The head of an influential think tank who has hosted government ministers has spoken of his “pride” in the Hamas
terror group and hailed its war on Israel as “the dictionary definition of epic”, the JC can reveal.
Mahmoun Fandy, the founder of the London Global Strategy Institute — which saw Middle East Minister Lord Tariq
Ahmad and Tory MP Nigel Evans attend its annual dinner last June — has made a string of incendiary comments about
Hamas since the October 7 atrocities.
In November, Fandy asked: “Why do I take pride in Hamas’ resistance during this difficult period?” Answering
his own question, he wrote: “Hamas is similar to us at a time when there are many who bring us shame. You see, the
Al-Qassam fighter has fathers and his pride is similar to our people among whom we grew up.”
This month, he wrote that Hamas was “the first line of defence for your national security against an expansionist settlement occupation project”.
Discussing the IDF’s campaign following October 7, he claimed: “They went beyond talking about epics, but the dictionary definition of epic is exactly what the resistance is doing in Gaza.”
In 2017, Fandy’s think tank, LGSI, held a five-hour workshop and dinner on President Donald Trump’s attitude towards the Middle East attended by Tobias Ellwood, then a junior government minister.
Ellwood would go on to become the chair of the defence select committee until he was forced to resign earlier this year after he visited Afghanistan and praised the Taliban. He had said that following the Taliban’s seizure of power, security had “vastly improved”, corruption had decreased and the streets of Kabul felt “relatively safe”.
LGSI events have also been attended by the ambassadors of Palestine, Jordan and Egypt to the UK, as well as representatives of Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
Fandy, an Egyptian-American academic, also asked in November: “I am preoccupied these days, despite the tragedy, with a personal question, the basis of which is why I stand today with the Islamic resistance movement Hamas against the occupation, despite its conservative religious orientation, which is far from my personal intellectual structure, and do I stand with the resistance in general or with what is Islamic in it, and is this a kind of apostasy from secularism and rationalism, which represented a vision or glasses through which I saw the world?”.
Fandy, who was born in Egypt, founded the LGSI in 2012.
The think tank, which has its Its headquarters in London, researches foreign policy, provides strategic advice and hosts public conferences.
An FCDO spokesperson said: “We condemn Hamas’s 7 October acts of terror and support Israel’s right to defend itself
consistent with International Humanitarian Law.
"Leaving Hamas in power in Gaza is a roadblock to any long-term political solution which delivers security for both Israelis
Nigel Evans said he “detests Hamas” and is a member of the Conservative Friends of Israel. Tobias Ellwood told
the JC that he believes Hamas should be “eradicated,” and said: “Anyone who praises Hamas after 7 October is clearly
holding contrasting view to myself and I distance myself from them.”
Fandy, Lord Ahmad and LGSI were contacted for comment.