Elizabeth Sullivan at the Cleveland Plain Dealer on the “Bin Ladenization of the Palestinian cause”:
A tightly organized militant faction tied to al-Qaida could gain leverage by offering its terrorist services to radical Palestinian aspirants for power. That in turn could push Hamas in an even more extremist direction, toppling an older wing now looking for a more mainstream political status by cooperating with Arafat and signing cease-fire deals.
The further radicalization of the [Gaza] Strip would shatter hopes of a Middle East peace deal by making it unlikely Palestinians will ever do the minimum required to rein in terrorist groups.
It is this very political radicalization that al-Qaida seeks as it spreads its tentacles into sensitive crevasses of the region.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad are already fueled by radical Islam, and already see themselves in the context of a global movement to overthrow the “infidels.” From the Hamas charter:
Article Seven: The Universality of Hamas
By virtue of the distribution of Muslims, who pursue the cause of the Hamas, all over the globe, and strive for its victory, for the reinforcement of its positions and for the encouragement of its Jihad, the Movement is a universal one. It is apt to be that due to the clarity of its thinking, the nobility of its purpose and the loftiness of its objectives. It is in this light that the Movement has to be regarded, evaluated and acknowledged. Whoever denigrates its worth, or avoids supporting it, or is so blind as to dismiss its role, is challenging Fate itself.
But Sullivan is right that the universalist dimension of Hamas et al is a growing concern. Given this, the media effort to separate Israel’s anti-terror struggle from the rest of the civilized world’s is artificial. This is a point we made in our last communique. The problem is when the media then turn the whole thing on its head and blame Israel for the global Islamist jihad against western civilization.
The al-Qaeda/Hamas link is real – and Israeli policy has nothing to do with it.