04 February 2006

Reading Norm

It is always an enjoyable and educating pastime.

In this post on Hamas his guest Jeff Weintraub draws an interesting parallel with the rise and fall of Islamic movement in Algeria. In the same post he quotes Al Jazeera:

After a meeting in Cairo on Wednesday between Abbas and President Hosni Mubarak, Egyptian Intelligence Chief Omar Suleiman urged Hamas to take steps on three key issues.

"One, to stop the violence. Two, it should become a doctrine for them to be committed to all the agreements signed with Israel. Three, they have to recognise Israel," he told reporters.

Well, unfortunately, Abbas, as per honored by time Arafat's tradition, will do much less then promised. At the moment he will settle for a vague promise from Hamas to commit to all the agreements signed, everything else postponed for the glorious future. No dice here.

In two other posts - here and here, Norm takes Jonathan Steele of Guardian to task for his article (classified as a comment for some reason). Jonathan Steele sees Hamas win as a golden opportunity for Europe to make and independent stand on this issue (read - embrace Hamas and connect it to he EU udders as soon as possible in the hope that with EU milk Hamas will absorb some of the softness and benevolence that radiate from that benign body).

In my previous post here I have mentioned that the whitewashing of Hamas has already started, and that smelly piece by Steele is the best proof of it. But I will leave it to Norm to dissect the article in his inimitable and polite manner which I wouldn't be able to rise to in a thousand years. Instead, being a baleful and mercurial self, I would relate only to a few quotes from Steele's article:

To start with the article's title: "The Palestinians' democratic choice must be respected". Yes, the choice was democratic, but why should it be respected? Palestinians made the choice, after all, so respecting it is their business.

But the most "impressive statement is this one:

Murdering a Palestinian politician by a long-range attack that is bound also to kill innocent civilians is morally and legally no better than a suicide bomb on a bus.

Slightly sidestepping here the usual Guardian policy of calling every Palestinian killed by IDF a "civilian". It is "politician" now. Interesting, it is, probably, some new editorial policy that we shall see implemented soon. "Two Gazan politicians killed by the Israeli Occupation Forces while trying to place an explosive charge... Two automatic rifles, hand grenades and... were found near the bodies." That is definitely a novel approach to progressive journalism.

Why don't you, Mr. Steel, take you moral equivalence formula, roll it up, get off your moral high horse, bend over and stick it?

Actually, there was one sentence in the article I agree with:

"Zahar was in the garden and lucky to survive."

In fact it is the second time he was so lucky. As a said before, maybe it is the third time lucky that will do it for Zahar.

As for Jonathan Steele - my advice will be for him to revisit Gaza right now. Hamas folks are looking everywhere for European type of faces. There is a misunderstanding about some pictures drawn in Europe they need to clear urgently.

Er... on the other hand, Mr. Steele looks very Jewish, judging by that picture. Maybe it is not such a good idea after all...