Friday, November 12, 2010

Ever Wonder Why You Don't Hear Anymore About How Hamas Was "Democratically Elected"

One reason, of course, is that they aren't--even if you claim Hamas was originally elected democratically: the presidential elections were due in 2009 and the parliamentary election was due at the beginning of this year.[more info here]

The other problem is that Hamas is not...democratic--although they do terrorize all Gazans equally.

Just ask Alladin Mohammed al-Araj, one of the owners of the Crazy Water Park in Gaza, which was burned down by Hamas.

All is quiet on this autumn morning at the Crazy Water Park, a couple of kilometers south of Gaza City. There are no children splashing around in the shallow kiddie pools, no men cheering as they shoot off the slides into the deep end of the pool. Wives and mothers are also missing from their usual spots under the umbrellas, where they normally sit, fully dressed, chatting and watching their children and husbands play in the water.

The Gaza Strip's only water park opened last spring but -- thanks to around 30 members of Hamas -- it was shut down in late September. One night at 3 a.m., these men appeared out of nowhere, tied up the park's 10 security guards and got to work with gas canisters and lighters.

...Not long later, the flames engulfing the water park's buildings could be seen from as far away as Gaza City.

The Crazy Water Park was expensive, exclusive and only meant for the elite -- which makes it all the more surprising that Hamas has now decided to target it as part of its modesty campaign. Until now, the Islamists had tended to suffer the harmless escapades of the upper class in silence.
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights reports that 2 mosques in Crazy Water Park were burned down as well.

But not all of Hamas is equally radical. There are apparently 2 sides within the terrorist group, though the names are not reassuring:
For months now, the new buzzwords in Gaza have been "Erdoganis" and "Talibanis": Hamas has split into two camps, say the political intelligentsia during their gatherings in cafés and living room. The moderate faction supposedly adheres to the ideas of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, advocating a democratic system with only a slight nod to Islam. The hard-liners, on the other hand, allegedly model themselves after the Taliban in Afghanistan and aspire to install a theocratic government.
In any case, regardless of how the Hamas regime came to power, it is now governing in the way that it knows best:
"Incidents like the fire at the water park have a big effect," says one Palestinian observer who asked not to have his name published. "They keep people anxious and scared, and they silence any criticism of Hamas."

As he sees it, the fact that the hard-liners are now targeting the previously untouchable upper class only strengthens its message of intimidation.
Of course, none of this should be surprising if you recall the bloody coup by which Hamas seized control from Fatah:
Hamas and Fatah committed "grave breaches" of international law in their brief civil war in the Gaza Strip in June, a Palestinian human rights group said on Tuesday, detailing a series of extra-judicial killings.

In a new report, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) said 161 Palestinians, of whom 41 were civilians, were killed during fighting between June 7 and June 14 in which Hamas Islamists took control of the territory from secular Fatah.

"The two sides perpetrated grave breaches of the provisions of international law concerning internal armed conflicts, including extra-judicial and wilful killings and shooting at combatants and civilians after capturing them," the PCHR said.

In some cases, people were seized by gunmen in their homes and their bodies were later found dumped in remote areas.

"The PCHR also documented a number of cases, in which militants executed wounded persons during their evacuation to hospitals," the 105-page report said, citing testimony from relatives of the dead.

At least two people -- a Fatah fighter and a Hamas member -- were pushed to their deaths from tall buildings, said the PCHR, the leading Palestinian human rights group in the Gaza Strip.
No, it is no wonder why people don't talk about the democratically elected government of Hamas.
The only wonder is how anyone would have thought to put the words "Democracy" and "Hamas" together to begin with.

Sometimes, a terrorist is just a terrorist.

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