I find the current situation deeply sorrowful, harrowing. There is one aspect of it that I think needs clarification, a clarification that will help thinking about the situation as a whole, and that is the analogies between Hitler, the Nazis and Hamas.
So, as the author of Explaining Hitler, having spent some time studying the subject, I thought I would point out a few differences.
–The Hamas founding covenant explicitly calls for the extermination of all Jews. Hitler never made total extermination an official plank of the the Nazi party platform. (see Holocaust scholar Omer Bartov’s article in the February 2, 2004 issue of The New Republic. He points to the extermiationist 7th article of the founding Hamas covenanat which cites the Hadith (saying of the prophet). Here is a translation of the Hadith in a deeply disturbing summary of Hamas’ exterminationist anti-semitism by the Brown University scholar Andrew Bostom:
“The Prophet, Allah’s prayer and peace be upon him, says: “The hour of judgment shall not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them, so that the Jews hide behind trees and stones, and each tree and stone will say: ‘Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him,’ except for the Gharqad tree, for it is the tree of the Jews.” (Sahih Muslim, Book 41, Number 6985)
In other words, Hamas is not committed merely to the political goal of expelling Jews from the land of Israel but to what they believe is a sacred religious goal of exterminating all Jews everywhere behind every tree in creation. (I’m not pinning any hopes on “the Gharqad tree”). I’d suggest those who deceive themselves into believing Hamas is just another Palestinian rights group, maybe a little on the extreme side, read the whole Bostom article. The exterminationist anti-semitism of Hamas is more excessive than Hitler’s.
So that’s one difference.
–Hitler made efforts to conceal the purpose of the death camps and distanced himself from them, avoided written as opposed to oral orders for the Final Solution. Not because he felt any shame about them, but because he felt knowledge of the death camps might be counter-productive to the Nazis political goals. Hamas makes no effort to conceal the fact that it wants to kill Jewish civilians, not just combatants, but women and children–all Jews (it’s in the charter, remember)—because Hamas feels this will make them more popular.