Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Blowback - Israel's Connection to the Birth of Hamas and its Unintended Consequences

In light of the recent  actions of Hamas against Israel, a brief look at the origins of the Islamic Resistance Movement may help illuminate the geopolitical puzzle that is the Middle East.


Hamas is an acronym for Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiya (Islamic Resistance Movement) is one of the Palestinian Territories two major political parties with its rival, being Fatah which, in the past, dominated the Palestine Liberation Organization and currently rules the West Bank.  Hamas, which also means "zeal" was founded in 1988 by Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, a Palestinian cleric who was active in the Muslim Brotherhood which was founded in Egypt in 1928.  The seeds that eventually grew into Hamas evolved from the Muslim Brotherhood and, according to papers released to UPI by the Israeli Institute for Counter Terrorism (ICT), was legally registered in Israel in 1978 by the Likud government of Israel's Prime Minister Menachem Begin which approved the application of Sheikh Yassin, allowing him to start a humanitarian organization known as Mujama al-Islamiya (Islamic Centre) which was originally founded in 1973 in Gaza.  Israel recognized Mujama as a welfare charity which allowed the organization to set up the Islamic University in Gaza, build mosques, a library, schools, clubs and mosques in Gaza and provide various social services.    


Here is a quote from a 2006 article on Antiwar.com by Justin Raimondo regarding Israel's efforts to undercut the PLO:


"The roots of this Islamist group (Mujama) were in the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood, and this was the seed that eventually grew into Hamas – but not before it was amply fertilized and nurtured with Israeli funding and political support.


Begin and his successor, Yitzhak Shamir, launched an effort to undercut the PLO, creating the so-called Village Leagues, composed of local councils of handpicked Palestinians who were willing to collaborate with Israel – and, in return, were put on the Israeli payroll. Sheik Yassin and his followers soon became a force within the Village Leagues. This tactical alliance between Yassin and the Israelis was based on a shared antipathy to the militantly secular and leftist PLO: the Israelis allowed Yassin’s group to publish a newspaper and set up an extensive network of charitable organizations, which collected funds not only from the Israelis but also from Arab states opposed to Arafat."


Mujama's funding was sourced from oil-producing states (often funneled through Jordan), local zakat collections, expatriate Palestinians, and, most importantly, directly and indirectly from Israel who sought to blunt the power of Yasser Arafat's PLO which was a secular, leftist organization promoting Palestinian nationalism.   In contrast, Hamas' goal was to set up a Palestinian transnational state under the rule of Islam, similar to Ayatollah Khomeini's theocratic Iran.  Israel's ultimate goal was to divide and conquer Palestinians at any cost.    During the First Intifada which began in 1987, Sheikh Yassin and six other members of Mujama launched Hamas in about February 1988 to allow it to take part in the Intifada.  The first leaders included Ahmad Yassin, ‘Abd al-Fattah Dukhan, Muhammed Shama’, Ibrahim al-Yazuri, Issa al-Najjar, Salah Shehadeh (from Bayt Hanun) and ‘Abd al-Aziz Rantisi. Dr. Mahmud Zahar is also usually listed as one of the original leader.  Other leaders include: Sheikh Khalil Qawqa, Isa al-Ashar, Musa Abu Marzuq, Ibrahim Ghusha, Khalid Mish’al.


Hamas' principles as stated in their Covenant include the following:


"Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it." (The Martyr, Imam Hassan al-Banna, of blessed memory).


The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Muslim generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. "


There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors."


After Palestine, the Zionists aspire to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates. When they will have digested the region they overtook, they will aspire to further expansion, and so on. Their plan is embodied in the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion", and their present conduct is the best proof of what we are saying."


The Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement dated August 18, 1988 also includes the following:


"When the idea was ripe, the seed grew and the plant struck root in the soil of reality, away from passing emotions, and hateful haste. The Islamic Resistance Movement emerged to carry out its role through striving for the sake of its Creator, its arms intertwined with those of all the fighters for the liberation of Palestine. The spirits of its fighters meet with the spirits of all the fighters who have sacrificed their lives on the soil of Palestine, ever since it was conquered by the companions of the Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, and until this day.


This Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement (HAMAS), clarifies its picture, reveals its identity, outlines its stand, explains its aims, speaks about its hopes, and calls for its support, adoption and joining its ranks. Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious. It needs all sincere efforts. It is a step that inevitably should be followed by other steps. The Movement is but one squadron that should be supported by more and more squadrons from this vast Arab and Islamic world, until the enemy is vanquished and Allah's victory is realised."


Article Two of the Covenant states that Hamas is one of the "...wings of the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine".  


Back in 2009, an article that appeared on the Wall Street Journal quoted Avner Cohen, a former Israeli religious affairs official who worked in Gaza for more than 20 years:


The article also quotes David Hacham, an Arab affairs expert in Israel's military who worked in the Gaza in the late 1980s and early 1990s:


With the triumph of the Khomeini revolution in Iran, Hamas began to gain strength in both Gaza and the West Bank.  In a 2002 article by UPI's Richard Sale, we find the following:


"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, Israeli aid had another purpose: "To help identify and channel towards Israeli agents Hamas members who were dangerous terrorists."


In addition, by infiltrating Hamas, Israeli informers could only listen to debates on policy and identify Hamas members who "were dangerous hard-liners," the official said.


In the end, as Hamas set up a very comprehensive counterintelligence system, many collaborators with Israel were weeded out and shot. Violent acts of terrorism became the central tenet, and Hamas, unlike the PLO, was unwilling to compromise in any way with Israel, refusing to acquiesce in its very existence.


But even then, some in Israel saw some benefits to be had in trying to continue to give Hamas support: "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."


I believe that is sufficient information to digest.  Israel's support for Hamas is the very definition of "blowback".  The nation's support for Hamas which was designed to divide and conquer Palestinians and destroy the Palestine Liberation Organization accomplished one goal; the deaths of thousands of Israelis at the hands of Hamas and the deaths of thousands of Palestinians at the hands of Israel's military complex.


Apparently, history is a far less effective teacher than we might hope as the mistakes of the past are continuously repeated by the ruling class.  Just ask Washington how their support for the anti-Russia mujahideen in Afghanistan worked out in the end.  Unintended consequences certainly appear to be a common phenomena among actions taken by the rulers, don't they?


Antiwar - Hamas, Son of Israel 

Wall Street Journal - How Israel Helped to Spawn Hamas 

UPI - Analysis: Hamas history tied to Israel 

Mideastweb - A History of the Hamas Movement 


Mideastweb - Hamas Charter