Written statement** submitted by the World Union for Progressive Judaism,

a non-governmental organization on the Roster



The Secretary-General has received the following written statement which is circulated in accordance with Economic and Social Council resolution 1996/31.


[21 July 2004]




* Re-issued for technical reasons.

** This written statement is issued, unedited, in the language(s) received from the submitting non-governmental organisation(s).



Hamas : Sheikh Yassin and Dr. al-Rantisi

– The UN and the grave worldwide cultural clash



URGENT APPEAL (19 April 2004 )


United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan

Acting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Dr. Bertrand Ramcharan 

Chairman of the UN Commission on Human Rights Ambassador Mike Smith 

  In the aftermath of Hamas leader Abd al-Aziz al-Rantisi, the World Union for Progressive Judaism – representing 1200 Reform, Liberal, Progressive and Reconstructionist Jewish Communities in 41 countries – wishes to inform the United Nations Secretary-General, the Acting High Commissioner, and the Chairman of the Commission on Human Rights of a looming cultural clash that must be faced urgently.

  Our ‘Appeal’ will not try to address the grave moral implications and consequences in international law regarding the right of a Government – in a state of war – to target the leader of a recognised terrorist organisation, who promoted the indiscriminate massacre of innocent civilians by religiously intoxicated men, women and children, trained to sacrifice themselves as a kind of ‘ jihadistshahid-martyr’ fodder.

  Last week, Osama bin Laden threatened the UN, as well as America, ‘Zionists’ and Europe. 1 

    We are sounding the warning bells for the international community. If this plague of ‘ JihadistShahid bombers’ (wrongly referred to as ‘suicide bombers’) that motivated Abd al-Rantisi and like-minded adepts should spread beyond the gathering storm in Iraq, the global consequences would be grave.

  On 20 June 2002, the Hamas website posted al-Rantisi’s opposition to a first communiqué signed by 55 prominent Palestinians (among them Sari Nusseibeh and Hanan Ashrawi), in which all such ‘ shahid -martyrdom’ acts against Israeli citizens were criticised as being politically counter-productive. 2 He also blamed the European Union for officially funding such a campaign.

  Six months later, three months before the war began, the Hamas website posted Dr. Al-Rantisi’s call for resistance in Iraq to the ‘Crusader’ invasion and of opening “your gates to the Jihad warriors.”3 

 It is stated there, inter alia : The Enemies of Iraq Crave Life, While Muslims Crave Martyrdom.

“(…) Another quality of strength is that the Iraqis will have an army of martyrs. The enemies of Allah and the enemies of this people are cowards. They crave life, while the Muslims crave martyrdom.

The martyrdom operations that shock can ensure that horror is sowed in the [enemies'] hearts, and horror is one of the causes of defeat. There is no other way than to establish thousands of squads of martyrs, in a secret apparatus, who, from now, have at their disposal the capability, as well as thousands of sophisticated explosive belts, with powerful explosive [capacity] to cause great damage.”

“In order to defend the homeland from the terrorist Crusader attack, there is a need for people who yearn for Paradise, and the shortest way to Paradise is death for [the sake of] Allah. Some of us should see the joyful and satisfied faces of the mothers in Iraq when they part from the fruit of their loins, who go off to the realms of honour, the realms of martyrdom. This is so that the enemy of the nation knows that safeguarding honour and the homeland is dearer than life, and that our mothers in Iraq, like our mothers in Palestine, are willing to sacrifice the fruit of their loins – but not their honour.”

“Another quality of strength is that you [should] open your gates to the Jihad warriors, the sons of this Islamic nation, so that you will be able to carry out your mission by defending the land of the Muslims. (…) The Jihad warriors must advance from everywhere to defend the land of Iraq.” 

* * * * *

 Fifteen months later it is clear that this initiative for the ‘ jihadistshahid ’ bombers, locally and by foreigners who are joining in the killing of UN as well as U.S. and other coalition forces, and Iraqi and other civilians thereby ruining all hopes of peace and reconciliation in Iraq – came from Hamas and their jihad ist backers of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Hezbollah Movement.

  Dr. al-Rantisi was co-author with Sheikh Ahmad Yassin of the 18 August 1988 genocidal Hamas Constitution. It’s slogan states, under article 8 : “Allah is its target, the Prophet is its model, the Koran its Constitution; Jihad is its path, and death for the sake of Allah is the loftiest of its wishes.”

