One Man’s friend

The following article by W. Owl was first published in the weekly publication of the Irish Communist Party, Unity.

There is an old adage that states that ‘one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter’ and that saying can apply to the history of the state of Israel.

The hypocrites who make up the majority of the Western states, along with the media, conveniently forget, that is if they ever cared to know, that organisations which would be defined as terrorist by their standards played a major role in establishing the state.

One of them was the Irgun Zvai Leumi, another was the Lohame Herut Yisrael, commonly known at the time as the Stern Gang, named after its leader Avraham Stern.

The Stern Gang was responsible for the assassination of British Minister for the Middle East, Lord Moyes, in Cairo in 1944. They also assassinated Swedish Diplomat Count Bernadotte, in West Jerusalem in 1948, was questioning some aspects of the partition of Palestine.

It is ironic that he had been instrumental in saving thousands of Jews from Nazi death camps.

The Irgun blew up the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, killing over 91 people, Jews, Arabs and British being among the dead.

They also hanged two British soldiers in a vinyard in reprisal to the execution of three members of Irgun.

The hanging of the soldiers led to anti-Jewish riots in London. Members of the Irgun, Stern Gang and another paramilitary organisation, Haganah, committed a massacre at the Palestinian village of Deir Yassin, which ultimately led to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fleeing Palestine.

Yitzhak Shamir was a member of the Stern Gang and as we know, served as Prime Minister of Israel twice in 1983-84, and 1988-90.

Menachem Begin was a member of Irgun and he served as Prime Minister 1977 to 1983.

So there you have it. Two full members of terrorist organisations became leaders of their country. The present day right-wing Likud Party, led by Benjamin Netanyahu, was born out of the Irgun Zvai Leumi.

Patrick Murphy, writing in the Irish News last Saturday pointed out a fact that the Western media has largely ignored.

That fact is that the ‘terrorist’ organisation Hamas was largely a product of the Israeli government. He tells us that from the 1960’s the Palestinians were represented by the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) led by Yasser Arafat. Murphy described it as a secular organisation seeking to create a socialist Palestinian state, however he adds that Israel believed it could strengthen its own position by splitting the Palestinians. Hence, they backed an organisation known as Mujama al-Islamiyah, led by a disabled Muslim cleric Sheikh Yassin. Israel recognised it as a charity, supporting it to raise funds for schools and kindergartens. Murphy also tells us that as a friend Yassin was treated in Israeli hospitals.

It seems Israel aimed to use Islam to offset the strength and popularity of the PLO, whose Marxism was seen as a greater threat than Islam.

To this end they engineered a rift between the secular and religious, turning Palestinians against each other.

By 1987 Hamas emerged after the Inififada against Israel. Hamas went on to denounce the PLO recognition of Israel, and began a military action to establish a military state in Gaza and the West Bank.

Murphy quotes the Israeli military governor of Gaza at the time, General Yitzhak Segev, who told, the New York Times in the early 1980’s, that he helped finance the Palestinian Islamist movement as a counter-weight to the secularists and leftists of the PLO, led by Arafat, who called Hamas a ‘creature of Israel’. Segev admitted funding Hamas with Israeli tax-payers’ money.

As a result, the well-funded sectarian Hamas edged out the PLO. However, realising its mistake with Hamas, Israel killed its ‘friend’ Sheikh Yassin, with a rocket fired from a helicopter as he sat in his wheelchair in 2004.

They then imposed a permanent siege on Gaza, with appalling consequences. Murphy referred to Afghanistan, where the US armed the Mujahideen rebels against the Soviets.

They later morphed into the Taliban. The CIA armed Osama Bin Laden and we all know what happened then.

Murphy concludes by writing that the moral of the story is that planning a future in your own interests does not always work the way you intended.

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