Hamas, which means the Islamic Resistance Movement, is officially listed by the State Department as a terrorist organization. It is interesting Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice chooses to uses Hamas' own terminology rather than that of the State Department which she heads:
In an interview with the New York Daily News earlier this month, Rice twice referred to Hamas as a “resistance movement.” Those remarks were left out of the resulting article, but did appear in a full transcript of the interview that later appeared on the State Department website.
Here is the transcript. An excerpt:
QUESTION: Getting a look at the (inaudible), it seems to me in that -- if you have democracy and democratic elections in countries like Egypt and much of North Africa, you will end up with (inaudible) of power or Hamas carrying a lot of the power and that's where you get into a very different kind of problem.
SECRETARY RICE: Mort, I fully accept that there are downsides to elections in immature political systems where democratic institutions haven't quite taken hold yet. The problem is I can't figure any other way to get the democratic institutions. I think that the -- my father used to say if you're on the horns of a dilemma, choose one; don't try to hang on both simultaneously.
And here is the problem, if you don't begin the politics of contestation because you're afraid of who might contest, then you're never going to get there. So yes, there are some downsides to the fact that over this long period of time, probably the most organized forces have been radical forces, not moderate forces. But if you say, "Well, we're going to wait until moderate forces organize so that they can contest the politics," you will -- you'll never get moderate forces because authoritarian regimes, authoritarian politics will continue to squeeze out the development of moderates. So I fully admit you may go through some rather uncomfortable transition, but I could make an argument to you about what happened in the territories, for instance; that it has been very interesting to see Hamas trying to come to terms with no longer being, really a resistance movement, but having to deal with politics.
A moderate Palestinian friend of mine said, "You know, they used to be the great resistance, running the streets with their faces covered and going after Israel. And now, they look like a bunch of politicians who also can't make the sewer system work." And they're clearly uncomfortable in that framework, which is part of why I think you see the military wing of Hamas trying to make this again about Israel and the Palestinians, not about the contestation of politics inside the Palestinian territories. So I admit it's uncomfortable, but I think it's also necessary.
Yeah, Condi. It's real uncomfortable for Israel.
Here is the Charter for the Hamas "Resistance Movement":
This is the Charter of the Islamic Resistance (Hamas) which will reveal its face, unveil its identity, state its position, clarify its purpose, discuss its hopes, call for support to its cause and reinforcement, and for joining its ranks. For our struggle against the Jews is extremely wide-ranging and grave, so much so that it will need all the loyal efforts we can wield, to be followed by further steps and reinforced by successive battalions from the multifarious Arab and Islamic world, until the enemies are defeated and Allah’s victory prevails.
One person's resistance movement is another person's jihad. It's important our Secretary of State knows the difference.