In the past, write Dan Diker and Khaled Abu Toameh, Hamas has claimed to have inspired the Taliban: after all, the Afghan Islamist group believed that by persisting in its terror war it could wear down the Americans, just as Hamas—in its own understanding—drove Israel out of the Gaza Strip with the second intifada. The U.S. retreat from Afghanistan will now relay a similar message to Palestinian jihadists:
While the U.S. pullout from Afghanistan was good news for extremists, it was bad news for moderate Arabs amenable to the West. Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and their supporters have been vindicated in their longstanding ideological claims that negotiations with Israel are futile. Their conclusion is that patience pays off and that only mukawama, or [armed] resistance, can defeat the American-led Western alliance and dismantle the state of Israel.
It therefore comes as little surprise that Hamas was the first Islamist group publicly to congratulate the Taliban on its takeover of Afghanistan. . . . On August 17, 2021, Hamas’s leader Ismail Haniyeh told the Taliban’s leader, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, “The demise of the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan is a prelude to the demise of the Israeli occupation of the land of Palestine.”
Hamas’s support for the Taliban also renders the Palestinian Authority’s relative silence on the issue noteworthy. The PA cannot publicly oppose the Taliban Islamists, since Hamas has become a more popular competitor for Palestinian public support in Gaza and the West Bank and has proven to be a more successful alternative as a “liberation movement.” [In other words], the Taliban’s takeover and the U.S. withdrawal have legitimized and empowered Hamas as the new standard for “resistance” against Israel’s existence as a democratic, Jewish-majority state in any borders.