September 24th, 2010
I went to Gaza, wanting to like Hamas. I am a sucker for underdogs, and thought they were good honest Muslims. I love living with Muslims. I have no problem respecting local customs, and have always felt safe and at home as a guest in Arab Lands.
I love the People of Palestine, and yearn and work for their freedom. But governments of any country have yet to impress me…
I gathered many stories on film, but also heard many by those afraid to be filmed being critical of Hamas. Here is what I learned…
Many traditionally Fateh supporters voted for Hamas…. Hoping for “Change”, and Hamas is good right?… Good Muslims.
To be fair, Hamas was good to me in Gaza. If one only sees the face they want you to see,
all seems good. Some convoys to Gaza, stay only a day or two, and get
only the Hamas Tour. This is only part of the story in Gaza, for this I write.
Hamas can be fearsome, and gained respect for its abilities, however feeble compared to the USA/Israel War Crime Machine imposed against it.
Armed Resistance to Occupation is respected as a right in Palestine, as it is under International Law. Methodology of this can be debated. Some Palestinians regard all Israelis Military targets, for they all serve in the IDF, or Occupy Land inside the Green line considered Traditional Palestine. Some believe in defending from only attacking soldiers inside the West Bank and Gaza.
I am not here to condone nor condemn this, but explain the thinking …
Hamas took Gaza by elections, not a “coup” as is repeated mindlessly on the news. Upon election, western forces backed an attempted coup by Fatah to overtake Hamas. This attempt failed, and the Fateh “leaders” fled like rats, after sending family and money abroad. Many loyal Fateh soldiers guarded empty buildings, with five bullets, thinking they were guarding Loyal Leaders….Many died for nothing. The Israeli Hawks got a good chuckle from that. Operation divide and separate had a good head of steam.
It was legitimate for Hamas to defend itself from Bush Ally’ and Fateh Strongman Dahlan. Treason was afoot.
The internal war that followed…. is a great shame to Palestine. Many Palestinians died at the hands of other Palestinians.
Born in blood, Paranoid for good reason, and never given a chance, Hamas became a monster like an unloved abused child. No numbers have been kept as to how many Palestinians died at the hands of Hamas. A common practice of Hamas was to “Kneecap” people for little or no reason other than being Fateh. I have seen the scars where Hamas Police has slashed open the veins of former Fatah workers on the street, and have seen the bullet holes in the Knees.
Hamas has summarily executed many Civilians, or tortured them to Death. Hamas Police have raped inmates with broken broom-handles…. and worse.
The Quran fell by the wayside, and selectively used to justify any action. When asked about the sin of Muslims killing Muslims, Hamas members have said of Fateh, “Well they are not really Muslims anyway.”
Hamas flags hang above or in place the Palestinian Flag in Gaza, and even above Mosques. Hamas is not a religious movement, but a political one.
One fears to go out at night in Gaza of being caught by Hamas. Even traditional music and dancing are banned.
This is not to say all Hamas Members are “bad”, many are civil servants, and the like. Like in America not all “Republicans” or “Democrats” are Bad…. just most of the leadership. Same thing in Palestine. People are people.
Another feature of Hamas is that strings are pulled in Syria and Iran, that do not promote the best long term interests for Palestine. The Palestinian becomes a pawn in a struggle between East and West fighting proxy wars in Palestine.
In the Criminal Assault against the trapped population in Gaza named “Cast Lead”, Hamas hid in Hospitals and Mosques and underground. Civilians as always bore the brunt. Hamas also fired rockets from Civilian areas, and areas of political foes, to draw the Israelis fire there. Israel has no problem with bombing even protected areas, so hiding there does no good.
Fighting a guerrilla style war requires blending in with the Civilian Population. No tanks nor planes has Hamas, and Gaza is small… and Israel is without mercy nor restraint.
I have met many good Hamas People, Devout Muslims, who took me in their homes and made me feel welcome. Not all Hamas are bad…
To be fair, Fateh leadership is corrupt, and ineffective and profits from enforcing the Occupation. Abbas has done no good… Arafat is gone. Occupation and settlements remain.
Hamas remains, and may disallow elections in Gaza. Abbas is standing down. One man still in Israel’s prisons may be a key….. Marwan Barghouthi…but that is another story.
Looking forward in the Movement for Human Rights and in Palestine/Israel. We must have our eyes open. Most every Political group works to support its own ends. Hamas members are paid, and give support to them that in hand support them. Same with Fateh..
The Non Political, fall through the cracks.
To aid the Palestinian Plight, those whom honor and practice Human Rights in Civil Society must be aided directly.
Humanitarian Aid should go directly to those who need it.
None of this is to justify war crimes against Hamas nor the rest of the Gazans.
My own government is far more bloodthirsty and dangerous, yet I do not want my cities bombed either.
Hamas is a group that will drag you out of your house and shoot you in the head execution style if you offend them enough.
Hamas will not allow demonstrations of rival Political groups, and has fired into crowds to disperse them, again killing civilians. Even public recognition of the Death of Arafat were banned. Politics aside, many Palestinians loved him.
I am safe to say as I like from my home in America, and I speak for my friends in Palestine that are not safe to do so.
We do the cause of Palestine no favors by helping Hamas, without demanding real change.
Hamas is missing a real opportunity, They need to support and defend the rights of all Palestinians.
Gaza could be a model for the world.
They can find green solutions to free themselves from many problems.
The Palestinians are crafty…. if they can build tunnels to Egypt, they can build windmills.
Never ever ever,… never underestimate the intelligence, compassion, education and determination of the Palestinians.
I write this to encourage future convoys to understand what I have said, and take according action.
I did not write here of every issue, but of one issue. How Hamas treats its own citizens.
If Hamas can right these wrongs, they could teach us all something.
Untill then, Inshallah.