In a recent speech, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) condemned Hamas and noted that it was no better than the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) group.
Reid’s speech to the Senate was made last Thursday but excerpts were published Sunday by JNS.
According to the report, Reid affirmed U.S. support for Israel, calling the failure to condemn Hamas as one would condemn the Islamic State group "stunning hypocrisy."
"Hamas and IS are both vicious, corrupt, hateful, evil groups. And both are extreme. Yet, for some reason, Hamas' brutality doesn’t elicit the same horror from the international community as ISIS. How can that be?" Reid wondered as he addressed the Senate.
He added that one of the few differences between Islamic State and Hamas is the latter's narrow focus on one single objective -- the destruction of Israel.
"Consider its actions over the past several months: Hamas raided its own limited supplies for housing and general infrastructure, intended to repair the destruction that occurred during the last conflict they initiated. But Hamas instead used the stolen materials to build tunnels to hide and infiltrate Israel -- infiltrating to kill, maim, kidnap and murder the innocent. These depraved agitators launched thousands of rockets into Israel, hoping to inflict death and destruction. Their rockets had no aiming capabilities -- they fired indiscriminately, not caring whether they hit a child, a family or anyone," he said.
Reid is not the first one to have compared IS to Hamas. In fact, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu did so recently during a meeting with visiting U.S. Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA).
At the time, Netanyahu said Israel was fighting the same war against Islamist terrorism as the US and other countries current working to combat the spread of the brutal Islamic State.
"We face the same Islamist network and we have to fight it together," Netanyahu stated. "Hamas is ISIS, ISIS is Hamas."
"You saw the gruesome beheading of James Foley. We see the gruesome murder and execution of three teenagers which Hamas has just admitted that they did. These are both branches of the same poisonous tree. The free world, the democracies have to stand together against this terrorism. That's the only way we'll roll them back. Ultimately that's the only way we'll defeat them.”
Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal later rejected Netanyahu’s comparison and said it was false, claiming Hamas is "not a violent religious group."
"This is a lie and a clear attempt to try to tie the issue with the U.S. war on terrorism," he said of Netanyahu's comments. "The truth is that the Palestinians are not terrorists - they're the victims of terrorism. Hamas aren't the terrorists but the Israelis are."
"We are not a religious violent group, we are fighting aggression in our land," Mashaal continued. "We are against the killing of innocent civilians and journalists."
Similar comments comparing Hamas and IS were recently made by none other than a leading Fatah party member, whose faction formed a unity government with Hamas.
In an interview with the Palestinian Authority's official TV station, Fatah Central Committee member Tawfiq Tirawi compared Hamas's methods of executing and brutalizing its political opponents in Gaza to the gruesome executions carried out by IS.