While many people are deeply saddened by the escalation of violence in the Arab-Israeli conflict, what’s commonly under-reported is the origin and funding of Hamas.
The Hamas attack on Israeli non-combatant civilians was not at all a blow to Israel’s ruling elite, but, on the contrary, an attack that strengthens their rule that came at a very convenient time for them.
Hamas, for Zionist leaders, is controlled opposition. It’s not controlled like a puppet, but funded and kept in power by Israel because its aims, like those of the corrupt Palestine Authority, are to dominate and control ordinary Palestinians in the name of supposedly standing up against Israel while not doing anything that can actually defeat Israel.
The latter would require waging the class war against the billionaire ruling class of Israel. Hamas and Israel’s leaders need each other; each helps the other keep a grip on its own people, providing the other a perfect enemy with which to frighten its “own people” into obedience.
The Israeli right wing’s seven-decades long strategy has been to use violent ethnic cleansing against Palestinians (read the details here). The aim is to make Palestinians so angry at Israel that they can present them as an existential threat—a bogeyman enemy. Israel’s billionaire ruling class (yes, it has one just like the United States does) pretends to be protecting Israeli Jews from this bogeyman enemy.
This while it uses it to frighten into submission the Israeli working class, who are oppressed economically. The U.S. media censors this because the U.S. billionaire ruling class also has a huge motive for supporting Israel’s ethnic cleansing project.
Failure to understand this means a failure to understand what is going on today in Israel/Palestine.
The Evidence: Israel’s Government Funds Hamas and Works to Keep it in Power
Here I will first present the evidence that the Israeli government funds HAMAS big time and has done so for a long time. Then I will present the evidence that the Israeli government has worked to keep HAMAS in power in Gaza. After this I will explain briefly WHY the Israeli government does this and provide a link to my article that explains in great detail with solid proof why the Israeli government does this.
Here’s Evidence that Israel Funds Hamas—please follow the hyperlinks and read for yourself the evidence:
a. Here’s evidence that Israel funded Hamas right from its beginning.
b. “Money trail to Hamas begins with Israeli banks” and continues through September 27, 2007
c. Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert: Israel continued as of June 30, 2008 to fund Hamas
d. Forbes on January 16, 2009 reports:
“Incredibly, Israel also supplies Hamas with cash. It began transferring truckloads of cash to Gaza after Hamas’ violent takeover of the territory in June 2007. The first transfer of more than $51 million (delivered in Israeli shekels) was purportedly to strengthen the influence of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the Gaza Strip and pay the salaries of 35,000 Palestinian Authority employees then allegedly loyal to him. Among those employees, however, were Ismail Haniya, the Hamas-appointed prime minister in Gaza, and Mahmoud Zahar, Hamas’ foreign minister.
“Zahar prides himself on many successful terrorist attacks against Israel, and his position regarding Israel is clear. “All of Palestine, every inch of Palestine belongs to the Muslims,” he has said. If the goal was to strengthen Abbas’ position, the cash should have been delivered to him in the West Bank city of Ramallah. From there, he could have transferred the money to Gaza, as he has done in the past, and claim credit for it.”
e. “Netanyahu: Money to Hamas part of strategy to keep Palestinians divided” reported March 12, 2019 in the Jerusalem Post.
Of course Netanyahu is just hiding the REAL purpose. Money is fungible, which means that any money Israel gives to Hamas for one purpose just frees up other money for Hamas to use for another purpose. Israeli leaders need Hamas to commit terrorism against ordinary Israeli Jews in order to make the bogeyman enemy maximally frightening (see the many details here).
f. “Beginning in 2018, Qatar’s envoy traveled with millions of dollars packed neatly in Louis Vuitton suitcases from Doha to the Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv and was escorted to the Gaza Strip by Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency. Yossi Cohen, former Mossad chief, even visited Qatar to iron out the details of the arrangement and encouraged the Qataris to keep the dollars coming. The cash purchased fuel for the besieged strip’s only power plant, funded infrastructure projects, and provided a monthly stipend of $100 to thousands of impoverished Palestinian families.
