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Hamas: A History from Within Paperback – March 18, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. In this trenchant history spanning from the first days of the 1987 intifada to the sweeping democratic victory of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) in the Palestinian elections of January 2006, London-based scholar Tamimi argues that seeing Hamas as merely another face of Al Qaeda obscures more than it elucidates. A successor to the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas comes out of a transnational Islamic reform movement that grew among Palestinians in the 1970s, largely in reaction to Arab nationalism's failure to champion the Palestinian cause. Increasingly, against a string of failed peace processes and the corruption and concessions of the PLO-led secular leadership, Hamas's popular support has rested heavily on its stance as a militant resistance movement wedded to the Palestinian dream of regaining pre-1948 Palestine, and as provider of essential social services. Tamimi draws extensively on the words of insiders in carefully charting and contextualizing the development of Hamas's highly resilient organization, shifting outlook and embrace of various tactics, including the offer of a truce with Israel and, most controversially, suicide bombing. Although mostly dispassionate and at times critical, this is a generally sympathetic analysis. It will be a key resource in English for any serious assessment of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

'In this trenchant history spanning from the first days of the 1987 intifada to the sweeping democratic victory of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) in the Palestinian elections of January 2006, London-based scholar Tamimi argues that seeing Hamas as merely another face of Al Qaeda obscures more than it elucidates. A successor to the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas comes out of a transnational Islamic reform movement that grew among Palestinians in the 1970s, largely in reaction to Arab nationalism's failure to champion the Palestinian cause. Increasingly, against a string of failed peace processes and the corruption and concessions of the PLO-led secular leadership, Hamas's popular support has rested heavily on its stance as a militant resistance movement wedded to the Palestinian dream of regaining pre-1948 Palestine, and as provider of essential social services. Tamimi draws extensively on the words of insiders in carefully charting and contextualizing the development of Hamas's highly resilient organization, shifting outlook and embrace of various tactics, including the offer of a truce with Israel and, most controversially, suicide bombing. It will be a key resource in English for any serious assessment of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.'--Publishers Weekly (** review) 'An excellent history, deeply researched, the story is dramatic, and Tamimi tells it well... gives access to fascinating detail.'--Palestine News 'Tamimi's book is the most authoritative account yet published of the origins, rise and impact of Hamas.'--Abdel Bari Atwan, editor-in-chief, Al-Quds Al-Arabi 'Provides facts on Hamas' struggle in Palestine from real sources in the organisation.'--Malaysian National News Agency --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 372 pages
  • Publisher: Olive Branch Pr; 2 Rev Upd edition (March 18, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1566568242
  • ISBN-13: 978-1566568241
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,136,706 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Pen Name on June 26, 2014
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You won't get much on Hamas's internal structure, but this book gives you everything you could ask for in Hamas's external politics. The book presents Hamas in a different light. The group is no longer a mere terrorist organization, but also a political movement with a stake in elections and a care for its people. Those close to Israeli political leaning will not find it satisfying; for those close to Palestinian politics: you'll find it to be a much needed and timely book.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gderf on September 22, 2014
This book emphasizes Hamas' role as a social service organization while denying, or rather justifying, its propensity to violence. Purportedly seeking to correct western mis-impressions, it actually goes a long way to confirming the ideology of Hamas as a terrorist organization. On page 2 Tamini cites the mis-impression that “it's extensive charitable and educational work to promote its foremost aim: driving Israel into the sea.” On page 4 the book establishes principles of Hamas founder, Hassan al-Banna (1906-1949). “His movement's long-term goals were, first to free the Islamic homeland from all foreign authority, and second, to establish an Islamic state within this Islamic homeland.” We can be sure that the “Islamic homeland” includes Israel and the second goal exactly reflects that of the current ISIS organization. The text confirms the “mis-impression” of Hamas as a terrorist organization. Tamini goes on to excuse promotion of violence in the Hamas constitution, saying that it doesn't really reflect the organization's principles. It's like saying that we in the USA don't really live by our Constitution. The introduction refrains from mentioning the goal of jihad to spread Islam, though it's a Koranic obligation of every Muslim. The book includes appendices of articles whitewashing Hamas without the charter or internal statements of principle. Even in that selection the goal of “liberation” with the implied excuse for violence is evident.

The book is very informative on origins from the Ikhwan banch of the Muslim Brotherhood as well as recent history and organization. It's a good history of Gaza from 1967 although claiming a booming economy prior to occupation.
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Hamas: A History from Within
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