Monday, February 12, 2018

Empathy for Hamas

Here’s what it looks like when you are losing a war. As I have been reporting, all indications tell us that the Palestinian cause is a lost cause. The Trump administration has ceased coddling Palestinian grievance mongering. The Crown Princes of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have told Mahmoud Abbas to make peace with Israel. Reports have it that Arab nations have also cut their subventions of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. The government of Egypt understands that Hamas is a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, a terrorist organization, and has cut them off too.

So, the news from Gaza, now being run by Hamas, is not good. We recall that Hamas won an election that was countenanced by the Bush administration. Pursuing its democracy agenda, the Bush team persuaded Israel to withdraw completely from the area. It then wanted the local citizens to vote. They voted for Hamas. Isn’t democracy great? Heck, there wasn’t even any Russian collusion in the election.

Anyway, the New York Times reports from Gaza, where things are going from bad to worse. Surprisingly, it does not blame the Trump administration and does not mention that Arab governments are fed up with the Palestinian cause, but the picture it paints is bleak.

The payday line at a downtown A.T.M. here in Gaza City was dozens deep with government clerks and pensioners, waiting to get what cash they could.

Muhammad Abu Shaaban, 45, forced into retirement two months ago, stood six hours to withdraw a $285 monthly check — a steep reduction from his $1,320 salary as a member of the Palestinian Authority’s presidential guard.

“Life has become completely different,” Mr. Abu Shaaban said, his eyes welling up. He has stopped paying a son’s college tuition. He buys his wife vegetables to cook for their six children, not meat.

And the pay he had just collected was almost entirely spoken for to pay off last month’s grocery bills. “At most, I’ll have no money left in five days,” he said.

Across Gaza, the densely populated enclave of two million Palestinians sandwiched between Israel and Egypt, daily life, long a struggle, is unraveling before people’s eyes.

At the heart of the crisis — and its most immediate cause — is a crushing financial squeeze, the result of a tense standoff between Hamas, the militant Islamist group that rules Gaza, and Fatah, the secular party entrenched on the West Bank. Fatah controls the Palestinian Authority but was driven out of Gaza by Hamas in 2007.

It gets worse:

At grocery stores, beggars jostle with middle-class shoppers, who sheepishly ask to put their purchases on credit. The newly destitute scrounge for spoiled produce they can get for little or nothing.

“We are dead, but we have breath,” said Zakia Abu Ajwa, 57, who now cooks greens normally fed to donkeys for her three small grandchildren.

The jails are filling with shopkeepers arrested for unpaid debts; the talk on the streets is of homes being burglarized. The boys who skip school to hawk fresh mint or wipe car windshields face brutal competition. At open-air markets, shelves remain mostly full, but vendors sit around reading the Quran.

There are no buyers, the sellers say. There is no money.

United Nations officials warn that Gaza is nearing total collapse, with medical supplies dwindling, clinics closing and 12-hour power failures threatening hospitals. The water is almost entirely undrinkable, and raw sewage is befouling beaches and fishing grounds. Israeli officials and aid workers are bracing for a cholera outbreak any day.

Of course, Hamas has used much of the money that it has for building tunnels that will infiltrate Israel, the better to kill as many Jews as possible. Of late, the Israeli military has been shutting down said tunnels. Hamas wastes money on useless tunnels. And its people are starving. It does not care.

If we were dealing with leaders who were sane and sensible we would see them recognizing that theirs is a lost cause. They would put the best interest of their people first and try to negotiate a peace with Israel.

Instead, the Hamas terrorists are doing their best to blame Israel and to incite tender hearted and weak kneed Europeans to send them money. They are even threatening to invade the Jewish state.

Of course, Hamas blames it on the Israeli blockade. And yet, neither it nor the Times mentions the fact that Hamas has declared itself to be at against Israel and all Jews. In the past, Hamas smuggled goods through a tunnel from Egypt, but Egypt’s president el-Sisi has shut that down:

For years, Hamas sidestepped the Israeli siege and generated revenue by taxing goods smuggled in through tunnels from Sinai. But President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt, after taking power in 2013, choked off Hamas — an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, which Mr. Sisi sees as a threat — by shutting the main border crossing at Rafah for long stretches. Egypt, which has no interest in becoming Gaza’s de facto administrator, used that pressure to force Hamas to close the Sinai tunnels.

One notes that the New York Times never uses the word terrorism in relation to one of the world’s leading terrorist organizations.  It prefers to appeal to human sympathy and the limitless leftist capacity to feel empathy for terrorists.

The Hamas solution: to blame Israel and to go to war against it. Gaza residents seem to understand the stupidity and the futility of such a gesture. They understand that they no longer even have the Arab street on their side. Since stupid and futile gestures have gotten them to where they are, it seems to be the only thing that they know how to do. We are happy to see that the Trump administration has been cutting funding to the last Palestinian cause.

Ever sympathetic to the Islamist cause, unable to mention the fact that Hamas is a terrorist organization, happily overlooking the fact that its charter calls for the extermination of Jews, the Times makes Gazans seem like desperate people who have no other way to overcome their misery than to compound it:

And Gaza residents invariably say that war is coming.

Hamas is under no illusions that it would fare better in the next fight than it did after its 2014 battle with Israel, Mr. Thrall said.

“Hamas sees how isolated they are in the region, and how isolated the Palestinians are at large,” he said. “Before, in wars, they could hope to light up the Arab street and pressure Arab leaders. But in 2014, there was barely a peep, and now it’s even more so.”

Still, whether out of bluster or desperation, Gazans both in and out of power have begun talking openly about confronting Israel over its blockade in the kind of mass action that could easily lead to casualties and escalation.

A social-media activist, Ahmed Abu Artema, is promoting the idea of a “Great Return,” a peaceable encampment of 100,000 protesters along the Israel-Gaza border. Mr. Barhoum, the Hamas spokesman, envisioned a million or more Gazans taking part, though perhaps not so peacefully.

One way or the other, “an explosion’s coming,” said Mr. Abu Shaaban, the cash-strapped Palestinian Authority pensioner. “We have only Israel to explode against. Should we explode against each other?”


Sam L. said...

The NYT hides (or camouflages the Hell out of) the truth. Typical of them.

Hamas can NOT be a failure. It's clearly the result of Israeli action!

" Since stupid and futile gestures have gotten them to where they are, it seems to be the only thing that they know how to do." Brings "Animal House" to mind. Naturally, Hamas will hold the Gazans as human hostages.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

“Heck, there wasn’t even any Russian collusion in the election.”

Aye, until the “inevitable” Hamas loses, and then the Russians are EVERYWHERE!!!