Hamas, Netanyahu And The Middle East.
What to make of the Middle East?
On the one hand, there is the natural desire of people to throw off their dictators.
Then on the other, bloody dictators clinging to power from Libya to Bahrain, using military might as they see fit, murdering willy-nilly. In part the West rightly condemns Gaddafi’s brutality, but then the EU commissioner defends state induced violence in Bahrain.
In Gaza, Islamic Jihad and Hamas deliberately launch mortars and rockets into Israel’s towns, hoping to kill civilians.
In response, the Netanyahu government plays Hamas’s game sending in planes and tanks.
In Jerusalem a bomb deliberately target civilians, ordinary Israelis, killing one and injuring many.
Back in Gaza, Hamas relish an opportunity to literally play the martyr and the stupid Netanyahu government obliges.
Hamas had been side tracked by events around the Middle East, their brutal rule of the Gaza Strip was made all the more obvious as they bludgeoned protesters for the human rights recently.
As a deflection they started poking Israel with a stick, knowing full well that the Netanyahu government would respond with military force and not a moment’s thought for the consequences, either politically or to ordinary Palestinians.
The Netanyahu government has shown itself incredibly inept and it is hard to point to any significant policy achievement that they have had in the last few years, if any. However, Hamas loves the Netanyahu government, for all their predictability, for all their political clumsiness and their diminishing political capital. If Hamas were left to their own devices they would continue to brutalise Palestinians without reproach, human rights within the Gaza Strip are negligible, speak out and you risk imprisonment, torture or worse. Hamas will brook no dissent.
Still, Hamas is full of canny political operatives, they know how to exploit a political situation and are comparatively good at PR, in stark contrast to the Netanyahu government that throws away chances and alienates allies, almost without a care in the world.
Meanwhile, the Bashar al-Assad dictatorship kills another 15+, those trying to demand basic human rights in Syria.
On top of that in Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh clings on to power and invokes emergency powers.
Egyptian women protesters forced to take ‘virginity tests’.
Israel’s Interior Ministry stupidly wants deport Munther Fahmi.
(H/T: Linda Grant)