Moral Outrage
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The ambiguous Israeli connection to Islamist extremism

Curiously, Israel has played a key role in Islamist extremism.

This dates back to when Congressman Charlie Wilson used his position in the House Select Committee on Intelligence, with the support of then-Senator Dick Cheney, to ramp up billions of dollars’ worth of support for both Israel and the Afghan mujahidin. Gust Avracotos, the CIA’s Station Chief in Islamabad, commented that Wilson brought “the Israelis into the CIA’s Muslim jihad”, opening opportunities for Mossad penetration of the Pakistani ISI and al-Qaeda and securing Israeli arms contracts and intelligence ties with Pakistan.

Closer to home, Israel played a very similar game in its ambiguous relationship to Hamas. US Government and intelligence sources confirm that Israel provided direct and indirect financial aid to Hamas in the late 1970s as a counterbalance to the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). According to the Israeli military affairs experts, many Israeli staff officers believed that the rise of fundamentalism in Gaza could be exploited to weaken the power of the PLO.

Israeli support for Hamas reportedly continued even after the signing of the Oslo accords in 1993. The Israeli Insider reported Ariel Sharon’s plan for an all-out attack on the Palestinian Authority to permanently destroy its infrastructure.

Elements of the Israeli far-right, including senior cabinet officials, recognized that the plan to destroy the PA would facilitate the rise of Hamas. In an Israeli Cabinet meeting in December 2001, for instance, one minister declared: “Between Hamas and Arafat, I prefer Hamas.”

He added that Arafat is a “terrorist in a diplomat’s suit, while Hamas can be hit unmercifully… there won’t be any international protests”.



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