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Reader comment on item: Foreword: Ignoring the Palestinian Civil War

Submitted by There is NO Santa Claus (aka TINSC) (United States), Nov 13, 2008 at 10:58

>I believe it reflects the fact that few academics have a genuine interest in the Palestinians. Rather, they devote outsized attention to this otherwise small and obscure population because it represents a convenient and potent tool with which to malign Israel.<

I think that is rather obvious. A compelling argument has also been made over the years that the sole purpose of the Palestinian Arab National Movement was to malign Israel.

So much for the easy stuff! Here are a couple of more arguable theses:

The claim that the US hoped that the PLO would reform is highly speculative. The real motivation for supporting the PLO was the time-honored tactic of using "our terrorists" (in this case, we hoped the PLO would be "our terrorists") against the "bad terrorists"; in this case Hamas. The theory was that the PLO was all but dead with the unraveling of the USSR and the KGB. The money supply from the USSR was cut off and all we had to do was "buy the PLO", put them in our employ and crush Hamas. The time-honored tactic of using terrorists to fight other terrorists has failed countless times. The Oslo accords were hardly an exception.

I like your semantics when you refer to "the emergence of Hamas in late 1987". Some people might be tempted to say that Hamas "began" in 1987, but that would not be exactly accurate. Hamas is merely a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood which was established in the 1920's. The Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood was directed for many years by Haj Amin El Husseini. Yet here again, we see that the Israelis were willing to support Hamas in the early years (1980's) thinking they would be viable competition to the PLO. Again, the thinking was that they could support one terrorist group to fight another. In the 1980's, the thinking was that the Soviet Union and their proxies were the biggest danger. The US and Saudi Arabia were supporting the Mujahaddin in Afghanistan against the Soviets. The Israeli thinking was: Why not try the same thing on a smaller scale against the Soviet Proxy PLO?

The result from this policy pretty much speaks for itself.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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