Thirty Years Ago Israel Deported Hamas. Clinton Made Israel Take It Back

By Daniel Greenfield, 26 Nov 12:21 AM

“Deporting The Hope For Peace?” Newsweek asked. The hope for peace was Hamas.

The year was 1992. The Clinton administration was trying to get Israeli Prime Minister Rabin and the PLO’s Yasser Arafat to sign on the dotted line of the Oslo Accords to create a terror state inside Israel. In the name of peace. Unfortunately Hamas kept killing Israelis.

15-year-old Helena Rapp had been stabbed to death at a bus stop on the way to school. A few days later, Rabbi Shimon Biran, a father of four, was similarly murdered by an Islamic terrorist.

Fed up with the latest killings, Prime Minister Rabin put 417 Islamists terrorists on buses and dumped them in Lebanon. The monsters he deported included top Hamas terror leaders.

On the six buses were current Hamas leader Ismael Haniyeh, Hamas co-founder Abdel Aziz al-Rantisi, who would vow, “by Allah, we will not leave one Jew in Palestine”, Abu Osama, who helped draft the Hamas charter calling for the extermination of the Jews, Hamas co-founders Mohammed Taha, Hammad Al-Hasanat, and Mahmoud Zahar, who threatened “They have legitimized the killing of their people all over the world by killing our people”, Hamad Al-Bitawi, who proclaimed that “Jihad is a collective duty” along with Abdullah al-Shami, the head of Islamic Jihad, and many other present and future Islamic terror leaders deported to Lebanon.

The New York Times headlined its coverage, “Ousted Arabs Shiver and Wait in Lebanese Limbo”. Newsweek also sympathetically described how the Hamas terrorists were “shivering in the cold.” The Washington Post lingered on their handcuff “welts”. The Associated Press provided detailed coverage of their cases of diarrhea turning the bowel movements of Islamist terrorists into an item worthy of international coverage.

In reality the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists had been equipped by Israel with raincoats, blankets, food and $50 each: more than enough to buy whatever they needed in Lebanon.

“We are thirsty, cold and hungry,” said Dr. Abdul-Aziz Rantisi,” is how the Times began its story. It mentioned that Rantisi was planning a hunger strike, not that he was a terrorist leader.

The Los Angeles Times suggested that the “free speech” of the terrorists had been violated. It asked them to “define Hamas’ membership conditions” and ”many answered, ‘To pray and be good Muslims.’” That is how the media explained the Islamic terror group to Americans.

The Red Cross, which after over a month had failed to pay a visit to the Israeli hostages, including children and old women being held by Hamas, was quickly on the scene with “three truckloads of tents, food, blankets and bedding”. The aid organization set up tents for the Hamas terrorists who were apparently too lazy or incompetent to set up their own tents.

The head of UNRWA trekked out from Vienna to visit the expelled Hamas terrorists.

Bernard Pfefferle, the local chief delegate of the International Committee of the Red Cross, wept, “They won’t survive the winter out there like this.” In fact, they survived just fine.

UN Under Secretary General James O. C. Jonah, Bernard Kouchner, France’s Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, and many other foreign dignitaries tried to visit the Hamas terrorists.

French Ambassador Daniel Husson asked to meet with the Hamas terrorists to “express France’s sympathy with their cause.”

Amnesty International organized a letter writing campaign whining that the Hamas deportees were “living in tents in freezing conditions” and demanding the “safe return of the deportees to Israel.” B’Tselem, a pro-terror ‘human rights’ group operating inside Israel, denounced the deportations as a “a flagrant violation of human rights”. During the Oct 7 attacks, Vivian Silver, a B’Tselem board member, was killed by the terrorists she had spent her life advocating for.

B’Tselem had been one of the pro-terrorist groups that had originally challenged the deportations in Israel’s leftist Supreme Court in a bid to keep Hamas inside Israel.

The media relentlessly covered the Hamas deportees the way it had failed to cover their victims. By the end, Abdel Aziz al-Rantisi had held a record of 1,500 press conferences. Every time the Islamic terrorists sneezed there was a correspondent there to write about it, a photographer there to take a picture of it and a human rights activist there to condemn Israel for it.

Even if it was all a lie.

“EXPELLED PALESTINIANS RUN OUT OF WATER,” a Washington Post headline blared. In that same story the paper mentioned that they were getting their water from a stream. Other stories complained that they were running out of water while surrounded by snow.

One Associated Press story described a deportee eating a breakfast of jam, cheese and bread or beans and chickpeas with lemon sauce, and then a lunch of tuna fish or sardines, and then complaining, “I’m so sick of this food. I eat only to stay alive.”

