“The crooked response to terror”: Melanie Phillips writes in her diary about a little-known but influential dhimmi, Alistair Crooke (thanks to Waterdragon52).
The first time Alistair Crooke burst upon public consciousness was in 2003. Crooke, who had been an MI6 agent for 30 years and was then assigned as a security adviser to the EU’s special envoy to the Middle East, Miguel Moratinos, was recalled from Jerusalem by the British Foreign Office against his will. He had been involved in repeated attempts to draw Hamas, Islamic jihad and other terrorist groups into negotiations. The Guardian reported at the time:
‘But British diplomats in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and London, who were described as increasingly hostile to Mr Crooke’s role, were said to have lost faith in that option after Hamas killed 23 people in the worst bus suicide bombing of the intifada last month.’
Now, documents seized by Israel which have just been published reveal that in June 2002, Alistair Crooke, then working for Moratinos, met secretly in Gaza with a Hamas delegation headed by the organization’s then-leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.
On FrontPageMagazine.com David Hornick waxes indignant:
‘The meeting sheds light on why Europe finds it so hard to label the likes of Hamas or Hizbullah as terror organizations. Crooke’s groveling behavior makes clearer than ever why Israel seeks to limit European involvement in its conflict or diplomacy with the Arabs; while the terrorists express their animosity toward Israel and America and belief that Europe is their ally.’
Grovelling behaviour, indeed; but more than that, a lethal confusion of language. Crooke told Yassin that: ‘The main problem is the Israeli
occupation’. Yassin agreed. But while Crooke appears to have been talking about the post-1967 occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, Yassin was talking about the ‘occupation’ of 1948:
‘The Israeli army conquered the land in the year 1948 and followed in our footsteps in 1967. . . . Is it conceivable that the international community should ask us not to resist the occupation . . . ?! . . . instead of supporting my position of self-defense, Europe includes me in the list of terrorist [organizations].’
In other words, the problem Yassin wanted removed was the existence of Israel itself. And Crooke did not demur. Instead, he replied:
‘I completely understand what you are saying. There is an understanding not only on the government level but also on the popular level, and there is sympathy with the Palestinian people…’
Not only that, with Yassin complaining that the EU had proscribed Hamas as the terrorist organisation that it is, Crooke observed:
‘As for terrorism, I hate that word. I have spent some time in my life with freedom fighters like in Colombia.’
So to the EU’s security adviser, the genocidal terrorists of Hamas are actually freedom fighters. In other words, they are morally justified in their campaign of mass murder, and Israel is morally unjustified in trying to defend itself against it. And this was just three months after the massacre of the Passover seder in Natanya.
The transcript tells us all we need to know about the EU’s position on the Middle East. But Mr Crooke’s remarkable influence apparently extends even more widely. Last month, the Sunday Times reported that Mr Crooke had organised another secret meeting, this time between Hamas, Hezbollah, Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, Pakistan’s Jamiat-i-Islami and — wait for it — the Americans. The paper reported:
‘Although still defiant in their anti-American rhetoric, the militants were staking a claim to be part of the so-called “Arab spring” of democratic change that has encompassed elections in Iraq and protests in Lebanon against the presence of Syrian forces. Israel was not slow to condemn the meeting, accusing the American delegates of “extreme naivety” in imagining that they could draw groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah on to a peaceful path. “It does no good to appease or negotiate with such terrorists,” a government spokesman said.’
Can anyone explain why President Bush, whose famous doctrine ordains no negotiation with terrorists and that the Palestinians must develop into a democratic society before they can expect to have a state of their own, is nevertheless allowing his officials to ‘negotiate’ with a general assembly of the world’s mass murderers, including the terrorist army of Iran? And who exactly is currently responsible for the potentially lethal activities of the ‘former’ British MI6 officer Alistair Crooke?