Since the navy’s May 31 takeover of the Turkish-Hamas flotilla, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his advisers have deliberated around the clock about how to contend with the US-led international stampede against Israel. But their ultimate decision to form an investigatory committee led by a retired Supreme Court justice and overseen by foreign observers indicates that they failed to recognize the nature of the international campaign facing us today.
Led by US President Barack Obama, the West has cast its lot with Hamas. It is not surprising that Obama is siding with Hamas. His close associates are leading members of the pro-Hamas Free Gaza outfit. Obama’s friends, former Weather Underground terrorists Bernadine Dohrn and William Ayres participated in a Free Gaza trip to Egypt in January. Their aim was to force the Egyptians to allow them into Gaza with 1,300 fellow Hamas supporters. Their mission was led by Code Pink leader and Obama fund-raiser Jodie Evans. Another leading member of Free Gaza is James Abourezk, a former US senator from South Dakota.
All of these people have open lines of communication not only to the Obama White House, but to Obama himself.
Obama has made his sympathy for the Muslim Brotherhood clear several times since entering office. The Muslim Brotherhood’s progeny include Hamas, al-Qaida and the Egyptian Islamic Jihad. Last June, Obama infuriated the Egyptian government when he insisted on inviting leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood to attend his speech at Al Azhar University in Cairo. His administration’s decision to deport Hamas deserter and Israeli counterterror operative Mosab Hassan Yousef to the Palestinian Authority where he will be killed is the latest sign of its support for radical Islam.
Given Obama’s attitude toward jihadists and the radical leftists who support them, his decision to support Hamas against Israel makes sense. What is alarming however is how leaders of the free world are now all siding with Hamas. That support has become ever more apparent since the Mossad’s alleged killing of Hamas terror master Mahmoud al-Mabhouh at his hotel in Dubai in January.
In the aftermath of Mabhouh’s death, both Britain and Australia joined the Dubai-initiated bandwagon in striking out against Israel. Israel considers both countries allies, or at least friendly and has close intelligence ties with both. Yet despite their close ties, Australia and Britain expelled Israeli diplomats who supposedly had either a hand in the alleged operation or who work for the Mossad.
It should be noted that neither country takes steps against outspoken terror supporters who call for Israel to be destroyed and call for the murder of individual Israelis.
For instance, in an interview last month with The Australian, Ali Kazak, the former PLO ambassador to Australia, effectively solicited the murder of The Jerusalem Post’s Palestinian affairs correspondent Khaled Abu Toameh. Kazak told the newspaper, “Khaled Abu Toameh is a traitor.”
Allowing that many Palestinians have been murdered for such accusations, Kazak excused those extrajudicial murders saying, “Traitors were also murdered by the French Resistance, in Europe; this happens everywhere.”
Not only did Australia not expel Kazak or open a criminal investigation against him, as a consequence of his smear campaign against Abu Toameh, several Australians cancelled their scheduled meetings with him.
AND OF course, this week we have the actions of Germany and Poland. They are considered Israel’s best friends in Europe, and yet acting on a German arrest warrant, Poland has arrested a suspected Mossad officer named Uri Brodsky for his alleged involvement in the alleged Mossad operation against Mabhouh. Israel is now caught in a diplomatic disaster zone where its two closest allies – who again are only too happy to receive regular intelligence updates from the Mossad – are siding with Hamas against it.
And then of course we have the EU’s call for Israel to cancel its lawful blockade of the Gaza coast. That is, the official position of the EU is that an Iranian proxy terrorist organization should be allowed to gain control over a Mediterranean port and through it, provide Iran with yet another venue from which it can launch attacks against Europe.
For their part, the Sunni Arabs are forced to go along with this. The Egyptian regime considers the fact that the Muslim Brotherhood took over Gaza a threat to its very survival and has been assiduously sealing its border with Gaza for some time. And yet, unable to be more anti-Hamas than the US, Australia and Europe, Mubarak is opening the border. Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa’s unprecedented visit to Gaza this week should be seen as a last ditch attempt by Egypt to convince Hamas to unify its ranks with Fatah. Predictably, the ascendant Hamas refused his entreaties.
