If you want to demonstrate in Gaza, or hold any sort of public gathering – even a celebration of exam success – Hamas will beat you, insult you, and then confiscate the photographs telling the story of what happened.
Amira Hass tells the story of a protest against Hamas’ handling of the Gaza electricity crisis:
“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 West Bank, she is outraged by the romanticization of Hamas rule by foreign activists.
Photographs of Tuesday’s protest will be hard to come by, as the Hamas police prevented photojournalists from doing their job. At some point, shots were fired into the air to disperse the PFLP protesters in Gaza City, a demonstration Hamas called an illegal gathering. Many protesters were injured and needed medical attention; others were detained for some time.
“We women weren’t physically attacked by the police,” my friend told me later on the phone. “They only swore at us.” The profanity, mostly variations on “whore,” was accompanied by words like “Marxist,” which the police see as an insult. They don’t need to know exactly what it means – it’s among dreadful words like atheism, communism and dialectic materialism. In other words, all the terms that don’t explain the world as Allah’s creation.
Amira Hass and her friends are utterly deluded if they think that Western “Leftists” would give a toss about the suppression of their supposed ideological comrades in the PFLP. The true political situation in Gaza is very well known already, particularly to Viva Palestina participants. Remember this account from Bob Lewis, or this earlier report by Hass on the domination of Viva Palestina events, by Hamas?
Indeed, leading Western “Leftists” proudly hand over great wodges of cash to Hamas officials. They have no fear that their support for a genocidal racist organisation which has already begun the job of rounding up the Reds will do them political harm.