Thursday, August 16, 2007

Peace in Gaza?

Time Magazine ran a puff piece on the new Hamas utopia in Gaza.
The rule of law has returned to Gaza. Just two months ago, this beachfront slice of sand dunes and concrete jungles, home to about 1.5 million Palestinians, was one of the most dangerous places on earth. In June, after a few days of internecine warfare, Hamas, the Palestinian militant group, took control of Gaza from its rival, Fatah. Since then, Gaza has been under siege. Almost all shipments except for basic humanitarian supplies are barred from entering, and almost nothing comes out. The blockade is part of an Israeli and American strategy to isolate Hamas in the hope that Palestinians will turn away from its Islamist leaders, who have never recognized Israel, and toward Fatah, which is willing to restart the peace process. So far, the plan isn't working. With a free hand to govern as it pleases, Hamas is building popular support and military capability that may well outlast the international blockade.

Security is key to support for Hamas. Within a week of the takeover, crime, drug smuggling, tribal clashes and kidnappings had largely disappeared. According to human-rights groups, the ability of the Executive Force to achieve such a result is an indictment of the corruption and criminal collusion at the top of the Fatah-dominated security services that once controlled Gaza. "For the last year and a half, there has been an orchestrated escalation of chaos by some Banana Republic officers to show that Hamas does not have control of Gaza," said Raji Sourani, director of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights. "Gaza became like Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq. Thugs and gangsters were ruling, and some were supported and protected by our own security forces."
As the Gazans can never be held accountable for their self-inflicted misery, any problems are always the fault of Israel.
Yet Gazan business owners like Telbani and el-Helou--practical, apolitical men--are unanimous in their criticism of Israel rather than Hamas for economic problems. "If we are free, we should control our own borders," said el-Helou. "But we do not, so the full responsibility is on the Israeli side." And business leaders point to a paradox of the embargo; it is destroying the only class of Palestinians who looked favorably on Israel. Most of those in commerce speak Hebrew and have--or used to have--Israeli clients, partners and friends. They had once looked forward to the day when there would be no trade barriers between an independent Palestine and an Israel with which it was at peace. "The majority of Gazans do not like Israel," said Amassi Ghazi, the chairman of a company that imports building materials. "Until now, only the private sector had good relations with Israel. So please open the border before all Gaza will be enemies of Israel."
It's the same old story. Gazans can do no wrong. Israel can do no right.

The Detroit Free Press ran this piece of idiocy, supplied by the Israel haters at McClatchy Newspapers.
If you think of the Gaza Strip as a volatile, violent battleground run by fanatic Islamist militants bent on destroying Israel, Hamas wants you to think again.

Think: "Safe, clean and green."

One month after seizing the Gaza Strip in a military rout that shattered brittle Palestinian unity, Hamas is embarking on a radical marketing campaign to promote what it calls "the new face of Gaza."

They call it the "Gaza Riviera."

Hamas banners flutter over Gaza City with a message for aid workers and journalists worried about being kidnapped: "No more threat for our foreign visitors and guests."

Bearded gunmen in blue-gray camouflage uniforms who helped seize control of Gaza now rush to settle routine neighborhood squabbles and family disputes.

Once-deserted Mediterranean beaches are now filled with dozens of families holding picnics to escape the summer heat until long after midnight.
I couldn't help but wonder how Gilad Shalit is enjoying his forced stay in the "Gaza Riviera" after being kidnapped by Hamas over a year ago. Neither McClatchy nor The Free Press thought to ask.

Once again though, the Gazans shoot themselves in the foot by showing their true colors.
Palestinian officials and witnesses say Hamas militiamen detained at least 10 members of the rival Fatah movement after breaking up a wedding and beating guests.

The witnesses said the arrests occurred during overnight marriage celebrations in the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanun.

Hamas authorities say the wedding guests were singing Fatah nationalist songs in support of Palestinian President and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas, and firing guns into the air.

Hospital workers said at least 10 people were hurt in the confrontation.

Witnesses said that after the incident, about 150 relatives of those arrested staged protests outside Hamas offices in the town. Most of the protesters were women and children.

Hamas militants took control of the Gaza Strip nearly two months ago after a week of deadly street battles with Fatah.
So far neither of the Detroit papers have reported on this embarrassing situation. By the way the wedding crashers video is here.

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At 8:59 PM, Blogger Jungle Mom said...

I think we should just build a big wall around the place, leave them alone for 5 years and they will destroy themselves!

At 9:06 PM, Blogger Harry said...

We've also got to stop sending them and thuggish Fatah buddies any more money, even for "humanitarian purposes" or to avoid a "humanitarian disaster".


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