German and Danish police have uncovered a Hamas terrorist plot to attack Jewish targets in Europe. This is potentially yet more evidence, if any were needed, that Hamas’s overriding objective is the slaughter of Jewish people, not the ‘liberation’ of Gaza.

Last week, German authorities arrested four suspects linked to Hamas, three in Berlin and one in the Netherlands. One of the four, Abdelhamid Al A, is alleged to have been in the process of transporting weapons from an undisclosed location in Europe to Berlin. From there, they are alleged to have been planning to attack Jewish institutions.

At the same time as the German police were moving in on the four terror suspects, the Danish police were also busy arresting three more on suspicion of plotting to carry out ‘an act of terror’. The Danish authorities said there is no direct connection between their counter-terror operation and Germany’s. Israeli intelligence services, however, have linked the two sets of arrests.

Hamas has predictably denied that it has any connection with those arrested. Such denials would be easier to take seriously if Hamas hadn’t explicitly called on its supporters to commit acts of violence in America, Britain and other countries that support Israel in the days after the 7 October attack. More damning still, German prosecutors stated last week that the four arrested in Germany and the Netherlands are long-standing members of Hamas and have close links to the leadership.

None of this should come as a surprise. After all, Hamas leaders have publicly and repeatedly stated that killing Jews is their goal. They have only denied this when it has been expedient to do so.

Hamas’s 7 October pogrom in southern Israel, which killed over 1,200 people, was completely in line with its murderous, anti-Semitic intentions. Although some non-Jewish Israelis and foreign nationals were caught up in the orgy of killing, Jews were always Hamas’s primary target.

Indeed, Hamas was founded on anti-Semitic bloodlust. Its founding charter of 1988 favourably quotes a saying it attributes to the Prophet Muhammad: ‘The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslims, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.’

It is true that in May 2017 Hamas issued a new policy document that eschewed overtly anti-Semitic rhetoric. It even went so far as to say that ‘Hamas does not wage a struggle against the Jews because they are Jewish, but wages a struggle against the Zionists who occupy Palestine’. However, all Hamas is really doing when it makes such statements is using ‘Zionist’ as a codeword for Jew. The same ruse is sometimes used by Western leftists to disguise their own anti-Semitism.

Moreover, although Hamas has issued more acceptable-sounding policy documents since its founding charter of 1988, it has never rescinded that original covenant. For instance, Khaled Meshal, an ex-head of Hamas, told Der Spiegel in 2017 that: ‘We are not talking about the replacement of the [founding] charter. The charter was a historical document dating back to the origins of Hamas.’

Although Hamas’s main target is Jewish people, it has also assassinated many of its political opponents. Back in 2007, after it won the most seats in Gaza’s only democratic election, it brutally purged its nationalist rivals, including Fatah, the largest faction in the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO).

There should be little doubt that Hamas, like Islamism in general, is an anti-Semitic, totalitarian movement. It brooks no opposition to its rule, curtails women’s rights, criminalises homosexuality and persecutes Christians. And it deems those standing in its way to be fit for slaughter.

Yet, despite all this, too many in the West seem intent on presenting Israel and Hamas as morally equivalent. Some even seem to think that Israel, a democratic state at war with a terrorist group, is in fact the greater evil. This is a morally perverse perspective.

As the exposure of this terror plot in Europe surely shows, Hamas is a cruel, bloodthirsty movement. It is fuelled, above all, by a hatred of Jews. To take its side against Israel, is to take the side of barbarism.

The aftermath of the 7 October Hamas pogrom in Israel has made the rethinking of anti-Semitism a more urgent task than ever. Both the extent and character of anti-Semitism is changing. Tragically the open expression of anti-Semitic views is once again becoming respectable. It has also become clearer than ever that anti-Semitism is no longer largely confined to the far right. Woke anti-Semitism and Islamism have also become significant forces.

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