The U.S. Army War College Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) published a monograph last month by Sherifa Zuhur entitled, “Hamas and Israel: Conflicting Strategies of Group-Based Politics,” a fairly bland heading that only hints at its deeply disturbing content. This monograph is more accurately described as an apologia for Hamas, a violent Islamist organization dedicated to jihad and the destruction of the State of Israel. Hamas was first designated by the United States (U.S.) government as a terrorist organization in 1995 by a presidential executive order and then again as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO) in 1997. Hamas has remained on the FTO list ever since. The essay also consistently demonizes Israel and its legitimate defense of national sovereignty under international law.
The U.S. Army War College is an official educational facility of the Department of Defense, and is accredited by the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff. The mission of the Carlisle, Pennsylvania-based War College is to prepare its students for strategic leadership positions in the U.S. military and senior levels of civilian policymaking. American taxpayers fund the War College and its Strategic Studies Institute.
According to the monograph’s forward (written by SSI Director Douglas C. Lovelace, Jr.), “Hamas and Israel” provides “an orientation to HAMAS and its base” that demonstrates how “efforts”¦.to separate HAMAS from its popular support and network of social and charitable organizations”¦have not been effective in destroying the organization, nor in eradicating the will to resist among a fairly large segment of the Palestinian population.” The pronounced bias in support of Hamas and against the State of Israel that suffuses this monograph shows in the absence of any explanation for why Hamas would continue to be engaged in resistance of any sort through the end of 2008, much less incessant rocket attacks aimed at Israeli civilian population centers, more than three years after Israel withdrew completely from Gaza. Instead, key recommendations include the need for “Israel and the United States”¦to abandon their policies of non-negotiation and non-communication with HAMAS.” Additionally, according to Zuhur, Israel needs to “abandon the aspects of its new defensive strategy which are calculated to thwart peace efforts,” by “[d]ismantling the settlements in the West Bank” and recognizing what Zuhur calls “Hamas’ political and strategic development” instead of villainizing the group. She claims that “Israel could not tolerate Palestinian Arabs’ resistance of their [sic] authority on the legal basis of denial of self-determination” and slips in a stab at what she terms “Israel’s rejection of all comprehensive peace offers by the Arabs.” Statements like these betray the actual purpose of this monograph: to criticize Israel for exercising its sovereign right to self-defense while giving Hamas a free pass for terrorist assaults that deliberately target Israel’s civilian population. It should be noted that this monograph was published the very week that Israel launched Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip on 27 December 2008.
American dedication to free speech should not extend to using taxpayer money to pay for a paean to Islamist terrorism, backed by shoddy research and written at what is supposed to be this nation’s premier U.S. Army institute for national security research and analysis. Unfortunately, there is precedent at SSI for this genre of terrorist apologia. Sherifa Zuhur, an American citizen who is Research Professor of Islamic and Regional Studies at SSI, is the same author who penned an April 2008 SSI monograph, “Precision in the Global War on Terror: Inciting Muslims Through the War of Ideas.”[...]
In publishing these two monographs by Sherifa Zuhur, the U.S. Army War College exposes itself to serious questions about its advocacy and promotion of views it knows or should have known are deeply inimical to U.S. national security interests. These two publications are each described on their title pages as “a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101.” But their author shills for a foreign terrorist organization. She attacks Israel, a friend and ally of the U.S. and an outpost of liberal democracy in the Middle East, which has been forced to fight jihadist efforts to destroy it for the entire 60 years of its existence. It is fine to present students with varying perspectives on a conflict, but when taxpayer money is used, a higher standard should be demanded. Congress should investigate why the US Army is funding papers supporting Hamas.