28 May 2007

Gullibility of fools?

A person's power of self-persuasion is nothing short of miraculous. Watching the comedy unfolding in the Hay festival with the new darling of the British press, one Ghazi Hamad, I really do not know whether to laugh or to cry. The miraculous power that makes apparently intelligent people believe any outrageous lie and disregard the truth they are facing is really the best builder of mental walls. Read the report by Katharine Viner who is the features editor of the Guardian and, incidentally "the editor of the award-winning play My Name is Rachel Corrie" (nothing wrong here, it is all about art after all). The report deals with a momentous event - appearance of the above mentioned Hamas' luminary on stage at the Hay festival for an interview.

In the beginning of the article Ms Viner goes out of her way to show how excited she is by that rare treat. She does not forget to mention that Hamad spent five years in Israeli jails, as his proof of authenticity, obviously (well, she didn't tell why, so it is your guess), on the other hand she forgot to mention that he spent the same amount of time in Palestinian Authority jails. All around guy, so to say.

But then the report becomes just a recording of the guest speaker highlights. I shall skip most of it, including some pearls like "Arafat was poisoned by the Jooz", "10 months of constant shelling of Gaza after the election" etc. Let's focus on one item only:

He stated what is becoming the increasingly familiar Hamas position that Israel's withdrawal to its pre-1967 borders would effectively mean the end of the conflict.
So, Ms Viner has detected a growing peaceful tendency of Hamas. Interesting, and quite a pity the people of Sderot are not up to date on this one. But let's leave Sderot for a while, what about Mr Hamas... sorry, Mr. Hamad himself? After all, according to Wiki, his opinion is quite different:
"Israel should be wiped from the face of the Earth. It is an animal state that recognises no human worth. It is a cancer that should be eradicated."
And how about another, quite important official of the same outfit, already quoted here:
Sheik Ahmad Bahr, acting Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, declared during a Friday sermon at a Sudan mosque that America and Israel will be annihilated and called upon Allah to kill Jews and Americans "to the very last one."
Oh, but it was all told in Arabic, which Ms Viner does not know, probably.

But no, I do not really think that Ms Viner (and too many others like her, unfortunately) is a fool. She just wouldn't see, wouldn't listen and wouldn't believe anything that interferes with her desire to accept and to embrace one Ghazi Hamad and to encourage his burning desire for peace at all costs. Including the cost of wiping out that animal state.

She and others of her persuasion would believe this as well:
Alan Johnston, the BBC correspondent who was seized more than two months ago in Gaza, is healthy and unharmed and efforts to release him are "continuous", a Hamas member of the Palestinian government said. Ghazi Hamad, the government spokesman, said he knew the group holding Mr Johnston and added that he was dealing with them personally as part of efforts to secure the correspondent's release. "It is a small group which is holding Alan," he told an audience at the Guardian Hay literary festival. "It is not secret, I met with them, what I know is that Alan is healthy, well and in a very good situation - this is my certain information."
It is not a secret that Hamas knows perfectly well where Alan Johnston is kept and is, in effect, orchestrating the whole kidnapping business. So, one of the kidnappers is being interviewed by the kidnappers own - and nobody gives a damn about it.

No, it is not the gullibility of fools - it is just that Ghazi Hamad provides a perfect answer for those who wish to be duped. Although - I strongly suspect that even while being duped they know the truth in the hearts of their hearts...

Cross-posted on Yourish.com.