Time Magazine whitewashes Hamas
Time Magazine was notorious as long ago as the 1920s for whitewashing Mussolini's Italian fascist government of the time. Then they claimed that Mussolini was straightening out the Italians, giving the "wops," as Time called them, a taste of discipline. Mussolini was making the trains run on time. And Time gave the rest of the pro-fascist propaganda line too. Today Time has found new fascists --or their equivalents-- to admire and adulate. Now they are flattering and fawning over the Hamas, the branch of the Egyptian-based Muslim Brotherhood that rules the Gaza Strip. Indeed, the Italian fascists were relatively mild and civilized compared to Hamas, although it may not be politically correct to say so. To be sure, this judgement is "relative" and "comparative."
Anyhow, we have previously shown that many Establishment books on Middle Eastern issues, including supposed histories and works by historians, have long sugar-coated the story of the brutal Arab conquests of the Middle Ages. Previous posts at Emet m'Tsiyon have quoted embellished versions of the Arab conquests from Carl Brockelmann, the German, and William Polk, the American. What is Time saying about Hamas in Gaza now? Andrew Lee Butters wrote a fine specimen of sugary falsification in the Time issue of 13 August 2007 (Time dates its issues ahead about a week after they actually come out). Not only is Hamas prettified but Israel is besmirched.
The rule of law has returned to Gaza. Just two months ago, it was one of the most dangerous places on earth.Butters depicts the Hamas "Executive Force" demonstrating its respect for law, order, and kind policing.
On patrol in Shaja`iyah, the toughest neighborhood in Gaza City, Lieut. Naim Ashraf Mushtaha, 31, an officer of the Hamas Executive Force, spots a man in civilian clothes carrying an M-16 assault rifle and walking through the street suqs [market places] in broad daylight. [My goodness, carrying a gun in Gaza -- in broad daylight of all things!!! How does he dare??] His officers quickly encircle the suspect and demand that he identify himself and turn over the weapon. The man turns out to be a member of one of the neighborhood's most powerful clans, and he refuses to give up his gun. "What's my name, boys?" he shouts to the gathering crowd of curious onlookers. "Mohassi Abbas!" they shout back. "See everyone knows who I am," says the gunman.Wow, what a great cop!! Calm but firm, avoids the use of force, rejects favoritism in policing, and respects the law. But it gets better:
"I don't care who you are," says Mushtaha calmly, without raising his voice or his weapon. "No one is above the law."
Security is key to support for Hamas. Within a week after the takeover [by Hamas of Gaza], crime, drug smuggling, tribal clashes [clan vendettas] 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. . . Raji Sourani, director of the Palestinian Center forHuman Rights [said] "Gaza became like Somalia, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Thugs and gangsters were ruling and some were even supported and protected by our own security services" [under the orders of Fatah's Muhammad Dahlan].The people of Gaza are in good hands now.
There have been isolated cases of civil rights abuses by the Executive Force since the takeover. But Hamas hasn't set up Shari`a courts. Without any help from the regular police, prosecutors, and judges. . . Hamas is slowly trying to train itself in the administration of Palestinian law. Mushtaha and his officers spend most of their time delivering subpoenas and telling the families of wanted men to turn the suspects in.
One of the "law and order" events that Andrew Lee Butters couldn't know about when he wrote his gushing paean of praise to Hamas was how [see here] [OR here] the Hamas' "law and order" Executive Force raided a wedding celebration in Beyt Hanoun in the Gaza Strip. This raid seems to have taken place after slippery Butters wrote his propaganda tract, his pro-Hamas PR copy.It seems that the marrying couples belonged to a pro-Fatah clan [hamulah] and now Fatah doesn't have a right to celebrate. Of course, Fatah are terrorists too but does this raid by Hamas "security" men have anything to do with law and order? The wedding celebration was filmed, according to Reuters, by a "palestinian authority" TV cameraman. Apparently, he transferred the video cassette to PA TV [pro-Fatah] in Judea-Samaria who put the video on PA TV. He was probably there because several Fatah leaders were guests at the wedding. Some were arrested. I saw the video on Israel TV with the Arabic sub-headings copied from PA TV. The raid took place despite the amnesty that Hamas had promised to Fatah after the conquest of Gaza.
Then there is the matter of the Christian Arab woman who was a professor at Palestine University in Gaza. She disappeared for two weeks, then turned up in the hands of Hamas government officials and said she had converted to Islam and was going to marry a Muslim. She met her family under the supervision of Hamas officials. I guess her disappearance was just part of Hamas' "law and order" policy.
Be that as it may, whatever troubles or problems there may be in Gaza are all Israel's fault.
Israel's stranglehold remains as tight as ever.But this "stranglehold" is not tight enough to stop Hamas from bringing law and order to Gaza. The next post will give more detail. Meanwhile, I suppose we should blame Israel for raiding the wedding party and for kidnapping the woman professor. Actually, when Egypt ruled Gaza between 1948 and 1967, Egyptian control was very tight. There was no possibility for Arab Gaza residents to cross the armistice line into Israel. And crossing into Egypt required a permit from the Egyptian officials that was granted only in special cases. All imports and exports to and from Gaza went through Egypt. So basically, Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip restored the pre-1967 status of Gaza, except that now the Egyptian forces are not actively controlling the area.
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Coming: more on Time and Gaza, Jim Baker & US foreign policy, peace follies, propaganda, Jews in Jerusalem, etc.