In November 2021, the United Kingdom took the long overdue step of recognizing the entirety of the Palestinian Arab group HAMAS to be a terrorist organization. In making the decision to mark the ‘political wing’ as no different than its ‘military wing,’ British Home Secretary Priti Patel said “Hamas is fundamentally and rabidly antisemitic” and that the group has “significant terrorist capability, including access to extensive and sophisticated weaponry, as well as terrorist training facilities.“
This has long been plain to see for anyone who read the group’s foundational charter which includes such noxious declarations as “Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious” and “In face of the Jews’ usurpation of Palestine, it is compulsory that the banner of Jihad be raised“, “Israel, Judaism and Jews challenge Islam and the Moslem people,” and “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it.”
The immediate ramification of the British action is to make it illegal to be a member of Hamas or to express support for the group, including by flying its flag or wearing a T-shirt to that end. The maximum penalty would be 14 years in prison.
But the impact should have much greater consequences.
By recognizing that the entirety of Hamas is a rabidly antisemitic terrorist group, it marks the Gaza Strip, which is administered by Hamas, as a terrorist enclave. It is a new term that needs to be properly institutionalized as an expansion of established governmental terms like Foreign Terrorist Organizations, State Sponsors of Terrorism and Terrorist Safe Havens.