Now the title above may seem crazy, but it’s based on solid evidence from Israeli and U.S. sources. At Hamas’ start in the 1980’s, some Israelis thought it was a clever idea to support a violent group that wanted to destroy the Israeli state and had a charter that contained wild antisemitism. They thought it would be a useful rival to the Palestinian Authority. Back in 2010 the Wall Street Journal reported on this. The article by Andrew Higgins was called “How Israel Helped Spawn Hamas”. In it he quoted a retired Israeli official named Avner Cohen who said, “Hamas, to my great regrets is Israeli’s creation.” Higgins writes, “Instead of trying to curb Gaza’s Islamists from the outset, says Mr. Cohen, Israel for years tolerated in in some cases encouraged them as a counterweight” to the PLO.
If this all sounds familiar it’s the same strategy the U.S. used in Afghanistan, using the Islamists there against the Left. If you recall the U.S. helped the “mujahadeen” there, seeing them as a counter to the Soviet aligned forces and any kind of Left group. It did not work out too well.
The Intercept on Feb. 20, 2018 talked about former Israeli official Brig. Gen. Yitzhak Segev, who was the Israeli military governor in Gaza in the early 1980’s. He told a New York Times reporter that he had helped finance the Palestinian Islamist movement as a “counterweight” to the secularists and leftists of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Fatah party, led by Yasser Arafat.
Ancient history? Let’s talk about one Benjamin Netanyahu. Haaretz on October 11, 2023 published an article by one of their journalists named Dmitry Shumsky. It was entitled, “Why did Netanyahu Want to Strengthen Hamas?” He wrote, “Since he took office as prime minister a second time in 2009, that same Netanyahu developed and advanced a destructive, warped political doctrine that held that strengthening Hamas at the expense of the Palestinian Authority would be good for Israel." Shumsky explained, "This is solidly documented. Between 2012 and 2018, Netanyahu gave Qatar approval to transfer a cumulative sum of about a billion dollars to Gaza, at least half of which reached Hamas, including its military wing."
"In an interview with the Ynet news website on May 5, 2019, Netanyahu associate Gershon Hacohen, a major general in reserves, said, ‘We need to tell the truth. Netanyahu’s strategy is to prevent the option of two states, so he is turning Hamas into his closest partner. Openly Hamas is an enemy. Covertly, it’s an ally.’ So as late as 2019 after many wars with Hamas, Netanyahu saw Hamas as preferable to any possibility of a Palestinian state.
The Times of Israel had a similar article headlined For years, Netanyahu propped up Hamas. Now it’s blown up in our faces It was written by Tal Schneider and printed on October 8, 2023.
"The idea was to prevent Abbas — or anyone else in the Palestinian Authority’s West Bank government — from advancing toward the establishment of a Palestinian state."
"Meanwhile, Israel has allowed suitcases holding millions in Qatari cash to enter Gaza through its crossings since 2018, in order to maintain its fragile ceasefire with the Hamas rulers of the Strip."
Now if you say that Netanyahu was bowing to pressure from us “bleeding-hearts” to prevent hunger among Palestinians realize there was a completely different strategy available, to press for elections in Gaza [the last one was in 2006]. Elections could have brought new people to the fore in the Gaza Strip and in the West Bank. But democracy was the last thing on Netanyahu’s mind.
Muhammad Shehada noted that none other than Ultra-Rightist Bezalel Smotrich in 2015 frankly told a TV interviewer “Hamas is an ASSET” while “the Palestinian Authority is a burden.”
This Israeli support for Hamas was no surprise for mainstream American columnists. Roger Cohen in the New York Times wrote on October 8, "The assumption was...that it could even be a useful vehicle for weakening the more moderate Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, thus burying talk of a Palestinian state." Thomas L. Friedman wrote on October 20, “"Prime Minister Netanyahu really had a very intentional policy of strengthening Hamas and weakening the Palestinian Authority. So strengthening the Palestinian group that would never recognize Israel while weakening the one that would."
We also have to mention an atrocity that was very influential to the founding of Hamas. It was a massacre of Palestinians in Khan Younis camp in Gaza on November 3, 1956. Historian of Palestine Zachary Foster recounts how on that day between 275 and 525 Palestinian men and youths were stood against walls and executed. The IDF probably thought they were dealing with the problem "once and for all". Abdulassiz Rantissi, then 8-years-old lived in that camp. He might have been an eyewitness to the murders. Decades later co-founded Hamas.
