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Israeli Propaganda Attacks Hamas for Fateh Website

Israeli Propaganda Denounces Hamas for Fateh Website

By Genevieve Cora Fraser

In an article entitled, "Hamas Website Encourages Kids to Become Martyrs," Julie Stahl, the Jerusalem Bureau Chief for writes, "A new posting on a Hamas website for children encourages them to become suicide bombers." According to Ms. Stahl, "The homepage of shows a cartoon of a girl using a slingshot to throw rocks, presumably against Israelis." She then goes on to assert that "the first Palestinian intifadah started in 1987 with rock-throwing at cars. The current trouble also started with rock-throwing in September 2000 but quickly moved into live fire and terror attacks."

The first error she makes is blaming Hamas for a Fateh website. And though she discusses mainly cartoons found on the website, Ms. Stahl has hit upon one of the bizarre twists to the Israeli, US and the EU anger over the defeat of Fateh. The continued Palestinian violence over the past year has been carried on by the military wing of Fateh as well as other Palestinian resistance organizations and not by Hamas. But for some strange reason these Western powers - and I include Israel as a Western power because that's where the leadership is from - wanted Palestinians to vote for the party that was CONTINUING the violence and had rejected the truce which Hamas has lived by despite the 24,000 Israeli infractions and 200 Palestinian deaths at the hands of Israel in the past year.

What I suspect is at the bottom of this very twisted logic is that Hamas cannot be bought. They govern themselves by consensus, are sincere and attempt to tell the truth as they see it. Women members of Hamas were also voted into office - 22% if I remember correctly. So that puts the lie to Western claims of Hamas men relegating Palestinian women to the kitchen. I also believe that they would- as they have stated - make a long-term truce with Israel if Israel would also agree to stop the violence. But alas, Israel is incapable of refraining for even a day or even an hour. Israel's vilolence against Palestinians is 24/7 - a never ending tirade of violence, sadism, land grabs, and ethnic cleansing.

Ironically, the Western powers will not stand for Hamas' forthrightness. They demand duplicity and leadership that will take a bribe and people that cannot control their own violence. (Granted, it is a normal response to the violence meted out by Israel) Yet, despite all the obstacles thrown in their path to date, Hamas appears to be very much in charge of their own agenda, whether or not they have finalized their government. This, despite the fact that America is pushing heinous, genocidal legislation such as House Resolution 4681, which was introduced after the recent Palestinian legislative election which resulted in a Hamas victory.

Fortunately good people such as the San Francisco Labor Council has joined "other progressive forces in opposing HR Bill 4681, and will send a letter urging our congressional representatives to vote NO on this draconian and counter-productive measure." The San Francisco Labor Council states that HR Bill 4681"goes far beyond reiterating the current U.S. ban on direct assistance to the Palestinian Authority; it also calls for many troubling provisions that would punish and isolate the Palestinian people for exercising their right to vote."

"The provisions include restricting US humanitarian aid; designating Palestinian territory as a "terrorist sanctuary" thus triggering restrictions on US exports; prohibiting official Palestinian diplomacy or representation in the United States in a way counter-productive to promoting dialogue and a just peace; reducing US dues to the United Nations because some of its bodies were created by the UN to advocate for Palestinian human rights; and denying Palestinians the ability to receive assistance through international financial institutions."

That brings us back to the bit of bombast created by Ms. Stahl. Prior to the 1st Intifada Israel had begun expropriations of Palestinian land for settlements and Israeli-only roads. Prior to 1987, the Palestinians avoided the use of arms. Instead they went on strike, closed businesses, and relied instead on general strikes and closing of businesses. But when the Israelis retaliated with tear gas and bullets, mass detentions, and beatings, the Palestinians threw stones and set up barricades. Then Israelis responded by breaking bones to prevent stone-throwing and upped the ante with deportations, curfews, travel restrictions, and by closing schools in the occupied territories. At bottom, the Intifada was created by a brutal Occupation which also triggered the 2nd Intifada as conditions went from bad to worse. And of course, Sharon visited the Temple Mount and the rest is history. And now the Western powers are doing all they can to push Palestine into a 3rd Intifada - perhaps to assist Israel as it grabs all that remains of Palestine's natural resources and continue their ethnically cleansing at will in Israel as well as in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

As for showing a cartoon of a girl using a slingshot to throw rocks, as Ms. Stahl claims, I saw no such cartoon when I visited the site, merely the cartoon of a little girl sitting politely reading. I checked through the rest of the site for offensive pictures or cartoons and saw none - unless you count the page of pictures with Israel soldiers pointing their rifles at Palestinian women and children and a photo of a martyred child at the hands of the Israelis. But of course, they were only Palestinian Arab children and Israeli courts excuse such killings as necessary for security.


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