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June 19, 2007



I can't believe they're even trying to push that line.

Even if you ignore the supposed docs linking Fatah to the CIA and
the Israeli/US axis, you gotta take into consideration that Fatah
is being publicly supported by Israel and the US. That wouldn't be so
bad if the Israeli's had ever done good by Abbas. But I seem to
remember that while he was in power, before Hamas got elected,
the Palestinians got nowhere in terms of, well, anything.


Hamas has not lost the media war at all, it's just that their target has changed. While Hamas organized and accumulated weapons their PR goals consisted of winning recruits and financial and political support from Arabs. Now that Hamas has real gains on the ground, they don't need the support of what Lenin called "useful idiots" any more to please their Persian tutors.

Instead, their current goal is to demoralize the remaining opposition on the battlefield. They think they can achieve this through local terror: dreadful whispered tales of brutal injustices witnessed by the locals and a promise of "amnesty" to weaken people's will to resist.

Of course, to minimize the public relations damage abroad, this strategy means that the Western media, including the most "pro-Palestinian" journalists, be prevented from operating in Gaza. Which may explain why the BBC's reporter hasn't yet been released from captivity. Could this be the reason he was captured in the first place?

Peter Principle

"When Mahmoud Abbas is put in the company of Siniora and Maliki, this does not help him in this political milieu."

Bin Ladin's polarization strategy (it's actually the product of far greater minds than his, but the CEO always gets both the credit and the blame) continues to bear fruit -- with an assist from Elliot Abrams and Condi Rice.

If Bush and Olmert were not bears of very little brain, they would be criticizing Abbas -- or at least not praising him as a "moderate peacemaker" (i.e. puppet collaborator). At this point, public support from the Americans and the Israelis is the kiss of death for any Palestinian leader.


Marc, what line is being taken by the Palestinian West Bank media?

Non-Arab Arab

Al-Ayyam ( http://www.al-ayyam.ps ), Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda ( http://www.alhayat-j.com ) and Al-Quds (the Palestinian version at http://www.alquds.com, not the London Al-Quds Al-Arabi) all presenting a pretty straight up Fatah line. Those are the big ones I used to read years ago, haven't checked in regularly for sometime so perhaps someone could point out if there is more independent or non-Fatah-affiliated political local press with any circulation saying something else?


Abu Roman's comments are understanable for an external commentator - if you take the pictures at face value, most people make the Hamas = anarchy equation. According to the 'men in the street' I've spoken to in Gaza, tensions have eased since Hamas 'took over', while others, especially in the West Bank, are in despair that the chronically corrupt, crony-ridden Fatah is the group being backed. Hamas won the parliamentary elections for very good reason - where they had governed in local municipalities, they had managed to grow jobs and the local economy, and generally be effective. People trust them in a way they haven't trusted Fatah for years. Is this what happens when you prevent embassy staff travelling to the Palestinian Territories but still pretend to know what's going on there?


Which narrative takes root remains very much to be seen. Perhaps Abu Roman is right about Hamas losing the support of the Arab center.

As far as I can tell, the "Arab center" wishes that HAMAS and Fatah would annihilate each-other to the last man. But you wouldn't know that, Marc, because you hang out with agenda driven activists.

But my gut tells me that the pro-Hamas line is far more likely to capture Arab discourse than is the US and Saudi-backed anti-Hamas line, particularly as public American and Israeli support for Abbas increases.

That isn't your "gut" telling you that. It's your personal preferences :P


By the way, Marc... any Arab and/or Muslim who is OK with what HAMAS does because of their hatred for Israel or the United States, is a supporter of terrorism. I'll shed no tears for such folks, when the chickens come home to roost. If Islam is to survive at all, the time for change is now. Not next year. Not in ten years. Right now. It's time for Muslims to stop supporting terrorism, or to die with the people they choose to stand by.


Thanks NAA. Seemed to me a Jordanian view would be closest to the West Bank view. Was interesting one of the analysts was a former Muslim Bro editor.

