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How Israel Helped to Spawn Hamas

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Scurrilous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 05:32 AM
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How Israel Helped to Spawn Hamas
<snip>

"Surveying the wreckage of a neighbor's bungalow hit by a Palestinian rocket, retired Israeli official Avner Cohen traces the missile's trajectory back to an "enormous, stupid mistake" made 30 years ago.

"Hamas, to my great regret, is Israel's creation," says Mr. Cohen, a Tunisian-born Jew who worked in Gaza for more than two decades. Responsible for religious affairs in the region until 1994, Mr. Cohen watched the Islamist movement take shape, muscle aside secular Palestinian rivals and then morph into what is today Hamas, a militant group that is sworn to Israel's destruction.

Instead of trying to curb Gaza's Islamists from the outset, says Mr. Cohen, Israel for years tolerated and, in some cases, encouraged them as a counterweight to the secular nationalists of the Palestine Liberation Organization and its dominant faction, Yasser Arafat's Fatah. Israel cooperated with a crippled, half-blind cleric named Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, even as he was laying the foundations for what would become Hamas. Sheikh Yassin continues to inspire militants today; during the recent war in Gaza, Hamas fighters confronted Israeli troops with "Yassins," primitive rocket-propelled grenades named in honor of the cleric."

<snip>

"A look at Israel's decades-long dealings with Palestinian radicals -- including some little-known attempts to cooperate with the Islamists -- reveals a catalog of unintended and often perilous consequences. Time and again, Israel's efforts to find a pliant Palestinian partner that is both credible with Palestinians and willing to eschew violence, have backfired. Would-be partners have turned into foes or lost the support of their people.

Israel's experience echoes that of the U.S., which, during the Cold War, looked to Islamists as a useful ally against communism. Anti-Soviet forces backed by America after Moscow's 1979 invasion of Afghanistan later mutated into al Qaeda."

more
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shira Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 05:56 AM
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1. A very good article - deserves to be read in full
Israel did at the time what seemed to be - and still seems to be - the right thing. Mainly, encourage a moderate, popular Arab/Muslim organization devoted mostly to charity and outreach to act as a counterweight to the more extreme and hostile PLO.

It's a shame it didn't work out as intended.



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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 09:22 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Israel's hatred of PLO led it to sleep with the devil Hamas (and with Xtian fundies in US)
very much along the lines of the blowback the US got on 9-11 for having backed the Islamists in Afghanistan against the Marxist government there that had asked for Soviet help.
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shira Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 10:48 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. come on
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 10:50 PM by shira
No matter what Israel did with Hamas before they turned radical, it would have been condemned by the "Hate-Israel" goon patrol.

1.Encourage what seemed at the time to be a far more moderate movement, take the blame later.

2.Let the PLO take care of Hamas in its infancy, be blamed like Sabra/Shatilla.

3.If Israel had taken out Hamas in their infancy, they'd be called warmongers for destroying the moderate alternative to the PLO.

It's the same old conspiracy laden "blame Israel" for anything, both real or imagined.

Sheer madness and insanity.
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azurnoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 10:57 PM
Response to Original message
4. So Israel tried to play the Palestinians off against
each other and got burned, what a surprise
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shira Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 11:29 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. see #3
madness and insanity.
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azurnoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 10:33 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. I did read both of your replies
Edited on Sun Jan-25-09 10:35 AM by azurnoir
and seeing as how the events happened in the late '50's and early '90's there would have been very little said at the time, communications were not quite as advanced as they are now.
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