The Furious Insignificance of Hamas - Part III


By mattpryor
October 20, 2010
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Good morning fellow JC'ers.

I posted parts one and two in a previous blog, so here is part 3. It contains some interesting revelations (for me, at least) about Hamas's funding and support base, and Iran's strategic involvement in Gaza's affairs.

The original post can be found at Son of Hamas blog.

A reminder: The author of this blog is Mosab Hassan Yousef, son of Sheikh Hassan Yousef, a founding member of the Hamas. He converted to Christianity having worked as a Shin Bet agent for many years, foiling many terrorist attacks against Israelis and Palestinians, before escaping to the US. He has been left with a very negative view of Islam.

I have highlighted some paragraphs which are particularly damning of the US's involvement in the region.

The Furious Insignificance of Hamas - Part III

Many Middle East analysts point to Tehran as the power behind the Hamas throne. If the flow of Iranian money and weapons could be cut off, they believe, Hamas would wither and die.

But Hamas does not rely that heavily on Iran. It needs Iran’s weaponry and training, but it also receives substantial financial support from Qatar and other Arab states, especially Saudi Arabia, as well as from individual deep pockets throughout the Arab world. During the Hajj, for example, (the annual season for pilgrimage to Mecca, November 14-18 this year) Hamas fundraisers, including exiled leader Khaled Meshaal, descend on Mecca, meet with Muslims from all over the globe and collect millions of dollars in donations.

Other observers wonder why Iran—a Shi’a Muslim nation—is helping Sunni Hamas in the first place.

From his perspective, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gains political currency by collaborating with Hamas. He needs the respect of the Sunni world if the Shi’a are to spread their doctrine and take control of the entire Middle East. So he supports Hamas, Syria and other Sunni in addition to Shi’a Hezbollah to show the Arab world that Iran’s concern extends to all Muslims, regardless of theological differences (of course, Hezbollah receives the lion’s share; Hamas receives only token support by comparison).

Nevertheless, Iran continues to play a key role in the destabilization of the region. So does the United States.

America, out of its own kind of ignorance, keeps the conflict burning between Israelis and Palestinians by supporting the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and enabling the PA to persecute Hamas.

Between FY 2007 and 2010, the U.S. government gave the PA $392 million to train and equip its security forces, oversee construction of related infrastructure projects and develop the capacity of the Palestinian Authority. And the State Department requested another $150 million for FY 2011.

When will Washington realize that it cannot join hands with people who do not believe in liberty and personal freedom? The PA does not believe in any concept in the American Constitution. Its security forces persecute and torture people for any reason, and people end up hating the United States because they know that it supports Abu Mazen* and his forces.

Like the PA, Egypt is considered a moderate regime and is supported by the U.S. It persecuted the Muslim Brotherhood for decades, and as a result we have to deal with Bin Laden and al-Zawahiri today. People fled persecution in Egypt, and they will flee persecution in the West Bank and find a place like Somalia, Afghanistan, Chechnya or Iraq where they can express their frustration and hatred and attack the United States.

This only fuels a deadly hatred in the heart of every Hamas member. And at some point, they will uproot Abu Mazen. But Hamas will not take over the West Bank as it did Gaza.

The worst case scenario in the West Bank is that Hamas will create underground cells, launch missiles into Israel, continue to kill Israeli settlers and perhaps assassinate key Fatah and PLO leaders. They do not have the weaponry for a coup or the tunnels through which to smuggle in the weapons. And, despite a huge base of people who sympathize with them, it would be virtually impossible for Hamas to recruit thousands of members to their military wing as they did in Gaza. The Gaza phenomenon was unique. It was a crime of opportunity that is unlikely to reoccur in the West Bank.

So, do I see any hope for my people?

Today, Hamas is doing the same thing it did 15 years ago, and I expect it will continue in the same disruptive and unproductive rut indefinitely. The unholy alliance of the U.S. and the PA will ensure that hatred continues to burn and spread in the West Bank.

There are now two Palestines. And the Bible says that a house that is divided cannot stand.

While peace-brokers continue to drag the same worn cards to the table, they leave the ace out of the deck. Islam has always been the chief obstacle to peace and reconciliation.

Israeli and Palestinian leaders have agreed before on independence, self-government and other important issues. There have been truces and ceasefires. Every intervention under the sun—military, diplomatic, economic, logistic—has been tried and failed.

And as long as Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Salafis are part of the equation, dialogue and compromise and agreement are impossible. The god of the Qur’an stands in the way.

There can never be dialogue with Islam because every discussion begins and ends with "God said..."

Only if the people of the Middle East get rid of Islam, will they be able to deal with their problems and live in peace again with one another. Otherwise, Islam will continue to be the spoiler.

