by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
One of the most misleading, contextless talking points spread by the pro-Hamas right and left contends that Israel “supported” and “created” the terror organization. It is the political equivalent of condemning someone today for failing to make a citizen’s arrest of O.J. Simpson in 1986.
The myth was popularized by former Qatari propagandist, now one of MSNBC’s leading terror apologists, Mehdi Hasan. The insinuation, of course, is that Israel bears moral and historical responsibility for the murder of its own citizens. A lot of these same people, no doubt, blamed Americans for creating al Qaeda and thus 9/11.
The Hamas claim is even weaker, frankly, considering Israel had no hand in arming any iteration of Hamas.
An offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, the group was formed in 1967 and legally registered in Israel in 1978 as a nonprofit Islamic association. From the start, its stated goal was destroying Israel, joining virtually every Arab group in the area. If Israelis began shuttering every Islamic association and assassinating every leader whose stated goal was the destruction of the Jewish State, it would be in a constant state of war.
Israel, instead, was largely indifferent to Hamas — one of many theocratic groups appearing at the time. When created, Hamas was best known for building medical centers and offering welfare services. Most of Hamas’ funding came from foreign sources. Jordan, probably the group’s biggest patron in the subsequent years, saw Hamas as a way to influence the politics of the “West Bank.” And Israel also largely looked the other way, hoping to create a political counterbalance to the terrorist PLO. (Israel’s only known direct funding to the group came, according to U.S. intelligence officials, to fund agents who were spying on the organization.)