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Re: Hamas and all that
by Louis Proyect
08 April 2002 19:19 UTC
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 The Washington Report On Middle East Affairs, March 1993 - Vol. XI, No. 8

                       M Y T H S   A N D   F A C T S

(In  refuting  myths  about  the Middle East, sometimes one doesn't have to
look beyond the mainstream media that help perpetuate them.)


                 Did Israel Create The Hamas Frankenstein?

MYTH:   "For almost five years, since Hamas took shape in the early days of
the  intifada, the Palestinian uprising, Israel has been trying to quash it
by  arresting its leaders, ferreting out its sources of money and capturing
its  armed  cells.   But  each  cycle  of  arrests  has been followed by an
escalation  of  attacks  against  Israeli targets, and the armed cells have
regenerated themselves almost as fast as they are uncovered."

                                             --Correspondent David Hoffman,
                                          The Washington Post, Feb. 3, 1993

FACT:  "The former Israeli government tended to see Hamas and Islamic Jihad
as elements that could hem in the PLO."

                                               --Washington Post editorial,
                                                              Dec. 29, 1992

FACT:   "It was an open secret that Israel's previous, Likud-led government
aided  and  abetted  Hamas  in  an  effort to divide the Palestinians under
Israeli  occupation.   Many  Israelis  decried this shortsighted policy and
warned  that the intra-Palestinian violence it helped spawn would soon turn
toward   the   killing  of  Israelis.   Once  the  PLO  agreed  Palestinian
participation  in  the  Madrid  peace  talks,  the  Hamas radicals could be
expected  to  make every effort to derail the talks.  Lately, the PLO-Hamas
rivalry has intensified to the point that Hamas is suspected of plotting to
kill  the  PLO-sanctioned  participants in the peace talks.  Whatever fears
they  may  harbor  as to Hamas, the PLO leadership in Tunis had no recourse
but  to support the deportees, call for their immediate return and threaten
to  boycott  the  U.S.-led peace talks.  Moderate Palestinians committed to
the  peace  process are worried that the stalemate over the deportees' fate
will immeasurably add to Hamas' appeal."

                                     --International lawyer Rita E. Hauser,
                                           Los Angeles Times, Jan. 19, 1993

FACT:   "Following  the  1967  war,  [Israel]  saw the Palestine Liberation
Organization  as  its  chief  adversary, and took an ambivalent view of the
fundamentalists.   In  the  early  1970s it allowed [Hamas spiritual leader
Sheikh  Ahmed]  Yassin  to open a community center in Gaza and some Israeli
military  commanders  viewed  the  growth  of  Islamic  fundamentalism as a
valuable counterbalance to the PLO."

                                             --Correspondent David Hoffman,
                                          The Washington Post, Feb. 3, 1993

FACT:  "It was indeed Rabin who helped Hamas toward its present prominence.
Years ago, when the Islamic fundamentalists were not an important political
quantity  on  the  scale  of Palestinian nationalism, Rabin was among those
ordering  material support for Hamas as part of a strategy of circumventing
the  PLO,  which  was  regarded  as  the prime threat because it had become
dangerously moderate in its diplomatic approach."

                                            --Columnist Alexander Cockburn,
                                            Los Angeles Times, Feb. 8, 1993

Louis Proyect
Marxism mailing list: http://www.marxmail.org

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