Professor Monica Marks of NYU Abu Dhabi wants you to know that Hamas is not like ISIS. Hamas, Professor Marks tells us, is a specifically Palestinian nationalist movement, while ISIS is a “transnational pan-Islamist movement.” ISIS, Marks tells us, also has more tendency towards religious fundamentalism than Hamas. And apparently TIME Magazine wants you know this, too, as they printed her gaslighting article, entitled “What the World Gets Wrong About Hamas,” on October 30.
Surely, the teenage girls and young women who were raped before being killed, the men who were beheaded, and the children and elderly people burned alive in their own homes might not really care about this distinction. The salient characteristic of both Hamas and ISIS is a barbaric evil that must be eliminated at any cost.
The finer points of the specific goals of each group – if one wants a Palestinian state from the river to the sea, and the other wants a “universal umma” – pale in comparison to the common trait of brutal savagery. Israelis make the comparison to ISIS so that people around the world can understand why Israel must simply destroy Hamas, just as we destroyed ISIS, not that long ago.
While opinion pieces certainly have leeway for one-sided presentations of facts (such as when Marks takes Hamas-reported casualty figures at face value), Marks’s attempt to deflect her audience’s attention off of the atrocities that were committed by Hamas on October 7 and on to the distinction between the two jihadist groups’ ideological aims is manipulative and dishonest.
And she makes clear her motive for doing so: her concern is that the comparison “could also help win over U.S. leaders and public opinion.” Marks has made this absurd argument in an attempt to undermine public support for Israel’s war with Hamas.
The same is true of her claim in the concluding paragraph that “ensuring that Palestinians get the freedom, dignity, and self-determination they have demanded for over 75 years would be the most effective way to ensure Israel’s long-term security.” In 2005, after Israel withdrew every soldier and civilian, the people of Gaza had freedom, dignity, and self-determination. The war that we see today is a direct result of their decision, in 2006, using that self-determination, to elect Hamas to power.
As CAMERA recently noted, moreover, just a few days prior to running Marks’s “Ideas” piece, TIME printed a news article that promoted the confounding and untrue claim that the cause of the explosion at Gaza’s Al Ahli hospital on October 17 remains unclear. Both of these pieces are attempts to paper over Hamas’s crimes.