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Go Ahead | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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In my previous article, entitled ‘Dubai, Hamas and the “Real Killer”’, I commented on the statements made by the Dubai Police Chief who said that an agent within Hamas had leaked information [to the Israelis] which led to the assassination of Mahmoud al Mabhouh. In the article, I also asked whether Imad Mughniyeh had been killed because a spy from within Hezbollah had informed against him in the same manner as in the al Mabhouh assassination. A reader responded by saying “Fear God, despite there being around 11 suspects to the assassination you only comment on a Hamas spy.”

Today, the Israeli Haaretz newspaper reveals to us another agent within Hamas and he was known as the “green prince.” According to the newspaper report, he helped the Israelis make several arrests and prevented dozens of operations from being carried out against Israel during the second Palestinian Intifada. The newspaper added that the agent’s information led to the arrests of Ibrahim Hamed, a Hamas military commander in the West Bank, Abdullah Barghouti, and Marwan Barghouti, the jailed former Secretary General of the Fatah movement. The report does not stop there; the man accused of spying for the Israelis is co-writing a book entitled ‘Son of Hamas’ that will be published next week in the US.

The question here is: are we meant to applaud Hamas or Hezbollah just because they talk in the name of the Palestinian cause? There is [also] Osama Bin Laden who started to talk on behalf of the Palestinian cause recently as well as Ayman al Zawahiri, and Iran before them. Saddam Hussein also did the same thing. It is true that supporting the cause is crucial and an obligation but it does not mean that we should surrender our minds to anyone who wants to sell us delusions or drag us into the depths of the unknown, only to find that all the while they were laughing at us, as the path to hell is paved with good intentions, as they say.

The story of spies and espionage, with regards to the Palestinian cause or others, is nothing new. But the question here is: what is it that facilitates espionage with regards to the Palestinian cause and makes this a recurring issue? The simple answer is that the Palestinian cause has become [a source of] emotional blackmail that is easy to exploit and to talk about and it can be used to intimidate [others] whether by an intellectual, a politician or even a religious figure. What’s strange is that the reactions in our Arab world to anyone accused of espionage with regards to the Palestinian cause are not clear-cut and they always want to close the case quickly. If that is not the case then how should we interpret the uproar that took place when, for example, an official from the Cairo-based Al Ahram Center publicly met with the Israeli Ambassador there? This is a center that provides information and no one can say that it is pro-Israeli, not to mention the fact that the meeting took place in a state that has a peace accord with Israel. While at the same time we do not see articles criticizing Hamas or enquiring about the infiltration of spies into the Islamist movement.

We did not hear anyone say that the level of fragmentation and conflict that the Palestinians have reached is what facilitated the emergence of spies, just as mismanagement and the political ignorance that has led to a humiliating life in Gaza are factors that might have pushed some people to become spies for Israel against the Palestinian cause and the dream for a homeland.

I do not know why we are being asked to give up using our heads in all our Arab countries without exception!