That WSJ Article

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A few times I mentioned the WSJ article which reported a series of secret meetings in Beirut in which Iran and Hamas planned the attack on Israel and Iran authorized it. I noted that there was significant and credible pushback on the article, which appeared to rely on Hamas sources. Since then I’ve seen a pretty lopsided chorus of doubts about the report. The relevant governments seem skeptical, at least publicly. And most people with significant area expertise seem skeptical about the report itself as well as various details within it.

Of course that doesn’t this mean this didn’t happen. But the response been enough to make me essentially discount the the Journal article – like it never happened.

It’s worth noting that the significance of such coordination depends quite a bit on what you’re looking for. The search for links between al Qaeda and Iraq in the year and a half after 9/11 mattered so much because it was pursued by people looking for a rationale for invading Iraq. Anyone looking for a rationale for Israel or the US to declare war on Iran needs to be smacked down hard and ignored. Iran funds and arms Hamas and is cheering on their attack. Hamas also receives training from the network of Iran-backed militias in the region. So it’s not like there’s some big mystery about whose side they’re on or whether they support and supply Hamas.

Such coordination and planning in advance may have happened. But as yet we don’t seem to have any real evidence for it. At the end of the day it’s not even clear how much of a bright line it would even signify.

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