As you faithful readers of this blog know, I rarely write a blog in which I insert comments into someone else’s published article. However yesterday, the following article by Ibrahim Barzak of the Associated Press was so remarkable for its lack of critical perspective that it demands such treatment. With ‘apologies’ to Mr. Barzak, my comments are in blue below.
By IBRAHIM BARZAK
The Associated Press 4/19/2011
NUSSEIRAT, Gaza Strip — An al-Qaida inspired militant implicated in the death of an Italian activist killed himself and an associate as Hamas security forces stormed his Gaza hideout on Tuesday. The surviving member of the militant trio believed to have kidnapped and killed pro-Palestinian activist Vittorio Arrigoni was arrested by Hamas forces who surrounded and captured the house after a fierce firefight, said Hamas security spokesman Ihab Ghussein. As Hamas forces closed in, the group’s ringleader, Abdel-Rahman Mohammad Breizat, a Jordanian, threw grenades at his two accomplices and then shot himself rather than be taken alive.
So we begin with the theme of Hamas are the good guys, and the kidnappers are the bad guys. And notice the bad guy is not a Palestinian, he is a foreigner–a Jordanian. What’s more is that this Al-Qaeda member threw grenades at his two accomplices and then shot himself! I don’t guess Breizat will be defending himself against Hamas charges any time soon. Talk about eliminating the witnesses.
Hamas forces had surrounded the hideout earlier in the day as part of a manhunt for the killers of Arrigoni — an activist living in Gaza since 2008 helping local Palestinians. The 36-year-old’s body was found on Friday, a day after he was kidnapped and after a video showing him beaten and blindfolded surfaced online. Three members of the Hamas police force were wounded in the gunfight along with a girl, caught in the crossfire as she tried to flee to her house nearby.
Three valiant Hamasniks were wounded along with ‘a girl’. Let’s see, was the girl trying to flee to her house because she knew that neither the Salafis nor Hamas care about civilian casualties? Or was it because she knew that Hamas and the Salafis would use her as a human shield?
Several relatives of the gunmen as well as a known Salafist preacher arrived at the scene to plead with the suspects to surrender. After a few hours, Hamas said mediation attempts collapsed and shooting erupted anew. Hamas then banned media from reporting and ordered them away from the scene.
Hamas then banned the media? I wonder if this was because ‘Brezeit’ was about to throw hand grenades at his comrades and shoot himself? Hamas always bans the media from any site or situation in which Hamas might do something that could be portrayed unfavorably.
In the video of Arrigoni, a group identifying itself as “Monotheism and Holy War” demanded the release of two of its leaders, held by Hamas, in exchange for the hostage.
Monotheism and Holy War? The group means ‘Muslims Against Christians’.
Hamas said Arrigoni was strangled, but it has not allowed an independent expert to see the body.
Strangled? Arrigoni was hanged. Hamas never lets independent experts to see bodies.
The case was the first kidnap-slaying of a foreigner in the Gaza Strip since Hamas took power in the tiny Mediterranean coastal territory in 2007. It highlighted the challenge that the Iran-backed Hamas — a group with a militant Islamist ideology that is considered a terrorist organization by the U.S., the European Union and others — faces from smaller more extremist factions in Gaza that see it as too pragmatic.
Here we go again: Hamas are the pragmatic good guys; the ‘kidnappers’ are the bad guys.
A Hamas official said the suspects were members of a small extremist Islamic group inspired by al-Qaida. Breizat is believed to have sneaked into Gaza last year.
Sneaked into Gaza? Is this a joke? He came in through the tunnels just like hundreds of others–probably bringing weapons.
Breizat’s mother earlier told The Associated Press from Amman, Jordan, that her son was an observant Muslim unfairly accused of links to militant groups in his native country. She said he had “disappeared suddenly” but the family later heard from him that he went to Gaza. “He’s not a terrorist,” said Umm Maath, identifying herself by her eldest son’s name.
Umm Maath. Mother of Maath. No identity of her own. Let’s see: her son disappeared suddenly? went to Gaza? Hmm. I wonder where mom thought Maath was doing. Going on vacation?
Arrigoni was given a symbolic funeral on Monday in Gaza, after which his body was taken to neighboring Egypt, and then to Italy for burial.
A symbolic funeral? Should we assume that there is actually no body in the casket above? Of course it wouldn’t be the first time that Hamas and the Palestinians faked a funeral–especially when they knew the Western media was watching.
Radical and ultraconservative Islamic groups in Gaza that belong to the ultraconservative Salafi sect have created a headache for the strip’s militant Hamas rulers. Some groups are suspected of being behind a series of bombings of Internet cafes and music stores in Gaza, which they view as contrary to their perception of strict Islamic values. In 2007, Salafi militants from the “Army of Islam” kidnapped BBC reporter Alan Johnston and held him for a few months before he was freed.
Here we go again: we must remember Hamas are the good guys, and the Salafis are the bad guys. The Salafis are suspected of being behind a series of bombings in Gaza? What a joke. Hamas has been suicide bombing Israeli cafes for going on two decades.
The same group was involved in the abduction of Israeli soldier Sgt. Gilad Schalit, who was captured in a cross-border raid in 2006. Hamas still holds Schalit, demanding the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, including many convicted of murdering Israeli civilians, in exchange for his freedom. Hamas have banned the Red Cross from seeing Schalit and little is known about his condition.
Do we have this right? The Salafis kidnapped Shalit, but Hamas is holding Shalit. The Salafis kidnapped Shalit, but Hamas have banned the Red Cross from seeing Shalit. So who are the good guys and who are the bad guys?