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Commentary on the present and future of culture, politics, economics, and social values................... "At any given instant/All solids dissolve, no wheels revolve,/And facts have no endurance." W.H. Auden.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Hamas: Israel Reaping What it Sowed

Israel's Prime Minister Sharon has vowed to hound Hamas and assassinate its leaders. An ironic position in light of the fact that at the beginning Israel promoted the growth of Hamas. Bad decisions do have a way of coming back to haunt!

Hamas was formed in 1987 by the Muslim Brotherhood during the first Intifada. It was intended to be a Palestinian religious opposition to Israel to challenge the secular PLO for the leadership of the Palestinian liberation movement. From 1988 to 1992, Hamas and the PLO actively fought one another. In this situation, Israel thought it would be a clever policy to support Hamas in order to weaken the PLO and its armed wing, al-Fatah, and undermine Yasir Arafat.

The Israeli policy was in line with what imperialist powers have always done in order to rule: divide the occupied people and get them to fight one another. So, Israel supported Hamas to assure its own rule over the territory.

Dr. Frankenstein created a monster he could not control. And Israel now finds it can negotiate with the PLO but not with Hamas. With every bomb explosion in Isreal, its government must shudder at the decision it made fifteen years ago to promote Hamas.

Even at the time the decision was made, there were wise voices that said Israel was making a mistake. But who ever listens to Cassandra?

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