Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Hamas: Israeli Pawn and Palestinian Peacebreaker?

The 2005 book, Devil's Game, by Robert Dreyfuss, offers up the hypothesis that Hamas is a tool of the Israeli secret service. Hamas is constantly fighting with Fatah (the main component of the PLO--for examples click here and click here), and that in and of itself is not good for the Palestinian peace process. But is it really possible that Hamas is Israel's token to help ensure that peace never comes to Palestine?

In 1983, a Palestinian Arab named Ahmed Yassin was arrested by the Israelis for coordinating the stockpiling of firearms, some of which were found in his home. He was sentenced to 13 years in

Members of the Israeli governing elite now look back on the creation of Hamas as a huge mistake. Oh well, the West is used to opening Pandora's boxes all over the Middle East. What's one more?

prison, but released after only a year--fueling claims that he was secretly in alliance with the Israeli Shin Bet organization.

In 1986 and 1987, Yassin organized the founding of Hamas. It is widely believed that Israel gave their support to ensure that the creation of Hamas was a success.
There were persistent rumors that the Israeli secret service gave covert support to Hamas, because they were seen as a rival to the PLO," says Phillip Wilcox a former U.S. ambassador...who headed the U.S consulate in Jerusalem at the time.
Yasser Arafat claimed that Yitzhak Rabin told him of Israeli support for Hamas, and that he admitted in retrospect that it had been a "fatal error".

The PLO accused Yassin and his Hamas organization of conspiring with "reactionary Arab regimes" and "...in collusion with the Israeli occupation." Arafat pointed to the hundreds of schools, mosques, and other institutions that the Israelis had ceded to Hamas, and he said "Hamas is a creature of Israel."

Circumstantial evidence, at the least, points to this likelihood. Whenever PLO/Fatah tried to make an accord with the Israelis, Hamas seemed to be there to scuttle it.
"Undermining the peace process has always been the real target of Hamas and has played into the political ambitions of Likud", wrote one analyst. "Every time Israeli and Palestinian negotiators appeared ready to take a major step toward achieving peace, an act of Hamas terrorism has scuttled the peace process and pushed the two sides apart."
Even Barack Obama recently made overtures to the Israelis, indicating that a powerful force exists somewhere behind the scenes. Could Hamas be a part of the scheming to ensure that this powerful force doesn't lose power?

Members of the Israeli governing elite now look back on the creation of Hamas as a huge mistake. Oh well, we're used to opening Pandora's boxes all over the Middle East. What's one more?




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