Though radical Islamists and Jihadists hate Jews and the sovereign Jewish state of Israel, their common hatred does not bind them into a benevolent brotherhood of co-religionists. Far from it. Ancient theological rivalries still trump common theological antipathies. And atavistic suspicions are not assuaged by centuries of modern life.
Last week, the acknowledged second in command of Al Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, registered deep umbrage with the Shia leaders of Iran. His anger was kindled by the suggestion, which he attributed to the Iranians, that the 9/11 attacks were an Israeli enterprise.
“The purpose of this lie is clear,” al-Zawahiri was reported to have said. “[T]o suggest that there are no heroes among the Sunnis who can hurt America as no one else did in history.”
The slaughter of nearly 3,000 innocent individuals is clearly a source of immense pride for Al Qaeda. They will allow no one to undermine that feeling of ghoulish achievement and celebration.
But lest anyone hastily attribute Al-Qaeda’s pique at the Iranian establishment merely to Sunni and Shia differences, Osama Bin Laden’s Sunni terrorists also administered a severe tongue-lashing last week to the Sunni jihadists of Hamas.
As reported by JTA, Al Qaeda also scorned Hamas officials last week for publicly musing that they might support a peace agreement between the Palestinian Authority and Israel, and that they might even accept a truce with Israel.
Zawahiri issued a statement attacking their Sunni colleagues after Hamas leaders told former U.S. president Jimmy Carter that they could support a future peace accord if it were to be ratified in a Palestinian referendum.
“As for peace agreements with Israel,” Zawahiri said, “they spoke of putting it to a referendum despite considering it a breach of Sharia [Muslim law]. How can they put a matter that violates Sharia to a referendum?”
Of course, Zawahiri was feigning annoyance, for he knew that the Hamas spokesmen were merely going through the public relations motions. Hamas leaders have time and again publicly emphasized that they will never acknowledge the legitimacy of a Jewish state, irrespective of any terms of an agreement with the Palestinian Authority. To do so would offend their religion. And as for the demand for a national Palestinian referendum, they added the convenient condition that millions of “exiled” Palestinians be included in the vote.
No government of Israel will ever be party to Hamas’ prescription to Jewish national suicide. Zawahiri knew this, too.
Thus, Zawahiri’s publicly expressed indignation with both Hamas and the Iranian regime was really but a Soliloquy on the international stage of terrorist theatre, a sordid speech aimed at reaffirming Al Qaeda’s doctrinal purity among the worshippers of anti-Jewish, anti-Israel and anti-Western hatred.
It is a performance that all should note with great alarm.