As for Fatah, it is hard not to feel sorry for its leader Mahmoud Abbas these days. In what was supposed to be a triumphant visit to the White House, Abbas was forced to smile last week as Obama announced the US will provide $450 million in aid to his sworn enemies who three years ago ran him and his Fatah henchmen out of Gaza.
So too, Abbas is forced to cheer as Obama pressures Israel to give Hamas an outlet to the sea. This will render it impossible for Fatah to ever unseat Hamas either by force or at the ballot box. Hamas’s international clout demonstrates to the Palestinians that jihad pays.
THERE ARE three plausible explanations for the West’s decision to back
Hamas. All of them say something deeply disturbing about the state of
the world. The first plausible explanation is that the Americans and
the rest of the West are simply naïve. They believe that by backing
Hamas, they are advancing the cause of Middle East peace.
If this is in fact what the likes of Obama and his European and
Australian counterparts think, apparently no one in the West is
thinking very hard. The fact is that by backing Hamas against Israel,
they are backing Hamas against Fatah and they are backing Iran, Syria,
Turkey, Hamas and Hizbullah against Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
They are backing the most radical actors in the region – and arguably
in the world – against states and regimes they have a shared strategic
interest in strengthening.
There is absolutely no way this behavior advances the cause of peace.
The second plausible explanation is that the West’s support for Hamas
is motivated by hatred of Israel. As Helen Thomas’s recent remarks
demonstrated, there is certainly a lot of that going around.
The final plausible explanation for the West’s support for Hamas is
that it has been led to believe that by acting as it is, it will buy
itself immunity from attack by Hamas and its fellow members of the
Iranian axis. As former Italian president Francesco Cossiga first
exposed in a letter to Corriere della Serra
August 2008, in the early 1970s Italian prime minister Aldo Moro signed
a deal with Yasser Arafat that gave the PLO and its affiliated
organizations the freedom to operate terror bases in Italy. In exchange
the Palestinians agreed to limit their attacks to Jewish and Israeli
targets. Italy maintained its allegiance to the deal – and to the PLO
against Israel – even when Italian targets were hit.
Cossiga told the newspaper that the August 2, 1980 bombing at the
Bologna train station – which Italy blamed on Italian fascists – was
actually the work of George Habash’s Popular Front for the Liberation
of Palestine. Eighty-five people were murdered in the attack, and still
Italy maintained its agreement with the PLO to the point where it
prosecuted and imprisoned the wrong people for the worst terrorist
attack in its history.
Cossiga alleged that the deal is still in place today and that Italian
forces in UNIFIL have expanded the deal to include Hamas’s fellow
Iranian proxy Hizbullah. It isn’t much of a stretch to consider the
possibility that Italy and the rest of the Western powers have made a
similar deal with Hamas. And it is no stretch at all to believe that
they will benefit from it as greatly as the Italian railroad passengers
in Bologna did.
True, no one has come out and admitted to supporting Hamas. So too, no
one has expressed anything by love for Israel and the Jewish people.
But the actions of the governments of the West tell a different tale.
Without one or more of the explanations above, it is hard to understand
their current policies.
Since the flotilla incident, Netanyahu and his ministers have held
marathon deliberations on how to respond to US pressure to accept an
international inquisition into the IDF’s lawful enforcement of the
legal blockade of the Gaza coast. Their deliberations went on at the
same time as Netanyahu and his envoys attempted to convince Obama to
stop his mad rush to give Hamas an outlet to the sea and deny Israel
even the most passive right of self-defense.
It remains to be seen if their decision to form an investigative panel
with international “observers” was a wise move or yet another
ill-advised concession to an unappeasable administration. What is
certain, however, is that it will not end the West’s budding romance
The West’s decision to side with Hamas is devastating. But whatever the
reasons for it, it is a fact of life. It is Netanyahu’s duty to swallow
this bitter pill and devise a strategy to protect the country from