Wednesday, January 07, 2009

LA Times--William O. Beeman Response to Halevi and Oren "Defeat Iran to Defeat Hamas"

Re “Defeat Hamas to defeat Iran,” Opinion, Jan. 4

In maintaining that Israel is really fighting Iran in Gaza, not Hamas or the Palestinians, Yossi Klein Halevi and Michael B. Oren conveniently ignore the historical relations between Hamas and Iran. <,0,3919516.story

Hamas arose during the first Palestinian intifada with its own philosophy and beliefs. Iran's initial offers of aid were spurned by Hamas' leadership as pure opportunism.

Today, Iran provides little more than lip service to Hamas' cause for its own propaganda efforts.

Even now, the Israeli government seems to be exaggerating Iran's role in order to create an enemy proportionate to Israel's hammering of the people of Gaza. It is despicable to cruelly smash a small, inadequately armed group of virtual prisoners.

William O. Beeman


The writer is a professor and chair of the department of anthropology at the University of Minnesota.