Hamas Is Not An Iranian Proxy
Ever since the Israeli attacks on Gaza began, some of the more hawkish elements among the punditry, such as Robert Kagan, have been claiming that Israel is not attacking Hamas so much as it is attacking Iran. Kagan states:
Israel has just embarked on a land invasion of the Gaza Strip after a week of aerial bombing. Gaza is bordered by Egypt, and was under Egyptian military control from 1949 through 1967. And yet in a startling rebuke to geography and recent history—and in testimony to the sheer power of audacity and of ideas—the mullahs in Teheran hold more sway in Gaza today than does the tired, Brezhnevite regime of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt.
I’m not terribly surprised that Egypt doesn’t hold much sway in the Palestinian territories, given the history of the region. However, I was interested to see exactly what evidence that Kagan offered to demonstrate that Iran and Hamas were collaborating on strategy and policy.
Of course, no such evidence was provided.
That’s because, as far as I can determine from researching online, no such collaboration appears to exist. The best I could come up with is that Iran does provide some funding for Hamas, but that funding level is at a paltry $3 million per year. Saudi Arabia and Syria are much bigger funders of Hamas, and some Hamas leaders operate out of Syria.
Even at that, though, it’s pretty clear that Hamas is pretty much a home-grown Palestinian organization. They may accept funding and support from other countries, but there’s not much evidence that they act as a “proxy” for any of them.