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January 23 2022 7:30 PM ˚
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Is Hamas terrorist?

Jawad Anani
Jawad Anani is an economist and has held several ministerial posts, including former deputy prime minister and former chief of the Royal Court.Jawad Anani is an economist and has held several ministerial posts, including former deputy prime minister and former chief of the Royal Court.
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The recent decision by the UK's Cabinet to declare Hamas as terrorist group is an act of hypocrisy and a reflection of the UK’s diminishing role in the Middle East. Should this decision pass the parliamentary debate and be approved, we would witness a classic act of cynicism. اضافة اعلان

While attending the well-organized debate staged by the Emirates Policy Center in Abu Dhabi two weeks ago, I asked the audience, which included about 10 Israelis and Israeli Americans, whether they knew of any Israeli politician who would sign a final peace agreement with the Palestinians if Hamas were excluded.

No one said yes.

Gaza withstood serious Israeli hostilitiesfour times over the last 14 years. Every time it caused havoc and maximum destruction to human lives and properties. After every war, the Palestinians of Gaza, tested to the utmost limits of human endurance, managed to rebuild and sustain one of the worst economic blockades, all the while showing resilience and innovative spirit.


A woman holds up two fingers showing the "victory gesture" during a rally for Palestinian factions against the UK’s possible designation of Hamas as a terror group, in Gaza City on November 23, 2021. (Photo: AFP)

When you live under such circumstances, you develop a different perspective of life. A Gazan does not view the world as a normal, easygoing place. For him, life is a constant struggle to adapt to the continuous emergency situations.
Under vintage Athenian democracy, which would one choose as a leader: a dovish peace seeker or someone with the true grit to see his kites and self-made rockets threaten the population of Israel and push it to seek refuge in their shelters?

According to John Stewart Mill, people usually show a great energy and zeal to reconstruct after wars.
The Gazans, who managed to create a whole economic system made up of transactions executed in underground tunnels, have respect for and yearn a peaceful life.

They certainly deserve to live and be freed to rebuild their port and airport. They should be given back their territorial waters to fish, sail and travel the Mediterranean to the rest of the world.

Until 1948, Gaza was a thriving city. Its people are hard-working and highly educated. Their entrepreneurial skills are attested to by their close-to-miracle successes in the diaspora.

Gaza is now the biggest refugee camp in the world with the highest population density. Over two million Gazans live on about 360 square kilometers only.             
The UK is guilty of the Balfour Declaration. Its colonial policies under the Mandate were responsible for the catastrophe that befell the Palestinians.

The UK is very much responsible for the emotional, social and economic stress which the Gazans endure every day. Instead of repenting and working to improve the situation and pressure the Israeli government to let go of a city they fail to conquer, the UK, with this new decision, adds petrol to the fire already ablaze.

The British government decision comes after the Israeli defense minister declared six the Palestinian civil society organizations illegal and ordered their closure. But why now?

Shakespeare’s quotations from “Much Ado about Nothing” – “Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps” and “Thou and I, are too wise to woo peaceably” – might give a hint.

My prayer is that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson withdraws the proposal to declare Hamas a terrorist organization, or that the House of Commons turns it down.

I trust the collective wisdom of the British people to take the appropriate course of action.   


Jawad Anani is an economist and has held several ministerial posts, including former deputy prime minister and former chief of the Royal Court.Jawad Anani is an economist and has held several ministerial posts, including former deputy prime minister and former chief of the Royal Court.

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