The current fighting — a clash between Israel's vastly superior armed forces and Hamas's insurgents — obscures the greater challenges facing Israelis and Palestinians, including the thorny question of how to accord equal rights to millions of Palestinians living under occupation in the event that a separate Palestinian state turns out not to be viable.Wouldn't it be interesting if Hamas was actively created by Israel? Personally, I wouldn't put it past them.
It also obscures Hamas's curious history. To a certain degree, the Islamist organization whose militant wing has rained rockets on Israel the past few weeks has the Jewish state to thank for its existence. Hamas launched in 1988 in Gaza at the time of the first intifada, or uprising, with a charter now infamous for its anti-Semitism and its refusal to accept the existence of the Israeli state. But for more than a decade prior, Israeli authorities actively enabled its rise.
The Israelis saw Qutb's adherents in the Palestinian territories, including the wheelchair-bound Sheik Ahmed Yassin, Hamas's founder, as a useful counterweight to Arafat's PLO.
"When I look back at the chain of events I think we made a mistake," one Israeli official who had worked in Gaza in the 1980s said in a 2009 interview with the Wall Street Journal's Andrew Higgins. "But at the time nobody thought about the possible results."
I say if you're going to stand with Israel--don't turn your back because they will stab you in it.