I used to enjoy Mehdi Hasan’s work at The Intercept. He’s incredibly articulate, he does his research and all that thinky stuff, and he does not tolerate “both sides”-ism or bullshit. He’s climbing his way up the ladder of the media heirarchy, so he’s moved on from The Intercept to his own show on MSNBC.
Something else I was looking for on Youtube caused its algorithm to feed up an oldish piece by Hasan, which I remembered from when it came out, but had forgotten about it. I think it’s worth posting a link.
Spoiler: Hamas is a creation of Israel, the same way that Al Quaeda was a creation of the US CIA. And by “the same way” I mean: checks were written – this is not just a story of a power vacuum being filled. Oh, no, it’s more like a power vacuum being created in order to divide and rule. Sound Familiar?
It has been very convenient for Israel to be able to say “… But Hamas!” and Mehdi explains why. I’ve fact-checked his story and it appears that he’s not lying, though I am sure someone would immediately gainsay him. After all, when you’ve got folks like Sam Harris saying “… But Hamas!” as the reason they don’t criticize Israel, it’s pretty obvious that the maneuver worked. Just about as well as the US’ similar maneuver with Al Quaeda and later ISIL. Authoritarian regimes like to have a bad guy that they can use to keep the right fear-level in effect.
Give Mehdi a chance:
I was in college, and accepting the popular propaganda narratives about Israel, and my initial learning about Palestine and Israel came from the occasional bit of rock-throwing at Yasir Arafat. I remember many times that he was described as “a terrorist” which was funny as hell because, I did not know at the time, that Menachem Begin – the founder of Likud and eventually Israeli Prime Minister – was also the founder of Irgun. Irgun was the group of terrorist Jews who helped drive the British out of Palestine by sniping at them, bombing barracks, and even capturing and torturing British soldiers. So, “it takes one to know one.” I remember at one point that Arafat, who at the time was an elected leader of the Palestinian government, was being cornered in his office by Israeli tanks – quite the “gunboat diplomacy.” If you want a good conspiracy theory, you can look into the details of Arafat’s death and decide for yourself whether he was murdered or not. He had been murdered, politically, years before. Arafat never accomplished anything as dramatic as the Irgun’s bombing of the King David Hotel [wik] which killed 91 people and wounded 46. It was a hotel, but it was justified as a military target because the British had some office space there. Plus ca change, n’est pas?