COMMENTS

JLCohen

Wed, 10/20/2010 - 11:25

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I don't agree with your final comments (the people of the Middle East getting rid of Islam), but this is nevertheless an extremely interesting and well-constructed post.


mattpryor

Wed, 10/20/2010 - 11:28

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JLCohen - the comments about Islam are Yousef's, not my own, and I don't necessarily share his views on that subject. But thanks for the feedback.


telegramsam

Wed, 10/20/2010 - 11:31

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Indeed, Matt, I agree with JLC and would add that all religious fanaticism from the three monoteistic religions is what is preventing a comprehensive deal. Religious extremism is the enemy of rationality


telegramsam

Wed, 10/20/2010 - 11:33

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Matt, when it comes to extremism, Yossef is up there (down there?) with the Mullahs.


mattpryor

Wed, 10/20/2010 - 11:59

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No, he isn't telegramsam. He's a peace loving guy who thinks the way to solve the conflict is through love and understanding. He has also helped to save a lot of lives. If you and your pro-Palestinian comrades dismiss people like him as extremists then there is truly no hope.

As for your previous comment, Judaism and Christianity (no matter how "extreme" - perhaps you'd like to clarify) do not seek to exclude other religions from the region. Only Islamists do that, through force and intimidation.

I haven't made my mind up whether the problem is "Islam" or "Islamism", or if there is a difference. I'm still waiting for a "moderate" Muslim to explain it to me, without attacking Israel in the process. The author of this article, who has converted from Islam to Christianity, doesn't see much of a difference. Read his book, then perhaps explain to me why he's wrong instead of just attacking him as an extremist.

The population of Christian-populated areas in Bethlehem and Nazareth have gone from 15% to 2% in as little as one generation, a pattern which can be seen in most other countries under Islamic rule. I'm sure you're well aware of that.

Remember when Lebanon was supposed to be "The Christian State"?

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/arabs/christianme.html

Scary stuff.


telegramsam

Wed, 10/20/2010 - 12:12

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Sorry, wrong Yossef. I thought you meant Ovadiah of that ilk. And all religions have their extremists who want to preclude the others -- The Christians have the evangelists in the US and the Opus Dei mob, the Jews have the Kahanists.


mattpryor

Wed, 10/20/2010 - 12:21

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Stop making excuses and stop burying your head in the sand. Of course there are extremists in every religion, but the difference is that in Christianity or Judaism they don't have control of the state institutions. In Islamic countries they do, and the effects are plain to see.


telegramsam

Wed, 10/20/2010 - 12:23

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Matt, they want control, and if the Republicans in the US get their way, they will have control-as they did under Bush Jr. In Israel, they have control over the settlement policy and beyond. So I think it is you who needs to take the head out of the sand.


mattpryor

Wed, 10/20/2010 - 12:33

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Extremist Jews want to build homes in the land they love.

Extremist Muslims want to destroy Israel and drive Christianity and Judaism from the region, and deny their heritage.

If you think the two are morally equivalent then you are sick in the head.


telegramsam

Wed, 10/20/2010 - 12:38

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Extremist Jews want to get rid of the Arabs. They burn down mosques, set fire to olive groves and have also murdered Palestinians (and largely got off). Extremists are extremists are extremists and if you can't see that then you really need to check yourself.


JLCohen

Wed, 10/20/2010 - 12:44

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Ah, I see. I thought that was a final, closing comment written by you. In that case - "this is an extremely interesting and well-constructed post!"


mattpryor

Wed, 10/20/2010 - 12:45

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Cause and effect telegramsam.

I'm not surprised that some people want to get rid of the Arabs. The Arabs have been attacking them for the last 100 years. It's a marvel and a testament to the goodness of Judaic teaching that ALL Israelis don't want to get rid of the Arabs, and that MOST Israelis still want to share the land.

Look at Serbia or the caucuses to see how the rest of humanity deals with conflicts of this nature.


mattpryor

Wed, 10/20/2010 - 12:46

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JLC: For future reference I'll always put my own comments at the top before the title to save confusion :)


telegramsam

Wed, 10/20/2010 - 12:48

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Cause and effect are irrelevant to this. There are Jewish extremists who want to rid Israel of the Arabs. That was my point. I wasn't discussing cause and effect. If you want to play that game, then you might as well go back to the Crusades to look at why extremist Muslims want rid of the non-Muslims. That would be a ridiculous game, I hope you agree.


telegramsam

Wed, 10/20/2010 - 12:49

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Anyway, I'm off to Milan now. Toodles.


mattpryor

Wed, 10/20/2010 - 12:53

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How can you ignore cause and effect while making moral judgements on others? What a ridiculous thing to say.

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