“Israeli intelligence officials, however, say they knew that Hamas—the Palestinian group that runs a de-facto government in Gaza but is treated by Israel and the United States as a terrorist group—siphoned off the funds. The thinking was that Qatari cash would keep Hamas quiet—that it would essentially buy them off from firing rockets at Israel’s southern cities.
“But the policy seems to have backfired, several former Israeli officials told Foreign Policy. “Did the Qatari procedure work for us? We don’t think so,” said Colonel Eran Lerman, former deputy national security adviser of the country.
“In the recent war with Hamas, Israelis were caught off guard by the group’s ability to hit deep inside Israeli cities, with not just Tel Aviv but Jerusalem within their reach. The group fired 4,360 rockets over a period of 11 days, four times more than it did in the 50-day war in 2014.” [June 15, 2021]
g. “For years, Netanyahu propped up Hamas. Now it’s blown up in our faces: The premier’s policy of treating the terror group as a partner, at the expense of Abbas and Palestinian statehood, has resulted in wounds that will take Israel years to heal from. For years, the various governments led by Benjamin Netanyahu took an approach that divided power between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank — bringing Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to his knees while making moves that propped up the Hamas terror group.” [October 8, 2023, 3:58 pm]
h. ‘Can Netanyahu survive Hamas’s attack on Israel?
Israelis are increasingly aware of government failures that enabled Hamas’s attack, but that may not be enough to bring the Israeli prime minister down…Netanyahu’s strategy has always been to allow Hamas room for maneuver in order to weaken the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah and Palestinian society more generally. “Those who want to thwart the establishment of a Palestinian state should support the strengthening of Hamas and the transfer of money to Hamas,” he stated at a Likud party meeting in March 2019. “This is part of our strategy, to differentiate between the Palestinians in Gaza and the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria.”’ [October 11, 2023]
Here’s Evidence that Israel Certainly Knows that Its Attacks on Gaza STRENGTHEN Hamas
The Israeli attacks on Palestinian civilians in Gaza strengthen the Hamas leaders’ grip on power in Gaza. There is plenty of evidence for this mutually beneficial relationship between the Israeli and Hamas leaders:
UPI Terrorism Correspondent, Richard Sale, wrote an article in 2002 titled, “Hamas History Tied to Israel” in which he states:
“Israel and Hamas may currently be locked in deadly combat, but, according to several current and former U.S. intelligence officials, beginning in the late 1970s, Tel Aviv gave direct and indirect financial aid to Hamas over a period of years.
“Israel aided Hamas directly—the Israelis wanted to use it as a counterbalance to the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization),” said Tony Cordesman, Middle East analyst for the Center for Strategic Studies.
Israel’s support for Hamas “was a direct attempt to divide and dilute support for a strong, secular PLO by using a competing religious alternative,” said a former senior CIA official.