In reality the Hamas and Islamic terrorists had plenty of food and water. At one point even a New York Times article admitted that “on Thursday, the Palestinians said that they had fasted during the day to preserve food stocks that had dwindled to some vermicelli and potatoes, with drinking water completely gone. Yet today, an Associated Press reporter said that the deported men were cooking rice, chickpeas and canned meat, and that some had eggs.”

A week after they were deported the New York Times claimed that the Hamas terrorists would start “dying from pneumonia” in a few days. None of them died even after seven months.

In reality, they were holding lavish religious feasts with Hezbollah and Iran’s IRGC terrorists. The tent city would become an enclave of television sets, fax machines, copy machines, cell phones, a fridge filled with soda and a satellite dish beaming Iranian television shows to them.

Israel had dumped the Hamas terrorists in Lebanon, but the Hezbollah allied government refused to take them and blocked the road with tanks to keep them from leaving. The Lebanese government wouldn’t allow aid to pass through to the Hamas terrorists, but did allow reporters and camera crews through to document the “shivering” of the Hamas leaders.

In a foreshadowing of Egypt’s policy of blockading Gaza, Lebanon kept the Hamas terrorists from entering Lebanon. And the international community and the media placed the blame on Israel, rather than Lebanon, which was preventing them from entering its territory.

The UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 799 condemning the deportations of Hamas terrorists and demanding that Israel “ensure the safe and immediate return to the occupied territories of all those deported”.

The first Bush administration voted for the resolution even though it had shrugged when a year earlier, the Kuwaitis had expelled 200,000 ‘Palestinians’ using tanks and troops.

“I think we’re expecting a little much if we’re asking the people in Kuwait to take kindly to those that had spied on their countrymen that were left there, that had brutalized families there, and things of that nature,” President George H. W. Bush had observed.

Israelis however were supposed to take kindly to the Hamas terrorists massacring them. The Bush administration “strongly condemned” the deportations. Bill Clinton was no better.

“I share the anger and the frustration and the outrage of the Israeli people. And I understand how they feel. They have to deal very firmly with this group Hamas, which is apparently bent on terrorist activities of all kinds,” Clinton, who would soon be taking office, said. “On the other hand, I am concerned that this deportation may go too far and imperil the peace talks.”

“We are not sure that President-elect Clinton and his team fully comprehend the danger from Islamic fundamentalism,” Rabin had observed before his meeting with Bill Clinton.

The Clinton administration mostly certainly did not. But neither did Rabin.

Prime Minister Rabin had only temporarily deported the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists for two years to improve his domestic image and buy some quiet time for peace negotiations. His coalition of leftist and far leftist parties was soon divided between him and future Prime Minister Shimon Peres’s far leftist cabinet coalition. “No one is enjoying the suffering of these people,” Peres said. “Israel deported them, but it did not mean to hurt them.”

The leftist coalition Meretz party called deporting Hamas “a gross violation of human rights.”

Under pressure from the Clinton administration, which warned that it would not protect Israel from UN sanctions, and members of his own leftist coalition Rabin offered to allow the Hamas terrorists back if they promised to “desist from terror and violence for the duration of the peace negotiations”. The terrorists refused to promise that. And so he agreed to take in over a hundred of them now and the rest in a year. Hamas began returning to Israel in 1993.

The Hamas terrorists only agreed to return due to insufficient TV coverage of their antics.
“High among the reasons given by the Palestinian deportees for accepting Israel’s effort to let about half of them back into the West Bank and Gaza next month was the deportees lack not of food or shelter, but of coverage by the news media — meaning television,” the New York Times reported.

30 years ago Israel had expelled the leadership of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and then took them back in.

Two weeks after Rabin agreed to take back the Hamas terrorists, the World Trade Center was bombed by the Islamic Group which, like Hamas, had come out of the Muslim Brotherhood.

“Our struggle against murderous Islamic terror is also meant to awaken the world which is lying in slumber. We call on all nations and all people to devote their attention to the real and serious danger which threatens the peace of the world in the forthcoming years. The danger of death is at our doorstep,” Rabin had warned. But the world went on slumbering .And so did Israel.

In 2023, Israel and the world have the opportunity to undo or repeat the mistakes of 1993.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center’s Front Page Magazine.
November 26, 2023 | 5 Comments »

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5 Comments / 5 Comments

  1. Back a little time I made a post which got trashed in the internet system

    As I remember

    I said the hostages issue, no problem, go with it thank goodness for that

    I said also that a deep fundamental change has occurred in the Jews of Israel

    The TSS is over and not EVER possible after October 7 and no need to worry any more on that score

    That often not understood is how small the space is fitting in with the above point

    These points are very basic. But basic points need repeating

    Result Israel will return and complete the job because the IDF will insist on it

    I said it is what comes after that is so very worrying and also the remnants of Hamas will adapt again.

