
Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar made this explicit two months later, saying that the Islamist group will continue to engage in “resistance” in order “to liberate the rest of Palestine and the territories of 1948″ with “no negotiations.”
Similarly, various leading BDS activists have previously gone on record opposing the two state solution and affirming that the movement seeks Israel’s destruction. BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti said in 2014 that Palestinians have a right to “resistance by any means, including armed resistance,” while leading activist As’ad Abu Khalil wrote in 2012 that, “Justice and freedom for the Palestinians are incompatible with the existence of the state of Israel.”
[Photo: Abed Rahim Khatib / Flash 90 ]