In 2009, Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies at Columbia, wrote an article in which he said:
“Resistance movements such as Hezbollah and Hamas, by contrast, can plausibly claim that they forced Israel to withdraw from occupied Arab land while scoring impressive gains at the ballot box; they have also been reasonably free of corruption. As if determined to increase the influence of these radical movements, Israel has undermined Abbas and the PA at every turn…
“But Hamas will not be so easily defeated, even if Israel’s merciless assault and Hamas’s own obduracy have brought untold suffering on the people of Gaza and much of the Strip lies in ruins: like Hezbollah in Lebanon in 2006, all it has to do in order to proclaim victory is remain standing. The movement continued to fire rockets into Israel under devastating bombardment, and it looks likely to emerge politically stronger when the war is over…”
John J. Mearsheimer, professor of political science at the University of Chicago, wrote an article (originally for The American Conservative) in 2009 in which he stated:
“More importantly, there is little reason to think that the Israelis can beat Hamas into submission and get the Palestinians to live quietly in a handful of Bantustans inside Greater Israel. Israel has been humiliating, torturing, and killing Palestinians in the Occupied Territories since 1967 and has not come close to cowing them. Indeed, Hamas’s reaction to Israel’s brutality seems to lend credence to [Friedrich] Nietzsche’s remark that what does not kill you makes you stronger.” [emphasis added]
Anthony H. Cordesman, who held the Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and who was also a national security analyst for ABC News, wrote an article in 2009 in which he stated in regard to the fighting in Gaza:
“At least to date, the reporting from within Gaza indicates that each new Israeli air strike or advance on the ground has increased popular support for Hamas and anger against Israel in Gaza. The same is true in the West Bank and the Islamic world. Iran and Hezbollah are capitalizing on the conflict…
What is the strategic purpose behind the present fighting?…Will Israel end in empowering an enemy in political terms that it defeated in tactical terms?…To [be] blunt, the answer so far seems to be yes.” [emphasis added]
Khalid Amayreh, in his blog in 2009, wrote about the Israeli attack on Gaza in an article titled, “Hamas gaining sympathy as onslaught continue.”
“With the massive Israeli onslaught against the Gaza Strip continuing unabated, and with Israeli political and military leaders threatening to “decimate” Hamas, Palestinian intellectuals as well as ordinary people expect Hamas’s popularity to rise dramatically when the present Israeli campaign is over…”
“Qassem predicted that the current Israeli campaign would actually lead to the boosting of Hamas’s popularity…
“Another Palestinian intellectual, Abdul Bari Atwan, predicts that public support for Hamas will increase as a result of the present Israeli campaign in the Gaza Strip.”
Al Jazeera English made a video report in 2009 titled “War on GAZA: Popular Support” in which they wrote:
“Since beginning its offensive in the Gaza Strip, Israel has repeatedly declared it will maintain attacks to smash what it calls the Hamas terrorist machine. However, as Israel’s bombardment continues, the appeal of Hamas in the Arab world appears to be growing. Al Jazeera’s Hashem Ahelbarra reports on how the war has left Hamas gaining popular support.” [emphasis added]
Some of these reports are by people who think Israeli leaders don’t realize that their massacres of Palestinians in Gaza strengthen the Hamas leaders’ power there. But there is evidence that the Israeli leaders understand this full well. There is a video of a talk given by Professor Juan Cole, an expert on the Middle East. The host who introduces Cole name-drops that he recently had lunch with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and then (starting at the 26:56 minute point of the video) reports having heard a startling eyewitness account of the following: that during the recent Israeli slaughter of people in Gaza, supposedly to wipe out Hamas, this eyewitness was on the phone directly with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and told him he knew where the Hamas leadership was hiding, and Barack replied, “We know where Hamas’s leadership is hiding, but we’re not going to go further, we are trying to send a message.”
The video is titled, “Making a National Priority of Engaging the Muslim World and was published March 24, 2009 (Recorded @ uStream.Tv).”
Why Does the Israeli Government Fund and Keep Hamas In Power?
To read the answer to this question, with enormous amounts of proof based on establishment media sources, including Israeli sources, read my article, “The Israeli Government Attacks Ordinary Jews As Well As Palestinians.”
Very briefly, the answer is this. Like the United States, the Israeli government is controlled by a very wealthy Israeli upper class that severely oppresses Israeli Jewish working class people. The Israeli upper class controls the Israeli Jewish working class by pretending to be its protector against its “real enemy—Palestinians.”
To make the Palestinians be an effective bogeyman enemy, the Israeli upper class needs HAMAS to be as frightening to Jews as possible, for HAMAS to declare that it wants Islam to be sovereign in all of Palestine including the part now called Israel, and for HAMAS to deliberately direct lethal violence (suicide bombers in the past and rockets more recently) against noncombatant Israeli Jewish civilians (i.e., to commit terrorism) to make it seem that the Palestinians want to kill all the Jews in Israel and drive them into the sea.
