However evocative, the comparison is an overly simplistic equation that deliberately flattens reality
Given the scale, horror and brutality of the massacre carried out by Hamas in Israel on 7 October the comparison with ISIS is “not surprising”. But for the Washington Post, however evocative, it is an overly simplistic equation, which deliberately flattens reality.
According to Monika Marks, professor of Middle Eastern politics at New York University’s Abu Dhabi campus, not making a distinction between Hamas and Isis is a tactic that ends up portraying all the inhabitants of Gaza “as inhuman” and therefore “legitimate targets” of retaliation.
Itzchak Weismann, an Israeli historian of Islamist movements at the University of Haifa, considers the comparison “very superficial”. In reality, he points out, Hamas tolerates other religious groups in Gaza, while ISIS “would kill any Muslim who does not pray at the right time.”
Aaron Zelin, senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, points out that Sunni ISIS terrorists “literally consider Hamas as an apostate movement” due to its ties to the theocratic Shiite regime in Tehran.
Finally, the American Jew Adam Shatz noted in the London Review of Books, that “reactionary and violent though it is, Hamas is a nationalist Islamic organization, not a nihilistic cult, it is part of Palestinian society, it feeds on the desperation of occupation and cannot be simply liquidated, any more than the fascist zealots in the Netanyahu government can.”