Maher Salah, the head of Hamas in the Palestinian diaspora, said in an August 18, 2019 interview on Al-Hiwar TV (U.K.) that Israel is the root of all evil in the Middle East. He said that there is a large revolution coming that will require great sacrifices and that will change the region. He harshly criticized anybody who recognizes Israel, who sees it as an ally, and who normalizes relations with it, and he said that such people should be excommunicated because they are committing treason and "falsifying" the will of the nation and the "true feelings of contemporary Arabs and Muslims." Salah also explained that Hamas has a good relationship with Iran because of Iran's financial and material support for the Palestinian cause and because of its continued hostility to Israel.
Following are excerpts:
Maher Salah: Our endeavor is to liberate Palestine, and we are defending our nation by means of the war we wage on a daily basis. The root of all evil in the region is this occupying enemy, which spearheads plans that are harmful to this region and its people. There is no doubt that our peoples seek freedom, the right to self-determination, and the right to elect their leaders. These efforts have been thwarted, but big revolutions come in [several] waves, not in a single wave. I am convinced that what is coming – and I ask Allah that it will not take long and I am sure that it will come soon – is a huge enterprise on which the life of this nation depends. This enterprise will require time and great sacrifices. The magnitude of this enterprise will determine the extent of sacrifices, and the time that it will take to make the great change in the region. But we must understand that the change has already begun. The clock of change has been ticking since the revolutions in the region started. The Arabs and Muslims in the region no longer accept injustice and tyranny.
I would like to talk about something that is wider than the issue of Palestine. [The enemy] thinks that it can rearrange the region and present the occupation as a friend and as an ally rather than an enemy. We believe that the true and main enemy of this nation is the Zionist occupation. Therefore, all the resources and capabilities [of the nation] must be directed against the Zionist enterprise and those who support it. There is all this talk today about Israel being a recognized state, an existing state, and a friendly state. Instead of talking about Arab countries circling [Israel], we are talking about "neighboring countries" and the Prophetic order to love one's neighbor. As a matter of fact – and in response to your question – this is a falsification of the will of the nation. This is a falsification of the true feelings of contemporary Arabs and Muslims. No one in his right mind thinks that these criminal occupiers can be our friends or our allies.
From here, I say to all those who normalize [relations with Israel]: this normalization constitutes treason and is an abomination. The normalizers should be excommunicated by our nation. It must be said loud and clear. It is inconceivable for a person to talk about the Israelis as friends, to visit the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and to present… They held a workshop in Bahrain, thinking that the Palestinians will sell out their land for a few billion [dollars]. This must not be met with silence. We must speak up so that those normalizers are excommunicated.
Our relations with Iran are just like our relations with any other country. It depends on two criteria. We need to see where the compass points. The more somebody's compass is pointing towards Palestine and Jerusalem, the more we have in common. The second criterion is whether a certain party is willing to support our efforts for liberation and return – that is, the resistance endeavor. It is no secret that Iran supports us with money and weapons. Many countries are unable to do so. One can say that no country other than Iran supports us with weapons. Therefore, our relations with Iran are, first of all, relations with one of the elements forming our nation. These are relations with a country that has a clear stance towards the Zionist enterprise. It maintains a real hostile position [towards Israel], and it supports our resistance with money and weapons.