HAMAS plays the role of Palestinian antisemitic terrorist perfectly; it is exactly what the Israeli ruling class needs to stay in power.
Let’s Put the Purpose of the 2023 Hamas Terrorist Attack on Non-combatant Israeli Civilians in its Larger Perspective
The purpose of a false flag attack orchestrated by a ruling class is to make one’s own population believe that they are under attack by a foreign (or “other” in some sense) enemy. The purpose is to create fear of a bogeyman enemy so that, by pretending to be protecting one’s population from that enemy, one can thereby make them submit to your authority in the name of patriotism.
This is EXACTLY what the seven decades of Israeli ethnic cleansing of Palestinians (see details about it at here) has accomplished for the billionaire ruling class of Israel ( as discussed in great detail here.) The purpose of this violent ethnic cleansing has always been to make the Palestinians be a frightening bogeyman enemy.
For the ruling class of Israel, peace with the Palestinians is thus absolutely the LAST thing they want: it would lead to the overthrow of the billionaire class, as my linked article above demonstrates.
So, in this larger perspective, it is virtually OBVIOUS that the Israeli ruling class WANTED Hamas to carry out its suicide bombings in the past and then later its rocket attacks on Israeli non-combatant civilians.
And it is obvious that Israel’s funding of Hamas has, despite the bogus excuses of Israel’s leaders, been for the purpose of making the bogeyman enemy maximally frightening. And this certainly includes the most recent 2023 Hamas terrorism against Israeli non-combatant civilians. As Israel’s leaders surely know, Israeli massacres of people in Gaza STRENGTHEN, not weaken, Hamas’s control of the Palestinians there. Hamas leaders and Israeli leaders thus have a tacit alliance to keep both of them in power over their own people.
HAMAS Is the ENEMY of Ordinary Palestinians
The ordinary people who live in Mandate Palestine are in a carefully laid trap. The only way to escape the trap is to first understand that it exists and then to deliberately escape from it, by rejecting the entire “religious war” framework that the trap depends upon.
When Palestinians engage in actions that are attempts to return to the region of Palestine, now called Israel, that Zionists drove them out of, and when they fight back against the Israeli military who block their path, they strengthen the anti-Zionist movement: they make it clear to the world—and to Israeli Jews—that their aim is not to “drive the Jews into the sea” or “kill all the Jews” but to be allowed to exercise their Right of Return. But Hamas’s aim is the contrary one, to weaken the anti-Zionist movement by doing things such as firing rockets at Israeli civilians that tell the world it does indeed view ordinary non-combatant Israeli Jews as the enemy.
Look at what Hamas does when ordinary Palestinians try to exercise their Right of Return. In 2011, Palestinians in Syria, Lebanon, Gaza and the West Bank marched to the Israeli border and tried to enter Israel. Israeli military forces fired on them; no surprise. But Hamas also tried to block the Palestinians. As The Columbus Dispatch (and others) reported:
“In Gaza, the Hamas police stopped buses carrying protesters near the main crossing into Israel, but dozens of demonstrators continued on foot, arriving at a point closer to the Israeli border than they had reached in years and drawing Israeli fire.”
In 2018, Palestinians in Gaza began the wonderful Great March of Return: wonderful because it told the world that the true aim of Palestinians is to be allowed to enjoy their Right of Return, not to “kill all the Jews.” The only violence by Palestinians was in clear self-defense against the Israeli military that was using violence to deny them their Right of Return.