Rather imagine Hamas' hasty release of Fatah detainees and conciliatory noises was impelled by stern emails from Hizbullah following the wall to wall TV coverage of the rampage. PR disaster, imo.


ps Does anybody monitor West Bank talkback radio?


Give it time...I think it's too soon to say that Hamas is losing the media war, especially since Israel is making more incursions into Gaza as we speak. Israel's agression may just tip the Arab media scales back to Hamas' favor.


The suggestion that:

Hamas has been badly hurt with the average, mainstream Arab - religious but not Islamist

seems awfully forced to me. I don't see how even a minimally religious Muslim can reconcile fatah/israeli/american attacks against their fellow Muslims with, say, 5:51. I would like very much to hear the khutba from al-Aqsa this coming Friday.


Quran 5:51 YUSUFALI: O ye who believe! take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors: They are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them. Verily Allah guideth not a people unjust.

Quran 5.33YUSUFALI: The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter;

What say you, Marc? Sounds to me like Islam's "enemies" (particularly Christians and Jews) will have destroy Islam and kill commit genocide upon Muslims, in self defense. If Muslims choose to believe these Satanic verses that jr786 refers to.

Do Muslims worship God, at all?

What is your take on theses verses, Brother? I say - let the games begin. How is that for public diplomacy? Am I scoring any points, yet?


And by the way, Marc... that's the Al Qaeda version of Islam. Your commenters all believe in the Al Qaeda version of Islam, have you noticed? As do (probably) most other Muslims.

Do you really think there is any chance of successful diplomacy with people who believe in that garbage? People who think it's OK to murder anyone they don't like, and that it's justified because of some bizarre verse in the Quran? I could justify killing any man, woman or child on this planet by selectively quoting from the Quran. And that is exactly what Muslims are being taught, all over the world. That violent and evil version of Islam.

Time enough for diplomacy when all the people who believe that way, are dead.


BTW one more comment on the Quran verses I quoted earlier:

The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger

Palestinians wage war against God. They murder, torture, kidnap... and they say they do it for God. They are waging war against God's most important commandments.

and strive with might and main for mischief through the land

Mischief throughout the land. Who is more guilty of that, than Palestinians?

is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter;

By by. The Israelis have chosen the most lenient of the punishments the Quran proscribes for Palestinians. Isn't that nice of them?


Craig, is everything okay? This commenting binge is excessive even by your standards.... we worry.


Well "aardvark" :

Craig, is everything okay?

No, everything isn't OK. Islamists are fucking Palestine, Lebanon and Iraq at the moment. Is everything OK with you?

This commenting binge is excessive even by your standards.... we worry.

If you are an Islamist, you should be worried! If you are an insane self loathing westerner, then put your head back up in the clouds and keep mouthing platitudes. Everything will be fine. The rest of us will save you from your own misguided ideology.


I don't see any evidence that Hamas is losing sympathy, or that Fatah is gaining sympathy, among Arabs and Muslims. They may be sad to see Palestinians fighting, but "Islamists" are still going to support Hamas and some people are still going to support Fatah, even after seeing Bush gloating with Olmert, and knowing that Abbas is completely under their thumbs. I've heard of Fatah supporters becoming disillusioned with their party, but I haven't heard that about Hamas supporters.

As for Craig, you're quoting verses that say Muslims can fight those who wage war against them. And so?



The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is...

That's not a permission to wage war against Islam's enemies. It's a blank check to murder anyone who is causing "mischief" for Muslims, for anyone who wishes to interpret it so.

Not war. MURDER. As enemies of Islam.

That verse alone is sufficient to get Islam declared an illegal death cult, and it should be so declared, in my opinion. And I think, after the next major terror attack against civilians, it will be. There is no way to co-exist with people who believe God wants them to murder anyone who doesn't believe as they do. No way at all. Either some credible authority, with the powers of enforcement, has to come forward and lay down the law that Muslims are not to interpret such verses accept in a reasonable and well defined manner, or Islam must cease to be.


Apparently some people have trouble with the meaning of and. If He had wanted to say "or", he would have said "or." But then again, there are none so blind as those who will not see.

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