The characteristic of Pains and Pleasures is that they are unmistakably real, and therefore, as far as they go, give the man who feels them a touchstone of reality. Thus if you had been trying to damn your man by the Romantic method…you would try to protect him at all costs from any real pain; because, of course, five minutes’ genuine toothache would reveal the romantic sorrows for the nonsense they were and unmask your whole stratagem.
C.S. Lewis Screwtape 13
Captain Hughes: In fairness to all of you I am honor bound to ask this question. Is there anyone here who doesn’t want to be a member of his majesty’s navy?
Seaman: ( Steps forward) Me Sir!
Captain Hugues: (Produces pistol and shoots the man. He drops dead with a groan & thud) Is there anyone else reluctant to serve
One of the problems when you live by a lie or by propaganda sooner or later reality reasserts itself and the entire game is up.
That is the situation in Gaza and Iraq today.
Let’s start with Gaza, for the last several weeks we’ve been told all about Israel’s targeting of civilians as member after member of the press showed pictures of the dead spun Israel’s culpability. (with the exception of some fellow by the name of Tapper) .
Well unfortunately for Hamas in Gaza when the cease fire started the reporters started leaving Gaza and once there were no longer within shooting distance of these guys…behold:
Israel has argued that that these rockets are fired from civilian areas, and this is why its retaliatory strikes can result in civilian casualties.
But this morning, NDTV witnessed one such rocket silo being created under a tent right next to the hotel where our team was staying.
the key bit:
This report is being aired on NDTV and published on ndtv.com after our team left the Gaza strip
And now we have news organizations complaining about their treatment by Hamas
The FPA protests in the strongest terms the blatant, incessant, forceful and unorthodox methods employed by the Hamas authorities and their representatives against visiting international journalists in Gaza over the past month.
The international media are not advocacy organisations and cannot be prevented from reporting by means of threats or pressure, thereby denying their readers and viewers an objective picture from the ground.
In several cases, foreign reporters working in Gaza have been harassed, threatened or questioned over stories or information they have reported through their news media or by means of social media.
We are also aware that Hamas is trying to put in place a “vetting” procedure that would, in effect, allow for the blacklisting of specific journalists. Such a procedure is vehemently opposed by the FPA.
Michael Totten who has some experience reporting from the area states the obvious:
Of course this happened. Gaza is ruled by a dictatorship and a terrorist army, and this is what dictators and terrorists do. I’d flatly refuse to believe any report that said otherwise. Hezbollah pulled the same crap with me in Lebanon, and that was during peace time, not war time. I also told my readers about it and refused to be censored. And Hezbollah, at least in some ways, is less oppressive and controlling than Hamas.
Alan Johnson published a round-up of first-person reports in The Telegraph if you want to know the nuts-and-bolts of how this actually works.
All of this is bad news for Hamas but what’s happening in Iraq is worse, much worse for their PR war vs Israel.
Hamas has been maintaining that Israel is strangling their people, that they have been targeting civilians, they have described Israel as an apartheid state etc etc etc.
And then comes Isis in Iraq actually demonstrating what mass murder, targeting civilians and repression look like, forced conversions, mass murder, beheadings, targeting civilians and exclusions based on religion in an environment where the press dares not go.
All in the name of Allah.
It’s one thing to use an example from 95 years to demonstrate the absurdity of the charges against Israel. It’s another to be able to say: “You want to see actual repression & murder? Just head to Gaza city and bang a right.”
It’s not a good week for Hamas at all.
Exit Question: Did I miss the mass marches of Muslims in Paris, London and the rest of Europe condemning Isis for perverting Islam?
Update: This report on Gazans critique of Hamas is the icing on the cake
“We do not want to be bombarded every two or three years. We want to lead a good life: Sleep well, drink well and eat well,”
That doesn’t seem like much a critique to me yet to the author is it an act of courage:
It is impossible to say how widespread such discontent is among Gaza’s 1.8 million residents. Under Hamas rule, it’s rare and dangerous to share even as much as a hint of criticism of the government with outsiders.
Still, the men’s boldness in voicing their opinions could be a telling sign that some Gazans see Hamas as weakened.
If that’s considered boldness on the part of Hamas what follows from Hamza Hendawi is downright courageous:
Hamas has ruled with an iron fist since it took over Gaza, expelling the Western-backed Palestinian Authority. It does not tolerate dissent, detains critics and carries out extrajudicial executions of alleged spies for Israel. It has filled government departments with loyalists and is particularly intolerant of any criticism of its handling of the conflict with Israel. It seeks to block unauthorized media coverage of its military wing.
Even one story like this from a reporter based in that area is a watershed moment.