Friday, January 25, 2008

Pools panel forecast: home win

Melanie Phillips is on the money as usual - Hamas: 2, World: 0...

Once again, the shrewd strategists of Hamas have played a blinder in the past few days, managing to wrong-foot the governments of both Israel and Egypt and manipulate the ever-obliging western media. First, Hamas bombards southern Israel with rockets and shells -- 220 in four days, the latest volley in the 4000-plus such rocket attacks since Israel disengaged from Gaza in 2005. Then, when Israel closes Gaza’s supply route from Israel in a desperate attempt to stop this relentless onslaught, Hamas shuts off Gaza’s electricity, claims that Israel is thus killing its old and sick and organises a candle-lit demonstration whose poignant images of winsome young faces illuminated in deep shadow are broadcast round the world, packing the emotional punch of an electronic Rembrandt. The resulting outcry by a so-called civilised world community that has resolutely refused even to report the rocket barrages (does anyone imagine that if any of those countries had been hit by 4000 rockets in two and a half years they would not have simply flattened the attackers making war upon them?) forces Israel to beat a hasty retreat and re-open the supply route.

Israel: nil, Hamas: one.

Yet even while Israel is being excoriated for ‘laying brutal siege’ to Gaza and inflicting ‘collective punishment’ upon the Palestinians in their ‘open prison’, the said Palestinians suddenly breach a hole in the wall with Egypt and pour through. What’s this – a ‘Berlin wall’ that the Telegraph and others have suddenly discovered Egypt operates to keep the Palestinians in Gaza and out of Egypt? Just like Israel has done? Isn’t Egypt’s wall therefore also an ‘apartheid wall' -- or is it only the Jews who do apartheid? And what’s this – a supply route into Gaza controlled by Egypt, not Israel? So how can this have been Israel’s ‘brutal siege’? Hasn’t Egypt equally been laying ‘brutal siege’ to the Gazans, also enforcing upon them ‘collective punishment’ and also forcing them to live in an ‘open prison’? Or is it only the Jews who can ever be guilty of such heinous acts? Clearly this is so for Tim Butcher of the Telegraph, for whom breaching the Egyptian wall ended
Israel's swingeing blockade
.And what’s this? Khaled Abu Toameh reports in the Jerusalem Post:
At least 90 Gazans, most of them women, were wounded by Egyptian border guards using tear gas, clubs, water cannons and live ammunition to disperse the demonstrators, who were protesting against the continued closure of the border crossing
That’s protesting against the closure of Egypt’s border crossing. If Israel had wounded 90 Palestinians using tear gas, clubs, water cannons and live ammunition, there would have been hysterical claims of a massacre and genocide. Yet when the Egyptians do it, the British media scarcely even report it.

The astounding distortion of the media’s coverage of the Middle East means that most people are unaware of the extreme lengths to which Egypt routinely goes to keep the Palestinians out. That is in large measure because Egypt’s President Mubarak is fighting to prevent the Islamists of the Muslim Brotherhood (of which Hamas is an important terrorist branch) from taking over his country. Gaza is thus a nightmare for him. Fighting to contain the Brotherhood within, he now has them on his doorstep in Hamastan. Unable or unwilling to act against them himself, he relies on Israel to do it for him in killing Hamas terrorists, and has been happy to co-operate with Israel in operating a barrier against them.

But now Hamas has breached that barrier. According to a scoop in today’s Times, far from the na├»ve stories that the wall was breached by opportunist gangs of ‘masked men’ this was an operation carefully planned and executed by Hamas. As the Times reports, Hamas had been secretly cutting the border with Egypt for months.
Hamas, which took control of the coastal territory last June after a stand-off with Fatah, has denied that its men set off the explosions that brought down as much as two-thirds of the 12-km wall in the early hours. But a Hamas border guard interviewed by The Times at the border today admitted that the Islamist group was responsible and had been involved for months in slicing through the heavy metal wall using oxy-acetylene cutting torches…
The guard, Lieutenant Abu Usama of the Palestinian National Security, said of the cutting operation: ‘I've seen this happening over the last few months. It happened in the daytime but was covered up so that nobody would see.’ Asked whether he had reported it to the government, he replied: ‘It was the government that was doing this. Who would I report it to?’
Priceless. Egypt: nil; Hamas: two.

If Hamas were ever to come to power in the West Bank – which would almost certainly happen if Israel were to withdraw -- and in Egypt, Islamism would be well on the way to sweeping through the entire region, and the rest of the world would be in even more danger than it is now. The gullible stupidity of the western intelligentsia, in sanitising Hamas and mindlessly reproducing its propaganda lies as facts, is thus helping deliver further victory to the very people who are pledged to destroy the free world. But blinded by their prejudice against the Jewish state, this is the last thing the useful idiots of the west will ever see.

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