Israel Palestine Infos
December 31, 2011
IF ISLAMIST movements come to power all over the region, they should express
their debt of gratitude to their bete noire,
Without the active or passive help of successive Israeli governments, they may not have been able to realize their dreams.
That is true in
LET’S TAKE the example of Hamas.
All over the Arab lands, dictators have been faced with a dilemma. They
could easily close down all political and civic activities, but they could not close the mosques. In the mosques people could congregate in order to pray, organize charities and, secretly, set up political organizations. Before the days of Twitter and Facebook, that was the only way to reach masses of people.
One of the dictators faced with this dilemma was the
But this went beyond tolerance. The General Security Service (known as Shin Bet or Shabak) had an active interest in the flourishing of the mosques. People who pray five times a day, they thought, have no time to build bombs.
The main enemy, as laid down by Shabak, was the dreadful PLO, led by that monster, Yasser Arafat. The PLO was a secular organization, with many prominent Christian members, aiming at a “nonsectarian” Palestinian state. They were the enemies of the Islamists, who were talking about a pan-Islamic Caliphate.
Turning the Palestinians towards Islam, it was thought, would weaken the PLO and its main faction, Fatah. So everything was done to help the Islamic movement discreetly.
It was a very successful policy, and the Security people congratulated
themselves on their cleverness, when something untoward happened. In December
1987, the first intifada broke out. The mainstream Islamists had to
compete with more radical groupings. Within days, they transformed themselves
into the Islamic Resistance Movement (acronym Hamas) and became the most
dangerous foes of
And now, irony of ironies, Hamas is about to join the PLO and take part in a Palestinian National Unity government. They really should send us a message of Shukran (“thanks”).
OUR PART in the rise of Hizbollah is less direct, but no less effective.
Following the troops in my private car, trying to reach the front, I had to traverse about a dozen Shiite villages. In each one I was detained by the villagers, who insisted that I have coffee in their homes.
Neither Sharon nor anyone else paid much attention to the Shiites. In the
federation of autonomous ethnic-religious communities that is called
However, the Israelis outstayed their welcome. It took the Shiites just a few weeks to realize that they had no intention of leaving. So, for the first time in their history, they rebelled. The main political group, Amal (“hope”), started small armed actions. When the Israelis did not take the hint, operations multiplied and turned into a full-fledged guerrilla war.
They, too, owe us a big Shukran.
THE CASE of the Muslim Brotherhood is even more complex.
The organization was founded in 1928, twenty years before the State of
As the Israeli-Palestinian conflict worsened, the popularity of the Brothers
grew. Since the 1967 war, in which
Their opposition to the peace agreement with
Actually, the agreement made no mention of a Palestinian state, only of
autonomy, phrased in a way that allowed
Long before he was overthrown, Hosni Mubarak was despised as an Israeli lackey,
paid by the
Since their beginnings in the 1920s, Brotherhood leaders and activists have been hanged, imprisoned, tortured and otherwise persecuted. Their anti-regime credentials are impeccable. Their stand for the Palestinians contributed a lot to this image.
LET’S NOT forget the Islamic
They owe us something, too. Quite a lot, actually.
Two years later, in a coup organized by the British MI6 and the American CIA,
the Shah was brought back and returned the oil to the hated British and their
partners. Israel had probably no part in the coup, but under the restored regime
of the Shah,
At the time, the Israeli leadership was cooperating with the South African
apartheid regime in developing nuclear arms. The two offered the Shah
partnership in the effort, so that
Before that partnership became effective, the detested ruler was overthrown by
the Islamic revolution of February 1979. Since then, the hatred of the Great
It seems that all Iranian factions – including the opposition – now support the
Iranian effort to obtain a nuclear bomb of their own, ostensibly to deter an
Israeli nuclear attack. (This week, the chief of the Mossad pronounced that an
Iranian nuclear bomb would not constitute an “existential danger” to
Where would the Islamic Republic be without
HOWEVER, LET us not be too
Strange as it may appear, obscurantist religious fundamentalism seems to express
the Zeitgeist. An American nun-turned-historian, Karen Armstrong, has written an
interesting book following the three fundamentalist movements in the Muslim
world, in the
At present, all
Perhaps some day a fundamentalist
Unless we do something to stop the process before it is too late.