News & Commentary

MUST SEE: Pro-Israel Congressmen pressed on Israel’s long history of deliberately propping up Hamas

“Shouldn't you look into this BEFORE we send billions of dollars over to Israel?”

“For years, Netanyahu propped up Hamas. Now it’s blown up in our faces.”

So read an op-ed headline in The Times of Israel by Israeli journalist and political correspondent Tal Schneider on October 8, one day after Hamas’s deadly incursion.

“The premier’s policy of treating the terror group as a partner, at the expense of Abbas and Palestinian statehood, has resulted in wounds that will take Israel years to heal from,” she said.

Schneider was far from the only one to draw attention to this sordid history as the Israeli government rushed to declare war on Hamas and begin their slaughter in Gaza.

“Since he took office as prime minister a second time,” wrote Dmitry Shumsky for Israel’s Haaretz on October 11, “Netanyahu developed and advanced a destructive, warped political doctrine that held that strengthening Hamas at the expense of the Palestinian Authority would be good for Israel.”

While statements like these—and the fact that they’re made so matter-of-factly in top Israeli newspapers—may come as a major surprise to many American news consumers who hadn’t followed the Israel-Palestine conflict closely prior to October 7, Israel’s role in propping up Hamas has been reported for years by the likes of UPI (“Israel gave major to aid to Hamas“), The Wall Street Journal (“How Israel Helped to Spawn Hamas“), and others.

The policy has also been repeatedly elucidated by Israel officials, including Finance Minister Bezelal Smotrich and, reportedly, Netanyahu himself, as documented in depth by writers Scott Horton and Connor Freeman.

In light of this, journalist Liam Cosgrove ventured to Capitol Hill recently with a couple queries for pro-Israel Congressmen: First and foremost, are they even aware of this basic historical fact? And second, shouldn’t it have a bearing on their decision to send billions of dollars to the very government that helped strengthen Hamas in the first place?

These should have been pretty straightforward questions (to which one would hope the answers would be “yes” and “yes”). However, as seen in the video above, they were treated as anything but by staunchly “pro-Israel” congressmen Dan Crenshaw, Byron Donalds, August Pfluger, and Juan Ciscomani.

The evasiveness displayed by Crenshaw (R-TX), a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, stands out as particularly noteworthy. Besides telling Fox News that it’s “crazy” to be concerned about Palestinian civilians “caught in the crossfire” of Israel’s bombardment because “they support Hamas!” and “want a terrorist government,” Crenshaw has said of the October 7 attack:

By the very nature of funding and training this proxy force for decades, it’s clearly Iran’s fault. So whether Iran has direct involvement in this particular operation is another question. But Iran created Hamas. . . . So it’s, it’s— they are one and the same, effectively. Doesn’t mean they always operate exactly in unison, but they are one and the same, because they’ve been funding and training them for decades.

“Are you aware that Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli government were funding and propping up Hamas…?” Cosgrove asked him.

Despite agreeing to take a question seconds earlier, Crenshaw cut him off before he could finish and refused to answer.

“Are you familiar with that? That they were propping up Hamas and funding them, prior to October 7th?” Cosgrove repeated as Crenshaw climbed into the passenger side of a pickup truck and shut the door in his face.

Ciscomani (R-AZ), a member of the House Abraham Accords Caucus, was similarly unwilling to comment. He initially seemed taken aback by the question and asked Cosgrove to repeat.

“I’m not gonna give you a comment on that,” he replied after hearing it again.

Donalds and Pfluger were more willing to engage, but pleaded ignorance while reavowing their support for Israel.

Donalds (R-FL) said during an interview on November 18 that “to argue for ceasefires” or “the plight of the Palestinian people when the political group that they elected and keep in power fomented and executed a heinous terrorist attack” is “ridiculous.”

“Are you familiar with the reports that Benjamin Netanyahu, over the years, has been actively funding Hamas?” asked Cosgrove.

“No, I’m not aware of the report,” Donalds said.

Cosgrove explained that the reports (plural) have been published in papers like Haaretz and The Time of Israel, while Donalds said he “doesn’t do hot takes” and needs to “read it” before commenting.

“Shouldn’t you have read that before sending 14 billion dollars of American taxpayer money over there?” asked Cosgove.

“To support our greatest ally in the region when they were attacked?” replied Donalds. “We would always do that.”

Pfluger, too, said that he had “not seen that report.” When Cosgrove noted that Netanyahu is openly being criticized in Israeli papers for the policy, the Republican lawmaker replied that he hadn’t “seen a credible report on that.”

After some more back and forth, Pfluger said he wasn’t “going to debate” Cosgrove about it. “If you wanna listen to an answer, I’ll give you an answer,” he said, before talking about how the US’s support for Israel is “much more important” than “just defeating Hamas.”

“This is a statement against Iran,” he said in part. “It’s a statement that will be received by Xi Jinping.”

For more reporting like this, please follow Decensored News on your favorite social media platforms and bookmark the website. Thank you for your interest and support.