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Hamas in Politics: Democracy, Religion,…
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Hamas in Politics: Democracy, Religion, Violence

by Jeroen Gunning

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In January 2006, Hamas, an organisation classified by Western governments as terrorist, was democratically elected to govern the Palestinian territories. The inherent contradictions in this situation have left many analysts at a loss. Hamas uses terror tactics against Israel, yet runs on a law and order ticket in Palestinian elections; it pursues an Islamic state, yet holds internal elections; it campaigns for shar'iah law, yet its leaders are predominantly secular professionals; it calls for the destruction of Israel, yet has reluctantly agreed to honour previous peace agreements.
In Hamas in Politics, Jeroen Gunning challenges the assumption that religion, violence and democracy are inherently incompatible and shows how many of these apparent contradictions flow from the interaction between Hamas' ideology, its local constituency and the nature of politics in Israel/Palestine. Drawing on interviews with members of Hamas and its critics, and a decade of close observation of the group, he offers a penetrating analysis of Hamas' own understanding of its ideology and in particular the tension between its dual commitment to 'God' and 'the people'. The book explores what Hamas' political practice says about its attitude towards democracy, religion and violence, providing a unique examination of the movement's internal organisation, how its leaders are selected and how decisions are made. ( )
  HurstPub | Nov 5, 2010 |
This is a first rate, academic but stil readable guide into the philosophy and thinking of Hamas. Cutting through the simplistic journalistic coverage of a complax situation, the author presents a detaild analysis without drifting into partisanship, but providing a clear way forward in international relations with Hamas.

The author spent some years living in Gaza, interviewing its leaders and members to research this book. Such an analysis could now not be repeated as so many of the leaders have been assassinated by Israeli forces, so this book is truly one of a kind.

Highly recommended. ( )
  sirfurboy | Apr 28, 2009 |
This is a first rate, academic but stil readable guide into the philosophy and thinking of Hamas. Cutting through the simplistic journalistic coverage of a complax situation, the author presents a detaild analysis without drifting into partisanship, but providing a clear way forward in international relations with Hamas.

The author spent some years living in Gaza, interviewing its leaders and members to research this book. Such an analysis could now not be repeated as so many of the leaders have been assassinated by Israeli forces, so this book is truly one of a kind.

Highly recommended. ( )
  sirfurboy | Apr 23, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 023170044X, Hardcover)

A key player in the politics of the Middle East, Hamas is renowned for its contradictory positions. The group uses terror tactics against Israel's civilians and military, yet runs on a law and order ticket in Palestinian elections; it pursues an Islamic state, yet holds internal elections; it campaigns for shari'ah law, yet its leaders are predominantly secular professionals; and it calls for the destruction of Israel, yet has reluctantly agreed to honor previously established peace agreements.

In Hamas in Politics, Jeroen Gunning launches a probing study of the movement's success in the political arena, showing that religion, violence, and democracy are not necessarily incompatible. Many of Hamas's apparent contradictions flow from the relationship between the organization's ideology, local constituency, and the nature of politics in Israel and Palestine. Gunning conducts interviews with members of Hamas as well as the group's critics and draws on a decade of close observation of the organization. He illuminates Hamas's understanding of its ideology and explores the tension between its dual commitment to "God" and "the people." Examining the group's political practice and what it says about the group's attitude towards democracy, religion, and violence, Gunning provides a unique window into Hamas's internal structure, revealing its process of choosing leaders and determining policy.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:32 -0400)

Drawing on interviews with members of Hamas as well as its critics, the book provides unique insight into the movement's internal organisation, how its leaders are selected and decisions made.Politics.

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