The initiative for this mass action of Palestinians, however, did not come from Hamas but from other Palestinians. Hamas could not prevent it from happening because it was such a popular action, but Hamas tried to end it when it could. As Wikipedia states,
“The first demonstrations were organized by independent activists, but the initiative was soon endorsed by Hamas, the de facto rulers of the Gaza Strip, as well as other major factions in Gaza. The activists who planned the Great March of Return intended it to last only from 30 March 2018 (Land Day) to 15 May (Nakba Day) but the demonstrations continued for almost 18 months until Hamas on 27 December 2019 announced that they would be postponed.” [emphasis added]
The Issue is NOT Violence versus Non-Violence, but Race/Ethnic War versus Class War
The Palestinians, like all oppressed people, have a perfect right to use violence in self-defense against those who oppress them violently. This has nothing in common with violence deliberately directed against non-combatant civilians.
Years ago, I wrote about this in an article titled “What Would it Look Like if Hamas and Hezbollah Fought a Class War?”
Please read here the eloquent explanation by a great Palestinian (now a fugitive from Israel), Azmi Bishara, why terrorism (violence against non-combatant civilians) is not resistance and resistance is not terrorism. This article also discusses how the great majority of Muslims worldwide oppose terrorism violence against noncombatant civilians.
The purpose of HAMAS is to enable Zionist leaders to falsely persuade the world that Palestinian resistance to Zionist ethnic cleansing is terrorism. Don’t let the Zionist leaders get away with this. Terrorism is not resistance; and resistance is not terrorism.
What Do Most Palestinians Think About Hamas’s Terrorism?
What ordinary Palestinians and Israelis, as opposed to their respective “leaders,” want can be inferred from an event that I read about back in 2001. On August 30, 2001 in the West Bank Palestinian village of Ni’elin, Amos Tagouri, a 60-year-old Israeli Jewish cab driver, was having breakfast in a little restaurant just opened by his Palestinian friend, Mursi Amira, when a masked gunman walked up to his table and fatally shot him. Tagouri was an Israeli Jew in a village of Palestinians who were largely unemployed because Israel wouldn’t let them travel to their former jobs in Israel. But he was highly regarded by the people of Ni’elin.
According to the Boston Globe report of the incident (September 1, 2001), Amira said:
“Amos was one of us. He knew our culture. If he prayed with us he would have been one of us completely. . . . This is a bigger loss for us than for the Jews…he helped people here a lot. He was not rich, but he drove the farmers to sell their cactus fruit and figs in Israel, and if they didn’t have enough money to pay until after the market, he accepted that…The whole village is angry. The people of this village spit on this. It is an act of cowardice.”
Mustafa Amira, a vegetable stand owner, said, “He helped us. He respected us, we respected him. Hamas, Fatah – I don’t know” who killed him. “I know they are a gang.” Amira’s mother condemned the killers. “They think if they kill him, the Israelis crack down, and the village will be radicalized. I hope it will not happen.” “The extremists do not want peace,” said Sakhi Hayun, 34, owner of the Sandwich Bar in Modi’in and former employer of Amira and his brother. “That’s why they kill Arab and Israeli civilians in the road. Ninety percent of the people, both Israelis and Arabs, do not support this.”
The Boston Globe reported this as a freak event, calling the village the “rarest of places in the bitter struggle that has convulsed Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories for 11 months—a place where one side cried over a death on the other.” But what happened in Ni’elin is what Arab and Jewish elites are afraid will happen everywhere unless they can prevent it by spreading fear and mistrust with terrorism and government-sponsored discrimination.
This is why, for example, the Israeli government was afraid of the solidarity between Jews and Arabs that was developing in the struggle against the construction of a super highway. On October 15, 2001, Arab residents of Baka al Gharabiya and Jatt demonstrated against the Israeli government’s plan to confiscate 2,800 dunams of their land for the Trans-Israel Highway. While Arabs in Israel own only 3% of the privately held land, 85% of the land confiscated for the highway (travel on which is restricted for non-Jews) had been taken from Palestinian Israelis, destroying agricultural land they needed to survive.