    The Jewish elites want the Arabs to return and even work some crazy Clan system, like we are dealing with Celtic Clan times, crazy. This is jihad times 2023.

    The Jewish elites come up with crazy plans to divert the people from correct action… because essentially there is a vacuum of leadership.

    This vacuum = downright betrayal

    This vacuum of leadership is what concretely needs to be fixed

  2. @Edgar

    I strongly believe that Israel will finish this Hamas job and that Biden, if he interferes, will be diplomatically told that

    I might not have been clear on this point, but I entirely believe that Biden’s junta are in support of removing Hamas. I think that eliminating Hamas achieves two objectives for the current admin in Washington. First it satisfies the desire of the American people to respond to October 7, which is a must for the current election cycle in the US. Second it clears the board in Gaza so that the Washington elites can once again relaunch their infernal TSS. Notably, no elected Israeli govt will pursue the TSS (more on this below), but the Americans don’t care about what Israel wants or needs. It is their nature to do as they want regardless of the consequences. In any event, I am completely in agreement that Israel will finish the Hamas job, as you put it.

    A couple of other points to consider, though. Regarding threats that the Isreali govt would fall, I don’t thing that this would influence Biden, since, if anything, I believe that they would be glad to see both Bibi and his govt fall from power. In fact I am expecting that there will likely be a push coming from the Washington elements in the Israeli govt, in the near or distant future, to try to achieve just this thing should Bibi stop complying with Washington’s barking orders. Notably, several comments emanating from the White House and Biden himself suggest this eventuality.

    Consider this. If it is possible to gain the support of just a few of Bibi’s supporters in the govt, they could remove Bibi and, without the need of a new election, name both a new PM and a new govt which is more pliable to enforcing all of Washington’s demands. It may seem impossible, but then again… with the rumors of Likud dividing its support from Bibi, the fake polls showing Gantz and the Left inexplicably rising in the polls as Bibi sinks, a new gag order being placed on Bibi from documenting anything about the failures of October 7, the anarchists who were once calling for the downfall of the govt and the destruction of the nation’s economy and standing are now acting as the voicebox of the hostage families consistently condemning Bibi for most everything,… Perhaps I am reading too much into things, but this seems quite well situated to bring Bibi down when he stops complying to the American demands.

    Just my own inflections, such as they are, of course, but this possibility does raise concerns that Washington can threaten to either work thru Bibi to gain their desires, or potentially conduct a palace coup and gain the support of an American First govt led by Gantz to affect the same eventuality. Something to think about.

  3. PELONI-
    Referring to your comment on “how long Biden will allow Israel to finish..”

    I strongly believe that Israel will finish this Hamas job and that Biden, if he interferes, will be diplomatically told that

    “if we don’t finish the job after so many declarations that we WILL, my government will fall and there will then be years and years of very unstable conditions detrimental to not only the Middle East but to the USA interests in the region also.”

    Just my opinion, I believe that the Israel will get the job finished .Diplomats
    and other nosy parkers will only come into the act when this is done, and try to make themselves meaningful.

  4. @Ber

    Now let’s see how long Biden can actually allow Israel to finish Hamas off once and for all.

    The problem is that Hamas is not the problem. I think Hamas’ days are numbered, like dropping ballast to steady the ship, they will be used as expendables to satisfy the outrage of the American people related to October 7, but this will not resolve the real problem which made October 7 both possible and inevitable. Indeed, the real problem is and always has been Iran. The US remains committed to the hegemony of Iran over the region, and in this moment, we are seeing the US acting once more to provide cover to preserve Iran and its greater asset in Hezbollah. So, I would argue that we will see the end of Hamas, though coming at a greater cost than should be needed to Israel, as America’s true ally, Iran, is held under American protection, while claiming that this is in the interests of ‘not widening the war’. The fact is that the war was always wider than the Americans would allow Israel to respond, and should Israel continue to accept the American perspective to its detriment, Iran’s position will only be strengthened as has always been the American’s desire. Israel is too tightly woven to the apron of this Iran supporting American behemoth, and she must cut those ties to exercise her defense of her own interests. Certainly, Israel needs to eliminate Hamas, but if this is the limit of her response to this recent tragedy, Israel will have lost this war, regardless of the fate of Hamas.

  5. It’s always the perfidious American Empire elites who live in another world that perpetuate this conflict. They did the same thing with Arafat in Lebanon. When Israel had a chance to finally defeat the PLO and kill Arafat the US intervened and allowed them to escape to Tunisia. Fast forward a few years and the same Americans, with the Israeli left’s connivance, managed to shoehorn the PLO and Arafat right into the middle of Israel with disastrous results. Now let’s see how long Biden can actually allow Israel to finish Hamas off once and for all. I wouldn’t hold my breath.