Friday, August 08, 2014

8-Aug-14: The more things change, the more the terrorists of Hamas stay the same as they always were [Updated]

When using the word 'justice', the Hamas thugs
don't necessarily mean it the same way we do
[Image Source]
In a post here three years ago ["31-Dec-11: Wishful thinking, self-delusion and the Hamas threat"], we asked
why so many on the liberal end of the political spectrum keep wanting to have us reconsider the terrorists of Hamas and their real objectives.
In offering some answers, we quoted the Palestinian Arab analyst Khaled Abu Toameh, explaining that
He writes well, he avoids adopting what's politically correct, he speaks with all parts of the Arab world and he seems amazingly unafraid to express clearly what he thinks even when this probably places him in personal danger.
We quoted at the time (2011) from a then-fresh article of Abu Toameh's entitled "Has Hamas Really Changed?". It's interesting to re-read not just despite the passage of time but because of it. (And definitely worth reviewing today, now that fresh volleys of Gazan rockets are once more being fired into Israel this morning.) 

Anyone paying serious attention to the voices of Islamist jihad understands that they are not about to disappear, and nor are their hateful and violent aspirations.

That same 2011 blog of ours mentions one of the background issues that has always been part of Hamas' thuggish saga:
More and more senior figures in the movement have become entangled in corruption scandals... rarely reported in the media. The most prominent person involved is Ayman Taha... A few less-senior figures in Hamas - some of whom were suspected of corruption, and others of whom tried to report such affairs - have undergone peculiar accidents. ["31-Dec-11: Wishful thinking, self-delusion and the Hamas threat"]
Taha was a founder of Hamas and an occasional smuggler. But Wikipedia helpfully notes that those "corruption and betrayal charges do not relate to or insinuate any collaboration with Israel" which Wikipedia's editors presumably consider far worse than lesser forms of criminality. Taha was one of several Hamas tycoons we mentioned here two weeks ago ["27-Jul-14: Gaza's death toll keeps rising but for Hamas insiders it's all worth it"].
Taha [Image Source]

The Jerusalem Post has now reported the termination of his career:
Hamas has executed its former spokesman Ayman Taha, who was arrested on suspicion of spying for an Arab country and financial corruption, Palestinian newspaper al-Quds reported Thursday. According to the report, a firing squad executed Taha in Gaza on Monday. 
It's of course possible that financial corruption and spying did play a role. We will never know, because what's certainly also true is that the iron fist, the fierce religiously-inspired cruelty and the deep darkness that Hamas' fat-cat insiders have brought down on the heads of the hapless Gazans come with an active Hamas ethos of settling scores with rivals via unlawful and opaque assassinations, the dragging of bodies through the streets as a lesson to the cowering masses and a reign of terror on their own side no less fearsome than the one they seek to rain down on our side.

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

UPDATE: Friday 12 noon: The indispensable Khaled Abu Toameh has more background about Taha and the role Israel plays in how his execution gets spun in the Arab world and the media at large: "Hamas Executes One of Its Leaders - Then Blames Israel"... here's a brief extract:
Hamas officials are now seeking to shift the blame toward Israel. Shortly after Palestinian journalists reported the execution, Hamas published a brief statement "mourning" the death of Taha, who it claimed was "martyred" during an Israeli air strike on an apartment in Gaza City. Hamas had no explanation, of course, as to why the man had been hit in the head and chest by bullets that were apparently fired from close range. The attempt to blame Israel is seen in the context of the movement's effort to prevent retaliatory attacks by Taha's powerful clan. The family had previously denounced the arrest of its son and called for his immediate release. Taha is not the only Palestinian to be killed by Hamas in the past few weeks... [continued]

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