A Hamas spiritual leader on Monday called teaching Palestinian children about the Nazi murder of 6 million Jews a “war crime,” rejecting a suggestion that the U.N. might include the Holocaust in Gaza’s school curriculum. A senior Israeli official said such statements should make the West think twice about ending its boycott of Hamas, in place since the group seized Gaza by force in 2007. Israeli officials called the comments as “obscene” and said they place Hamas in a pariah club of Holocaust deniers that includes Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Hamas spiritual leader Younis al-Astal lashed out after hearing that the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, the main U.N. body aiding Palestinian refugees, planned to introduce lessons about the Holocaust to Gaza students. Adding the Holocaust to the curriculum would amount to “marketing a lie and spreading it,” al-Astal wrote in a statement. “I do not exaggerate when I say this issue is a war crime, because of how it serves the Zionist colonizers and deals with their hypocrisy and lies,” he wrote. A U.N. official said no decision has been made about introducing Holocaust education in Gaza….Three teachers at U.N. schools said that according to the new program, basic information about the Holocaust was expected to be taught to eighth grade students as part of human rights classes….Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri also objected to including what he referred to as the “so-called Holocaust” in the lesson plan. “We think it’s more important to teach Palestinians the crimes of the Israeli occupation,” he said. Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev said countries contemplating ending their boycott of Hamas must “seriously reconsider” after the Hamas statements, which he described as “obscene.”
In April 2008, Yunis Al-Astal told worshipers that Rome, “the capital of the Catholics, or the Crusader capital,” would soon be conquered by Islam, just as Constantinople was. It then, he said, would become “an advanced post for the Islamic conquests, which will spread through Europe in its entirety, and then will turn to the two Americas, and even Eastern Europe.” The following are excerpts from that sermon according to a MEMRI translation:
- Yunis Al-Astal: “Allah has chosen you for Himself and for His religion, so that you will serve as the engine pulling this nation to the phase of succession, security, and consolidation of power, and even to conquests thorough da’wa and military conquests of the capitals of the entire world.
- “Very soon, Allah willing, Rome will be conquered, just like Constantinople was, as was prophesized by our Prophet Muhammad.
- “Today, Rome is the capital of the Catholics, or the Crusader capital, which has declared its hostility to Islam, and has planted the brothers of apes and pigs in Palestine in order to prevent the reawakening of Islam. This capital of theirs will be an advanced post for the Islamic conquests, which will spread through Europe in its entirety, and then will turn to the two Americas, and even Eastern Europe.
- “I believe that our children, or our grandchildren, will inherit our jihad and our sacrifices, and, Allah willing, the commanders of the conquest will come from among them.
- “Today, we instill these good tidings in their souls – and by means of the mosques and the Koran books, and the history of our Prophets, his companions, and the great leaders, we prepare them for the mission of saving humanity from the hellfire at whose brink they stand.”
The Hamas charter states that it is ” is one of the wings of the Muslim Brothers in Palestine” and an Israeli TV station has reported that Muslim Brotherhood “representatives” have traveled to Gaza from Egypt through the open border to meet with Hamas. An early media report indicated that shortly after Hamas took over the Gaza strip, Muslim Brotherhood representatives were present to review Hamas military formations. Last June, a Hamas journalist acknowledged the role that the “international Muslim Brotherhood” has played in providing funds for the purchase of weapons. Hamas is supported financially and politically by the global Muslim Brotherhood and a NEFA Foundation report has documented the Hamas fund-raising activities of the Union of Good, a coalition of Islamic charities linked to the Brotherhood that provides financial support to both the Hamas “social” infrastructure, as well as its terrorist activities. Previous posts have also discussed the worldwide campaign orchestrated by the global Brotherhood against Israeli actions in Gaza during the recent conflict. An earlier post reported a statement by the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood claiming that Hamas was “an independent entity”