Apocalypse wish: Words as weapons of mass destruction

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On Aug. 10, the deputy speaker of the Palestinian parliament in Gaza, Ahmad Bahr, shouted: “Oh Allah, destroy the Jews and their supporters. Oh Allah, destroy the Americans and their supporters. Oh Allah, count them one by one, and kill them all, without leaving a single one.”

Ahmad Bahr

Yussuf al-Sharafi, a Hamas member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, echoed, “Allah, take the Jews and their allies, Allah, take the Americans and their allies annihilate them completely and do not leave any one of them.”

It’s hard to take these words as anything but an incitement to genocide, plain and simple.

What makes this incitement particularly dangerous is that it is broadcast live on Hamas TV throughout Gaza.

Rwandan radio broadcasts once set the stage for the genocide that killed 800,000 people in 100 days. Today, senior Hamas leaders are using even more powerful technologies, including social media, to incite violence and extremism against their neighbors and their own citizens.

Inexcusably, this outrage has been largely ignored by the United Nations and many in the human rights community. It should be among the top priorities. …

Witness Hamas’ cultural repression. In May, Hamas closed down a literary festival because it was deemed too critical. In January, it banned “Palestinian Idol” for being too secular. Last October, Hamas dispersed a hip hop party and confiscated recordings of the event.

In the summer of 2011, it banned a Palestinian film that showed positive interactions between Israelis and unveiled women. In 2010, Hamas shuttered a youth center because it taught music and dancing.

Instead of welcoming independent thought, Hamas has filled Gaza’s airwaves, summer camps, and schools with the most incendiary rhetoric imaginable. Children are taught a mix of unremitting hatred and wild conspiracy. …

The deputy speaker of the Hamas parliament, Ahmad Bahr, explicates a hadith by saying, “When a man is having sex with his wife, he should be praying for a son who would wage jihad for the sake of Allah.” Of Americans and Israelis, he adds, “They are cowards, who are eager for life, while we are eager for death for the sake of Allah.”

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