Monday, August 28, 2006

28-Aug-06: Palestinian Arab version of "Man Bites Dog" story

Unusually frank words of self-criticism appear in the Palestinian Arab media today. Ghazi Hamad, a spokesperson for the Hamas Palestinian Arab regime and a man with a minor reputation for relative pragmatism, publicly criticizes the chaos and anarchy that marks all aspects of Palestinian life today -- without blaming all of it on Israel.

Hamad even calls on Palestinian Arabs to (gulp) admit some mistakes.

As for English-language translation, the story is published today on the Israeli Yedioth Aharonot and Jerusalem Post websites and, as far as we can tell, nowhere else till now.

Some extracts, with the "no duh!" parts removed:-

"When you walk in the streets of Gaza City, you cannot but close your eyes because of what you see there: unimaginable chaos, careless policemen, young men carrying guns and strutting with pride and families receiving condolences for their dead in the middle of the street."
Hamad says the Palestinians have turned the Gaza Strip into a lawless and violent place. "After the withdrawal from Gaza, we hoped for a bright future, we thought that this year we will reap the fruits of our sacrifices. But I ask myself today: why did the occupation return to Gaza? Wise men and commentators will say the occupation [by Israel] is responsible. I am not defending the occupation, but I want to stop at our mistakes, which we are accustomed to blame on others. Let's admit we erred".
"Gaza is suffering under the yoke of anarchy and the swords of thugs... I remember the day when Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip and closed the gates behind. Then, Palestinians across the political spectrum took to the streets to celebrate what many of us regarded as the Israeli defeat or retreat. We heard a lot about a promising future in the Gaza Strip and about turning the area into a trade and industrial zone."

"We did not succeed in preserving the victory of liberating Gaza. 500 people died in the Gaza Strip since the [Israeli] withdrawal, as opposed to only 3 or 4 Israelis killed by rockets. The reality in Gaza today is one of neglect, sadness, and failure. When someone errs we are scared to criticize him to avoid being accused of being against the resistance."

"When efforts are made to open the Rafah border crossing to ease the humanitarian crisis, there is always someone who fires a rocket on the crossing. When we speak about a truce, there is always someone who fires another rocket.

"The land is full with anarchy, corruption, thuggery, and gang killings. Isn't building the homeland part of the resistance?

"We have all been attacked by the bacteria of stupidity. We have lost our sense of direction and we don't know where we're headed."

Kidnapping, he says, has become a "profitable business," charging that kidnappers of innocent foreigners apathetic to the harm their deeds cause to the Palestinian cause.

"Let's admit to our mistakes, let's do some logical soul searching and place the interest of our people before us [!!!] and say honestly: We were right here and we erred there. Only then will we see that the faces of Gaza and the homeland changes."
Sadly no apologies are offered here on behalf of the Arafat regime kleptocrats and the Hamas and Fatah despots to their Palestinian Arab brothers and sisters for having turned three generations of children into dim-witted, uneducated, impoverished terrorist thugs.

It's another aspect of this tragedy that self-criticism of one of the most catastrophically self-destructive regimes in history is so incredibly rare as to warrant being treated as a news event. We're not holding our breath, by the way, to see if the Arab media pick it up and give it some exposure.

Appropriate for us to mention a statement attributed to a wise old woman

"You ask when will there be peace between us Israelis and the Arabs? Peace will come when they learn to love their own children more than they hate ours."
That tectonic shift in outlook is still nowhere in sight.

UPDATE: Full text now (28th August) available courtesy of the indispensable MEMRI.

1 comment:

Huldah said...

Arnold - here's responding to the courage of the Palestinian correspondent who wrote this article contrasted with the deafening silence of Christian leaders on the same topic.

On the post below, you commented:

"We can't even begin to comprehend what keeps the vast majority of Christian leaders silent."

Last year I complained to a Christian organisation about articles on its website and in its magazine which highlighted the difficulties of Palestinian Christians and placed the blame firmly at the door of Israel.

Open Doors (the organisation concerned) replied that they were well aware that the corrupt PA and Islamist intimidation were the principle sources of problems for Palestinian Christians. However, Palestinian pastors had implored them not to write about it because it would place Christian people and property in the PA at increased risk.

But then at the end of July, I spent a few days in Jerusalem. A Galilee-based Chaplain was sheltering from the Katyushas in my hotel. She claimed that most Christian Palestinians had voted for Hamas recently.

Well, if that's true, they're like turkeys voting for Christmas (to use a British phrase!)

So who knows why Christian leaders in and out of the PA keep silent. With a perfidious mixture of cowardice and stupidity, it seems that Palestinian Christians will become fewer and fewer.