Foster's source for the above was Jean-Pierre Filiu in " Gaza: A History. Oxford University Press" published in 2014, p. 271. One could also look at the graphic book, "Footnotes in Gaza" by Joe Sacco. He depicts the massacre extensively.
Middle East Crisis Committee (our parent group) Adopts these Positions
Stop the Ongoing Genocide of Palestinians
Not Another Nickel for Israel's Crimes
Special Session of CT Legislature to
Dump $70M in Israeli Investments
Biden, Your Support for Israeli Crimes is Disgusting
Deliberate Killing of Civilians is a War Crime, by Anybody
Not Another Ethnic Cleansing of Palestinians
Stop the Warfare against Palestinians on the West Bank
No War with Iran - Bring the U.S Warships Home
Middle East Crisis Committee (our parent group) Adopts these Positions
"I’m afraid that the horrific casualties among civilians, Israelis and, increasingly, Palestinians, is just the beginning of what’s going to be an awful, awful, awful massacre in Gaza. The desire for revenge after the killing of a very large number — hundreds, apparently — of innocent Israeli civilians is going to lead to a horrific massacre in Gaza of probably many, many more people than we can imagine. And I agree with what Raji said, of course, my friend Raji, who I hope is OK. And I agree with what Orly said and with what Ofer Cassif said. War crimes don’t justify other war crimes. And we are about to see horrific war crimes.
But I think there are two things that have to be added. This has to be put within the context. And the context is not just occupation. The context is settler colonialism and apartheid."
"It is an inevitable result of months and maybe years of Israeli arrogance - of the feeling that Israel can do whatever it wants and will never be accountable and never pay any price for the pogroms of the settlers in the West Bank, backed and supported by the Israeli Army; for the arrests, for the attacks, for the killings of innocent civilians in the West Bank - and also for violating the Temple Mountain [al-Aqsa mosque] . . . Gaza is a cage, is the biggest prison in the world. Nobody spoke about lifting the siege. And you know people who live now 17 years in a cage *want to resist* and if they have the possibility they do it. . . And finally you see that the spirit of resistance is stronger than anything else."
Gideon Levy is a columnist and editor of the Israeli newspaper Haaretz
"You cannot overstate the magnitude, the scale and the reverberating shock waves of Saturday’s attack on Israel. This is Yom Kippur 1973 all over again, with one fundamental difference: the toll on Israel in 1973 (3,000 killed) was exacted on the military. Saturday’s attack, sure to escalate, claimed civilian lives, terrorized an entire country and was insulting as much as it was lethal.
The State of Israel and the Israel Defense Forces failed miserably to protect Israelis. It’s that simple. The speed with which the country’s leaders already started to shed responsibility and shift the burden of blame to the IDF is astounding, even by the very low Israeli standards of political accountability. This is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s fiasco. He owns it, and he should and will be held accountable the day after the war ends."
As the Israeli regime declares war on the Palestinians and we brace for what’s to come - it is vital to remember that Israel has been carrying out unspeakable atrocities against the Palestinian people for over 70 years and has entrapped over 2 million Palestinians in Gaza with a suffocating siege for 17 years. No cage goes unchallenged.
We call on people of conscience around the world to take a stand and publicly declare their support for the Palestinian people.
We know that right now world leaders are watching to see how the public responds.
We need to send them a clear message.
We can not expect Palestinians to passively accept ethnic cleansing, indefinite imprisonment without charges, a 17-year siege, ongoing and endless military occupation, and the deep segregation and indignity of apartheid. Any analysis that claims Palestinian resistance is unprovoked is deeply dehumanizing to Palestinians, and we must push back.
I stand with the Palestinian people’s right to defend themselves, to resist a 17-year siege, indefinite imprisonment without charges, ethnic cleansing, ongoing and endless military occupation, and the deep segregation and indignity of apartheid.
The natural reaction to colonization and oppression is resistance.
I call on the international community, including governments, academics, institutions, cultural workers, and artists and all who believe in justice and freedom to recommit to supporting the Palestinian-led movement to boycott, divest, and sanction apartheid Israel.
Stand on the side of justice.
Right now, Palestinians, Israelis and all of us with family on the ground are terrified for loved ones. We grieve the lives of those already lost and remain committed to a future where every life is precious, and all people live in freedom and safety.
