Radical leftists worldwide enthusiastically support Hamas, which has the cardinal virtue of being virulently anti-Israel. It's a pity they never asked Gaza Strip residents, who actually have to live under Hamas rule. But one of
"I wish these pictures reached leftists abroad," my friend said to herself Tuesday as she watched Hamas police use rifle butts and clubs to beat her friends — activists from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Although my friend has never been a fan of the Fatah government in the
Ironically, the PFLP agrees with Hamas about most key issues: "opposition to the Oslo Accords, glorification of the armed struggle and opposition to direct negotiations with
Hamas initially tried to prevent the protest — though under Palestinian law, demonstrations don't need a license. When that failed, "hundreds of police with clubs and rifles" dispersed the demonstrators "very violently." Many demonstrators were wounded and needed medical attention; others "were detained for some time."
Most likely, overseas leftists won't see these pictures, since Hamas kept photojournalists from taking any. But Hass's word pictures are vivid enough.
The punch line, however, is her own commentary. Hass cannot be suspected of pro-Israel sympathies; she lived for years in both
[T]he shamelessly brutal suppression of the [PFLP] protest shows just how scared the
Of course, it's not just radical leftists who won't like that conclusion; it's the entire Western foreign-policy and media establishment — which unanimously asserts that Hamas's popularity is steadily increasing, thanks to Israel's blockade of Gaza. Granted, the Palestinians' own polling data refute that idea, as I noted here in June, but why let facts interfere with a good anti-Israel theory?
Which is why Hass's unarguable point — that popular governments don't need to suppress demonstrations — will doubtless also be universally ignored. And that's an even greater pity, because a little more attention to facts would greatly improve Western policy in the
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