Hamas was originally funded by Israel
Listen to the words of former Prime Minister of Israel Ehud Olmert who said ‘Netanyahu established Hamas, gave it life, freed Sheikh Yassin and gave him the opportunity to blossom’. Wikipedia keeps it simple: ‘Hamas In the early 1980s, Sheikh Yassin and his supporters enjoyed support from the Israeli government. Israel saw Al-Mujamma al Islami as a possible ally in the fight against the Yasser Arafat-led PLO. Israel also hoped that by supporting Al-Mujamma al Islami, it could divide the PLO and the Palestinian community.’
Investigate a little further than Wikipedia and you will come to bizarre findings. From the wires of UPI for example: ‘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. ‘Israel aided Hamas directly – the Israelis wanted to use it as a counterbalance to the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization),’ said Tony Cordesman, Middle East analyst for the Center for Strategic Studies. Israel’s support for Hamas ‘was a direct attempt to divide and dilute support for a strong, secular PLO by using a competing religious alternative,’ said a former senior CIA official.
But with the triumph of the Khomeini revolution in Iran, with the birth of Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorism in Lebanon, Hamas began to gain in strength in Gaza and then in the West Bank, relying on terror to resist the Israeli occupation. Israel was certainly funding the group at that time. One U.S. intelligence source who asked not to be named said that not only was Hamas being funded as a ‘counterweight’ to the PLO, the Israeli aid had another purpose: ‘To help identify and channel towards Israeli agents Hamas members who were dangerous terrorists.’
‘The thinking on the part of some of the right-wing Israeli establishment was that Hamas and the others, if they gained control, would refuse to have any part of the peace process and would torpedo any agreements put in place,’ said a U.S. government official who asked not to be named. ‘Israel would still be the only democracy in the region for the United States to deal with,’ he said.
According to former State Department counter-terrorism official Larry Johnson, ‘the Israelis are their own worst enemies when it comes to fighting terrorism. The Israelis are like a guy who sets fire to his hair and then tries to put it out by hitting it with a hammer. They do more to incite and sustain terrorism than curb it,” he said.
An example? Brig. Gene. Yithaq Segev, the military governor of Gaza, had told U.S. officials he had helped fund ‘Islamic movements as a counterweight to the PLO and communists.’
Gérard Chaliand: ‘First of all, I want to reiterate that Hamas was originally encouraged by the Israelis as a counterweight to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Hamas, to some extent, is also the child of Israeli intransigence and the phenomenon of colonization. (A recognized specialist in rebellions and irregular conflicts, Gérard Chaliand has published a new essay, “Voyage dans 40 ans de guerillas” (Editions Lignes de Repères, 2006), a dive into half a century of armed insurgencies.)
And if you don’t like those sources, here from the Jerusalem Post ‘Olmert replied, ‘Netanyahu has gone back to being the same old Netanyahu,’ and accused him of directly contributing to strengthening the Hamas movement by releasing the movement’s founder, Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, during his term as prime minister. ‘Netanyahu established Hamas, gave it life, freed Sheikh Yassin and gave him the opportunity to blossom,’ Olmert said, adding that the current political situation in the Palestinian Authority came about ‘because of the nonsense that was done while Netanyahu was prime minister.’
‘It was Israel that basically created Hamas’ assures Zeev Sternell, historian and professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, thinking it was smart to play the Islamists against the PLO.’
When in the early 1970s, Ahmed Yassin, returning from Cairo, founded an Islamic charity, Golda Meir, then Prime Minister of Israel, thus expected to establish a counterweight to Arafat’s Fatah. ‘The Islamic associations and the university received all the encouragement of the military government in charge of the administration of the West Bank and Gaza’, the Israeli weekly Koteret Rashit wrote in October 1987, quoted by Le Monde of November 18, 1987, adding that they ‘were authorized to bring in money from abroad’.
The Islamists created orphanages and dispensaries, set up a school network, clothing workshops for the employment of women, and provided financial assistance to the most disadvantaged. And in 1978, they created an ‘Islamic university’ in Gaza. Koteret Rashit added: ‘The military government was convinced that these activities would weaken the PLO and the left organizations in Gaza. At the end of 1992, there were six hundred mosques in Gaza. And it is thus, thanks to the Mossad, that the Islamists have woven their web, in the shadow of ruthless repression, striking activists of Fatah and the Palestinian left.’
September 1993 the Oslo accords are signed. Hamas rejects them. But at that time, 70% of Palestinians condemn the attacks on Israeli civilians. Hamas will do everything to torpedo the agreements, helped by Israel, which is very reluctant to apply the peace agreements, even during Rabin’s lifetime.
Hamas embarked on a campaign of attacks obeying a precise political calendar – the day before a meeting between Palestinian and Israeli negotiators or a meeting of the Palestinian National Council which would decide on the recognition of Israel … – thus allowing the right to return to power in May 1996.
In 1997, against all odds, Netanyahu frees Sheikh Ahmed Yassin on ‘humanitarian grounds’, just as, along with Bill Clinton, they both demand Arafat to bring Hamas to heel. A liberation qualified by Yossi Sarid, deputy of the left, the ‘Machiavellianism in the small week’. And in fact, Netanyahu knew he could count, once again, on the Islamists to torpedo the Oslo accords. Worse, after having expelled Yassine to Jordan, he authorized him to return to Gaza where he was welcomed as a hero in October 1997. Hamas built its strength by feeding on the successive failures of the peace process, failures to which it contributed together with Israel, which has multiplied the obstacles to the application of the Oslo accords. And continuing its policy of the worst, Hamas thus fulfills the function for which it was created: to prevent the advent of a Palestinian state.
Israel financed Hamas in its early years as a bulwark against Arafat. This funding could have been continued in the form of cash and / or arms. Now that Hamas is being labeled as a proxy to Iran (without any mention of its Israeli finance) and is on Israel’s doorstep it can be used to prosecute a war on Iran. Things like this don’t just happen. There are some very mentally-sick people out there prepared to do anything for a full-scale war in the Middle East. That’s why Israel was created in the first place.