Britain now nerve centre for Hamas support

By Martin Bright, February 25, 2010
A member of the Islamic Action Front at an anti-Israel rally in Amman last year. The words on the bandana read: “We are all Hamas”

A member of the Islamic Action Front at an anti-Israel rally in Amman last year. The words on the bandana read: “We are all Hamas”

The full extent of the Hamas political and propaganda operation in Britain has been revealed in a shocking new report into the Palestinian terror organisation's supporters in this country.

According to the Israel-based Intelligence and Terrorism Information Centre, Britain has become a hub for Hamas activities in Europe, including virulently antisemitic propaganda aimed at children.

The report identifies Britain as a vital strategic centre for the terror group and names key Hamas activists in this country.

Many of them cannot be named for legal reasons.

Britain as a Focus for Hamas's Political Propaganda and Legal Activities in Europe warns that this country's tradition of toleration has allowed supporters of the Palestinian terrorist organisation to develop a sophisticated activist and media operation.

The report also accuses Hamas of involvement in the legal moves to arrest Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni as a war criminal.

As a centre of the Arabic-language media, the UK has acted as the perfect base for spreading the Hamas message worldwide, according to the think-tank researchers.

An on-line children's magazine, published in Britain, alleged by the report to be affiliated to Hamas, carried a picture of a Palestinian child in military uniform with the words: "Tell how the Jews deceived our Prophet Muhammad… The Jew cannot be trusted, no matter how he tries to present himself as innocent and pure."

Louise Ellman MP, chair of the Jewish Labour Movement, said she had raised her concerns about the website with the Home Secretary earlier this year.

In response, Police Minister David Hanson said that the government was currently assessing whether to include the website on a list of sites to be blocked from school and college networks.

Mrs Ellman said: "It's deeply disturbing that there are people and organisations promoting hatred on the internet and university campuses, and this demands intervention.

"I am particularly concerned about front organisations that attract people who have a genuine belief in the Palestinian cause."

Labour MP Denis MacShane said: "It shows that Hamas is spreading its Jew-hate propahanda in Britain as well as the Middle East. Politicians and editors would raise a storm of protest if the BNP or neo-Nazi groups produced and disseminated such overtly antisemitic material but Hamas is not challenged.

"It is a further example of how parts of the British establishment - Whitehall,, intellectuals and editors - have become desensitised to anti-Jewish politics and propaganda. It is particularly distrubing that children are being targetted and groomed into anti-Jewish hate by Hamas and other Muslim Brotherhood offshoots in Britain."

According to the report, another Hamas magazine, also published in Britain, "spreads hate propaganda against Israel and encourages terrorism and terrorists". The most recent edition included a celebration of Hassan Muhammad Harb, killed by the IDF, who "participated in many jihad missions of firing shells and Grad missiles at the Zionist settlements".

A London-based satellite television channel is accused in the report of supporting the firing of Kassam rockets into Israeli territory.

The researchers also say that prominent Palestinians from the Muslim Association of Britain such as Dr Azzam Tamimi, are supporters of Hamas. Dr Tamimi last month told an audience at London University's School of Oriental and African Studies: "If fighting for your homeland is terrorism, I take pride in being a terrorist." He added that "Israel does not belong to my homeland and must come to an end".

The report quotes Dia'a al-Din Madhoun, head of the Hamas documentation committee (al-Tawthiq), who said his organisation had initiated the action against Ms Livni in Britain and was providing lawyers in this country with evidence of Israeli abuses.

Other important Hamas activities in Britain included "transferring money to Hamas' social infrastructure" and providing money and material support for aid convoys to Gaza.

The Intelligence and Terrorism Information Centre was set up in 2001 by former IDF colonel Dr Reuven Erlich.

The centre's deputy director, Yoram Kahato, said: "The guilty conscience of post-colonial Britain is partly to blame. Britain has been traditionally very pluralistic. People were not aware that Hamas supporters would take advantage of the situation."

The Community Security Trust told the JC: "The bigger picture is that the impact of Hamas-leaning people and organisations have had a radicalising influence on anti-Israel activism. We can see this in the slogans and placards on demonstrations, some of which have ended in violence."

Last updated: 12:44pm, February 26 2010