Hamas: A History from Within

Azzam Tamimi, Author . Interlink/Olive Branch $20 (372p) ISBN 978-1-56656-689-6

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.)

Reviewed on: 09/24/2007
Release date: 08/01/2007
Genre: Nonfiction
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