I'm not one to be surprised by conspiracy theories, having written two books on the subject - one on the Middle Eastern phenomenon, one on the Western. I even wrote a couple of paragraphs in the former tome on the alleged alliance between Israel and Saddam Hussein.
Israel's enemies are really its agents, starting with Saddam Husayn and Ayatollah Khomeini. … It was widely thought in mid-1982 that the Israelis were ready to attack the PLO in Lebanon but needed an excuse to do so; when the Iraqis obligingly had an agent shoot the Israeli ambassador in London (hoping this would divert Syrian attention and maybe even win a cease-fire with Iran), and Jerusalem followed two days later with Operation Peace for Galilee, a large military operation in Lebanon, Middle Easterns saw the Iraqi-Israeli ties confirmed.
Iraq's enemies made much of this alleged connection during the Kuwait crisis. Husni Mubarak accused Saddam Husayn of secretly plotting with Israeli leaders how their two states might avoid withdrawing from the territories they had occupied. While Saddam portrayed his conflict with the West as an effort to forward the Palestinian cause, the Saudi ambassador to Indonesia portrayed Saddam as an "Israeli agent planted in the Ba'th Party to stab the Arab world in the back." Even as the Allied ground war against Iraq was in full pitch, the official Kuwaiti newspaper reported the defection of an Iraqi diplomat carrying "a file on secret contacts" with Israeli officials.
But even I was taken aback on reading "The Zionist Game" in a Pakistani weekly:
It is obvious that Saddam had always served the interest of the Zionists. He invaded Iran and gave ample opportunity to Israel to sell the US-stolen high-tech weapons to both Iraq and Iran which it did rather amicably at the price of gold and in doing so killed and maimed hundreds of thousands of human beings on both sides. …
The Zionists had hired and installed Saddam, Qaddafi, Asad, Yasser Arafat, Abbas and others to play the role of enemy while Abdullah of Jordan and Hosny Mubarak of Egypt as "friends."
Both types are in Zionists' own words: "chained, fat dogs" are happy over their roles as long as they are getting good chunks of thrown-away meat. …
All the Muslim countries are under the direct control of Zionist "chained fat dogs."
Reading such a rant, even in a letter to the editor, in what purports to be a serious publication cannot but induce a mild sense of despair. (August 1, 2003)
Sep. 1, 2010 update: Here's another theory that surprises me, one promoted by a serious person, Mojtaba Zolnour, who serves as deputy representative in the Revolutionary Guard of Iran's supreme leader. As explained by Golnaz Esfandiari in "Zionists Waiting To Kill Hidden Imam, Says Iranian Cleric," Zolnour
was quoted as saying that "Zionists" have security plans for Muslim pilgrimage sites including Mecca, Karbala, and other sites where he said it was likely that the Hidden Imam could appear. The Hidden Imam or the Promised Mahdi is the 12th imam of Shi'ite Islam, who Muslims believe will appear to bring peace and justice on Earth and put an end to tyranny. "They've told their soldiers to kill immediately whomever they see with the characteristics [of the Hidden Imam] and not even take the risk to arrest him because he is a very awesome and dangerous person," Zolnour said.
Esfandiari also recalls that in December 2009, Mahmud Ahmadinejad made similar accusations against the U.S. government:
"We have documented proof that they [U.S. leaders] believe that a descendant of the prophet of Islam will raise in these parts [the Middle East] and he will dry the roots of all injustice in the world. They have devised all these plans to prevent the coming of the Hidden Imam because they know that the Iranian nation is the one that will prepare the ground for his coming and will be the supporters of his rule."