Jews in Israel rallied to support the Arab protest, arguing that “The highway will effectively deepen cleavages between Jews and Arabs, rich and poor, taking jobs from poor peasants and farmers, to make transportation more convenient for the rich.” Jewish residents of nearby Kibbutz Magal and Ma’anit told the Israeli government that, if the road must be built, the land confiscation should not discriminate against non-Jews, and for that reason they proposed an alternative plan that entailed giving over some of their land to their Palestinian neighbors in a logical compromise. But the Israel Lands Authority and Ariel Sharon’s government insisted that the plans move forward without changes. The incident is but one example of why Palestinians are fighting the Israeli government.
Incidents like these show that most people in Palestine and the part of it called Israel want peace and security in a society based on equality, concern for one another and mutual aid. Their leaders want society to be unequal, with them at the top ruling over and dominating everybody else.
The truth is that if the Israeli ruling class stopped treating Palestinians like dirt, then most Palestinians would view Hamas’s violent terrorism against ordinary noncombatant Jews–and any advocacy whatsoever of violence against people just because they are Jews–as criminally immoral behavior.
Why Did Palestinians Vote for Hamas in Gaza?
There are two reasons many Palestinians voted for Hamas in Gaza’s elections.
First, Hamas has two branches, a social work branch and a military branch. The social work branch operates various social services for Palestinians, “from the supply of housing, food and water for the needy to more general functions like financial aid, medical assistance, educational development and religious instruction.” Many Palestinians voted for Hamas to keep these social services going.
Second, the only election competitor to Hamas is the Fatah Party affiliated with the Palestine Liberation Organization, which is widely known to be notoriously corrupt and in cahoots with the Israeli government as the party in charge of the Palestine Authority, as discussed here. Many Palestinians voted for Hamas because the alternative was far more corrupt and far more obviously in cahoots with the Israeli government.
Most Muslims in the World, like Most Jews, Oppose Violence Against Noncombatant Civilians.
Read the linked articles below about this.
Extremism Widely Rejected [from Pew Research]
“Muslims around the world strongly reject violence in the name of Islam. Asked specifically about suicide bombing, clear majorities in most countries say such acts are rarely or never justified as a means of defending Islam from its enemies. In most countries where the question was asked, roughly three-quarters or more Muslims reject suicide bombing and other forms of violence against civilians. And in most countries, the prevailing view is that such acts are never justified as a means of defending Islam from its enemies. Yet there are some countries in which substantial minorities think violence against civilians is at least sometimes justified. This view is particularly widespread among Muslims in the Palestinian territories (40%), Afghanistan (39%), Egypt (29%) and Bangladesh (26%).”
“Almost all radical movements in today’s Islam, anywhere in the world, are tied to Wahhabism, an ultra-conservative, reactionary sect of Islam, which is in control of the political life of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other staunch allies of the West in the Gulf.
“To quote Dr. Abdullah Mohammad Sindi:
“It is very clear from the historical record that without British help neither Wahhabism nor the House of Saud would be in existence today. Wahhabism is a British-inspired fundamentalist movement in Islam. Through its defense of the House of Saud, the US also supports Wahhabism directly and indirectly regardless of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Wahhabism is violent, right wing, ultra-conservative, rigid, extremist, reactionary, sexist, and intolerant…””
“Killing of innocent people has no place in Islam…Or the Hadith that states “Whoever kills a mu’ahid [non-combatant, innocent non-Muslims] will not smell the scent of paradise …” (Bukhari). A contextual reading of the Koran or Hadith leads to one conclusion only: there is no justification for the killing of innocent people, whether in Baghdad or Boston. Full stop! The ends do not justify the means in Islamic ethics!
Therefore, associating murder or the killing of innocent people and bystanders to “Islam” is not only abhorrent, but goes against the clear text of Islam.
Also see “Should We Blame Islam for Terrorism?” by David Shariatmadari.
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About the Author
John Spritzler is a retired Senior Research Scientist at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health.
He is the editor of , the father of three boys and a long-time resident of Boston, MA. He is also the author of The People As Enemy: The Leaders’ Hidden Agenda in World War II (MONTREAL: Black Rose Books, 2003).