Following 16 years of Israeli military blockade, Palestinian fighters from Gaza launched an unprecedented assault, in which hundreds of Israelis were killed and wounded, and civilians kidnapped. The Israeli government declared war, launching airstrikes, killing hundreds of Palestinians and wounding thousands, bombing residential buildings and threatening to commit war crimes against besieged Palestinians in Gaza.
The Israeli government may have just declared war, but its war on Palestinians started over 75 years ago. Israeli apartheid and occupation — and United States complicity in that oppression — are the source of all this violence. Reality is shaped by when you start the clock.
For the past year, the most racist, fundamentalist, far-right government in Israeli history has ruthlessly escalated its military occupation over Palestinians in the name of Jewish supremacy with violent expulsions and home demolitions, mass killings, military raids on refugee camps, unrelenting siege and daily humiliation. In recent weeks, Israeli forces repeatedly stormed the holiest Muslim sites in Jerusalem.
For 16 years, the Israeli government has suffocated Palestinians in Gaza under a draconian air, sea and land military blockade, imprisoning and starving two million people and denying them medical aid. The Israeli government routinely massacres Palestinians in Gaza; ten-year-olds who live in Gaza have already been traumatized by seven major bombing campaigns in their short lives.
For 75 years, the Israeli government has maintained a military occupation over Palestinians, operating an apartheid regime. Palestinian children are dragged from their beds in pre-dawn raids by Israeli soldiers and held without charge in Israeli military prisons. Palestinians homes are torched by mobs of Israeli settlers, or destroyed by the Israeli army. Entire Palestinian villages are forced to flee, abandoning the homes and orchards and land that were in their family for generations.
The bloodshed of today and the past 75 years traces back directly to U.S. complicity in the oppression and horror caused by Israel’s military occupation. The U.S. government consistently enables Israeli violence and bears blame for this moment. The unchecked military funding, diplomatic cover, and billions of dollars of private money flowing from the U.S. enables and empowers Israel’s apartheid regime. Those who continue calling for “ironclad” U.S. support for the Israeli military are only paving the path to more violence.
From the U.S., there are no sidelines. We will uproot complicity where we are: we demand that the U.S. government immediately take steps to withdraw military funding to Israel and to hold the Israeli government accountable for its gross violations of human rights and war crimes against Palestinians. We commit to escalating our campaigns for boycott, divestment and sanctions to end the billions pouring into the Israeli war machine from corporations and private foundations.
Inevitably, oppressed people everywhere will seek — and gain — their freedom. We all deserve liberation, safety, and equality. The only way to get there is by uprooting the sources of the violence, beginning with our own government’s complicity.
We’re watching the unfolding horrors with heartbreak and dread for our loved ones – Israelis and Palestinians alike.
We cannot and will not say today's actions by Palestinian militants are unprovoked. Every day under Israel’s system of apartheid is a provocation. The strangling siege on Gaza is a provocation. Settlers terrorizing entire Palestinian villages, soldiers raiding and demolishing Palestinian homes, murdering Palestinians in the streets, Israeli ministers calling for genocide and expulsion. These are the provocations of the most extremist right wing government in Israel’s history and an emboldened fascist movement escalating this crisis across the land.
We absolutely condemn the killing of innocent civilians and mourn the loss of Palestinian and Israeli life, with numbers rising by the minute. Their blood is on the hands of the Israeli government, the US government which funds and excuses their recklessness, and every international leader who continues to turn a blind eye to decades of Palestinian oppression, endangering both Palestinians and Israelis. Anyone who minimizes or ignores this context will only continue to be surprised as more blood is shed.
We call on our communities to reconsider the knee-jerk militarism that has led us into this unfolding catastrophe. There is no path to a future of safety and freedom for all Israelis and Palestinians without accountability for this fascist government and an end to the ongoing, untenable status quo of Israel’s apartheid system.
In love and solidarity,
"Gaza broke out of prison"
and if you can stomach it read some of the replies to her. Their venomous, but they've always been hideous no matter what she says.
"Contrary to what many Israelis are saying, and while the army was clearly caught completely off guard by this invasion, this is not a “unilateral” or “unprovoked” attack. The dread Israelis are feeling right now, myself included, is a sliver of what Palestinians have been feeling on a daily basis under the decades-long military regime in the West Bank, and under the siege and repeated assaults on Gaza. The responses we are hearing from many Israelis today — of people calling to “flatten Gaza,” that “these are savages, not people you can negotiate with,” “they are murdering whole families,” “there’s no room to talk with these people” — are exactly what I have heard occupied Palestinians say about Israelis countless times."