Yossi Alpher of Americans for Peace Now describes Hamas in a more layered way than the usual U.S. approach - to label it Islamist and terrorist. - gwc
Q. Is Hamas part of the regional and global militant Islamist movement currently led by ISIS/Islamic State and the likes of Boko Haram as Netanyahu argues, or is it a faction of the Palestinian national liberation movement?
A. I would say it is both. As an Islamist movement, it refuses to recognize Israel and repeatedly calls for its destruction. But it does not crucify people or dictate female genital mutilation like ISIS. Nor does it wage its war against Israel outside of Mandatory Palestine, like, say, Hezbollah with its global terrorism. And while it will not talk directly with Israel, it is prepared to enter into mediated agreements (though its record at maintaining them is spotty). It may be thought of as existing on the "moderate" end of the militant Islamist spectrum.
But it is also an authentic Palestinian nationalist movement and, lately, a member once again of a Palestinian Authority unity government. That unity government is now recognized even by many right-wing Israeli coalition members as a potentially useful vehicle for disarming Hamas, opening up Gaza and channeling development aid to the Strip.
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