  The United Nations should speak out before this “cultural clash” degenerates into a negation of all the efforts of the United Nations since 1948 for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Bill of Human Rights to become the common framework for all States as reflected both in their national legislation and their dealings with citizens and other States.

  We call on the Secretary-General, the Acting High Commissioner, and the Chairman of the Commission on Human Rights to recognise the ominous dangers on the horizon, and to act now.

Rabbi Uri Regev

Executive Director (Jerusalem)

Rabbi François Garaï

Main Representative (UNO / Geneva)

David G. Littman



2. On 31 January 1989, we first alerted the Commission on Human Rights to “the jihad -inspired publication, the 20-page Hamas Covenant, a blatant blueprint for genocide” quoting its article 8, reproduced above, and have constantly repeated this warning, in vain. 4

3.   The preceding article 7 is explicitly racist and genocidal in its conclusion (much quoted by Islamists) with an alleged religious justification from a hadith : “Hamas aspires to implement Allah's promise, whatever time that may take. The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said: ‘The Day of Judgement will not come about until the Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them), until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! There is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.’”

4.   Article 28 stresses the racist-religious ideology of Hamas and its initial, planned jihad -war of terror: “Israel, Judaism and Jews challenge Islam and the Muslim people: May the cowards never sleep.”

5.   Article 2 of the Hamas Charter proudly affirms its official status: “The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the wings of the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine. The Muslim Brotherhood Movement is a universal organization which constitutes the largest Islamic movement in modern times.” The official position of the senior spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egyptian-born Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradwi will be developed in a twin written statement on this subject.

6.   The World Union for Progressive Judaism calls on the new High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Commission on Human Rights and the Sub-Commission – and all human rights bodies – to act urgently in condemning ‘ 6.   The World Union for Progressive Judaism calls on the new High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Commission on Human Rights and the Sub-Commission – and all human rights bodies – to act urgently in condemning ‘ jihadist -martyrdom’ terrorism. And also to condemn firmly the 1988 Hamas Charter and the Fatwa declarations of Osama bin Ladin in 1996, and again with others in 1998. 5 These texts, and others, are clearly oriented toward genocidal aims. We call on the competent working groups of the Sub-Commission to raise this matter with the Counter-Terrorism Committee of the Security Council, especially in the light of the 1948 Genocide Convention and all the relevant International Covenants. We would expect Member States of the United Nations to request from the International Court of Justice in the Hague a ‘ruling’ on this grave breach of international law by murderous ‘ jihadist-martyrdom operations,’ carried out by non-State actors.




1. Al-Jazeera TV (Qatar) and Al-Arabiya TV (UAE), 15 April 2004; English trans. from Arabic in MEMRI, Special Dispatch–“Jihad &Terrorism Studies Project,” 15/04/ 2004, N° 695; SD69504 . See 31/03/04 , “Terrorism (Al-Irhaab) the fashion of the 21st century.”

2.  Al-Quds (Palestinian Authority), 19 June 2002.

3.   “Hamas Spokesman: Iraq Must Establish a Suicide Army” in MEMRI, Special Dispatch Series – No. 457, 9 January 2003 ( ), and a rticle posted Hamas website, , 30 December 2002(nearly three months before the war began); cf. the website of the Egyptian opposition newspaper Al-Sha'ab, 3 January 2003 : , 3 January 2003; as well as on the website , on , 30 December 2002.

4.   See “Human Rights and Human Wrongs” (WUPJ, Geneva, 1989), N° 6, p. 3, statement by David G. Littman for WUPJ (E/CN.4/1989/SR.2). For more details, see WUPJ written statement to the 55 th session: The 1988 Charter of HAMAS: an Evil Legacy of ‘Jihadist-Martyrdom’ Bombings (E/CN.4/Sub.2/2003/NGO/41). For an online English trans. of the Hamas Charter:

5.   “Declaration of War Against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Places – Expel the Infidels from the Arab Peninsula. A Message from Usama bin Muhhammad bin Laden to His Muslim Brethren all over the World Generally and in the Arab Peninsula Specifically” (23 August 1996). The second fatwa “Against Jews and Crusaders” (23 February 1998) was signed by the Egyptian Jihad, the Islamic Group in Egypt, the Pakistani Djemat al Ulema, the Bangledeshi Jihad Movement, and Osama bin Laden.