January 11, 2009
So the U.S. Senate on Thursday passed by voice vote a resolution blindly supporting Israeli attacks on Gaza and heaping derision on Hamas.
This craven display should awaken anyone who sanguinely assumed that “everything changed” on November 4.
The resolution contained numerous twists of history, but the most glaring absurdity is the following: “Whereas Hamas was founded with the stated goal of destroying Israel…”
Perhaps the senators were in a rush to collect campaign contributions, so they did not have time to glance at the history of how Hamas arose to power.
Hamas was created with massive aid from the Israeli government. Following is an excerpt from my book Terrorism and Tyranny
Perhaps the single largest mistake in the history of the Israeli government’s long war on terrorism was its covert financing, cosseting, and arming of Hamas, the Islamic resistance movement. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon denounced Hamas as “the deadliest terrorist group that we have ever had to face.” But the Israeli government is reticent about admitting its role in creating this Frankenstein.
Beginning in the 1970s Israel began pouring money into Islamic organizations — especially the Moslem Brotherhood — hoping that religion would distract the Palestinians from political activism and the radical left-wing Palestinian Liberation Organization. Hamas was a late offspring of the Moslem Brotherhood. Prior to 1988 Moslem Brotherhood activists “had refrained from openly anti-Israel activities.” But with the outbreak of the first Intifada (uprising) in late 1987, the Israeli government was stunned to see how fast Hamas became the primary source of deadly attacks against Israelis.
Anthony Cordesman, a former State Department and Defense Department intelligence officer and currently a scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, stated that the Israeli government “aided Hamas directly — the Israelis wanted to use it as a counterbalance to the PLO.”
A United Press International analysis reported, “According to several current and former U.S. intelligence officials, beginning in the late 1970s, Tel Aviv gave direct and indirect financial aid to Hamas over a period of years.” UPI noted that, according to documents provided by Israeli terrorism experts, “Hamas was legally registered in Israel in 1978 by Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the movement’s spiritual leader, as an Islamic Association by the name Al-Mujamma al Islami.”
The Jerusalem Post reported on May 29, 1989, that, until the late 1980s, the Moslem Brotherhood “organizations in Gaza and the Islamic University received much encouragement from the [Israeli] military government. … The military government believed that their activity would undermine the power of the PLO and of leftist organizations in Gaza. They even supplied some of their activists with weapons, for their protection.”
During the first Intifada (uprising), the PLO and Hamas openly clashed over how to resist the Israeli occupation. The Jerusalem Post noted: “The [Israeli] security forces greeted this tension [between Palestinian groups] with satisfaction, in line with the principle of divide and conquer. In several cases, Palestinians noticed that troops stood by quietly during Hamas street activity, but did interfere when PLO activists engaged in the same activity.”
The Israeli government assumed that if the PLO could be thwarted, the Palestinian problem would be solved. But Hamas was far more bloodthirsty and radical than the PLO. The PLO effectively recognized Israel’s right to exist in 1988, while Hamas devoted itself to seizing all of Palestine for an Islamic state.