Showing, apparently, the audacity to hate, Hamas are still producing virulently antisemitic children’s cartoons. In the face of crass hypocritical vitriol that is geopolitically and socially destructive the Daily Show had no real option but to set Dr. Bagelman (erstwhile producer of Jewby Doo) on to introduce them.
The whole sequence is unbelievable but the cartoons are the least believable and the least funny. Watch the sequence here.
Hat tip Jack Miller.
Atlantic blogger (and brave journalist) Jeffrey Goldberg remembers the now late Hamas leader Nizzar Rayyan, who was killed this week, along with his family, in an Israeli airstrike:
He was one of the more Islamically-learned Hamas leaders I’ve met (Sheikh Ahmed Yassin was learned as well, I think, but he was very hard to understand; Abdel Aziz Rantisi, who was the least pleasant of all the Hamas leaders I’ve known, was not very learned at all). In particular, Rayyan was interested in the hadith, the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, with a special interest in hadith that painted Jews in a negative light. Rayyan and I discussed the writing of Ibn Taymiyya, the Muslim scholar who lived seven hundred years ago, and who is the intellectual forefather of Sunni radicalism today (it was Ibn Taymiyya who elevated jihad to a kind-of sixth pillar of Islam). Like Ibn Taymiyya, Rayyan was preoccupied with Muslim apostasy. He never quite said so, but I could sense that he thought of Abu Mazen and the other leaders of the Palestinian Authority as traitors not only to the cause of Palestine, but to Islam itself. “You cannot be loyal to Allah and to the CIA at the same time,” he said of his P.A. enemies.
There are things I didn’t know about Rayyan, such as that he had four wives - a fact that tells you something about the culture of Hamas - but I knew that he was sincere in his devotion to the cause of Israel’s annhilation. The question I wrestle with constantly is whether Hamas is truly, theologically implacable. That is to say, whether the organization can remain true to its understanding of Islamic law and God’s word and yet enter into a long-term non-aggression treaty with Israel. I tend to think not, though I’ve noticed over the years a certain plasticity of belief among some Hamas ideologues. Also, this is the Middle East, so anything is possible.
There was no flexibility with Rayyan. This is what he said when I asked him if he could envision a 50-year hudna (or cease-fire) with Israel: “The only reason to have a hudna is to prepare yourself for the final battle. We don’t need 50 years to prepare ourselves for the final battle with Israel.” There is no chance, he said, that true Islam would ever allow a Jewish state to survive in the Muslim Middle East. “Israel is an impossibility. It is an offense against God.”
Goldberg notes that Rayyan did not subscribe to the belief, popular in certain militant Islamist circles, that present-day Jews are literally the descendants of apes and pigs. “Allah changed disobedient Jews into apes and pigs, it is true, but he specifically said these apes and pigs did not have the ability to reproduce,” Rayyan told Goldberg. “So it is not literally true that Jews today are descended from pigs and apes, but it is true that some of the ancestors of Jews were transformed into pigs and apes, and it is true that Allah continually makes the Jews pay for their crimes in many different ways. They are a cursed people.”
The Jerusalem Post reports:
Hamas has resumed its policy of shaving mustaches of political opponents to humiliate them, Fatah officials said Wednesday.
Hamas resorted to this form of punishment in the past after arresting senior Fatah representatives in the Gaza Strip, the officials said.
Hamas, for its part, accused the Palestinian Authority security forces of shaving the beards of detained Hamas officials in the West Bank.
To my great disappointment, The Jerusalem Post evidently didn’t even bother to reach out to Tom Selleck for comment.
Ha’aretz’s resident Jeremiah, Ari Shavit, paints a pretty grim picture about where the past two years have left Israel vis-à-vis its enemies:
Here are the results of Israel’s war against Hezbollah so far. Hezbollah is bringing home a living murderer, and Israel is bringing home two dead soldiers - over whose capture it sacrificed 160 other soldiers and civilians.
Hezbollah celebrates a symbolic victory, and Israel is in ideological crisis.
Hezbollah has won almost complete political control over Lebanon, and Israel wallows in irrevocable political chaos.
Hezbollah is armed with 40,000 rockets threatening most of Israel’s territory, while Israel has no response.
Hezbollah increases its firepower four or five times, and Israel remains feebly silent.
Hezbollah doubles its fighting alignment and sets up numerous outposts north and south of the Litani River, which will force Israel to conquer half of Lebanon in the next confrontation, while Israel remains paralyzed with confusion.
Feeling its power, Hezbollah is demanding the Shaba Farms area as well, while Israel is stammering its way to the next withdrawal.
Two years after an ephemeral militia provoked a regional superpower, the militia is growing stronger than ever, and the regional superpower is in a state of turmoil, degeneration and foggy stupor.
And, he argues, things aren’t much better on the Palestinian, Iranian and Syrian fronts.
Read the full article here.
Hat tip: Jeffrey Goldberg
UPDATE: It is worth noting that not everyone in the Arab press is hailing Hezbollah’s “victory.”
We’re less than a week into the supposedly six-month-long Gaza “truce” that Israel negotiated with Hamas, and already Palestinian militants are making a mockery of it.
Palestinians in Gaza fired a mortar shell into an empty area just before midnight last night. And then earlier today four rockets were fired into southern Israel, lightly wounding two. Islamic Jihad claimed credit for the rocket fire, explaining that it was retaliating for a pre-dawn Israeli raid in the West Bank that killed one of its commanders, along with a second Palestinian. The Israeli army says that the Jihad man was planning an attack, and that troops found explosives in his apartment.
How did Hamas respond to Islamic Jihad’s violation of the hard-won truce? Why, they blamed Israel, of course. The Associated Press reports:
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the rocket attack came because of “Israeli provocation this morning” and added that Hamas was “committed to the calm.” He said Hamas will talk with other factions and make sure they are committed, too.
Hamas is supposed to be enforcing the truce in Gaza, not making apologies for violations of it. The truce is limited to Gaza, and incidents in the West Bank shouldn’t be grounds for Palestinian factions firing rockets from Gaza. Indeed, while Hamas is busy blaming Israeli actions in the West Bank for Islamic Jihad’s rocket fire, Hamas itself has kept up its attacks on Israeli civilians in the West Bank. Today, Hamas’s military wing claimed credit for a West Bank shooting attack that injured three Israeli hikers on Friday, shortly after the Gaza truce took effect.
Then again, the notion that Hamas is untrustworthy is hardly news. Perhaps that’s part of the reason why Israelis are so glum.
For more analysis of the truce: From the center, Ha’aretz’s Yoel Marcus argued that the truce might provide a useful respite for Israel, even though it’s ultimately not a solution to the problem with Hamas. From the right, The Jerusalem Post’s Caroline Glick calls the truce a “diplomatic and strategic capitulation to Hamas.”
The idea of direct Israeli negotiations with Hamas — once the province of doves — has gained an unlikely advocate in The Jewish Week’s decidedly right-leaning associate editor, Jonathan Mark.
In his column this week, Mark writes:
The dovish Israeli daily Ha’aretz takes a tough line on the ongoing Qassam fire from Hamas-controlled Gaza in an editorial titled “Restraint is not possible”:
If the limited military actions Israel is undertaking in an effort to bring an end to the Qassam rockets will not bring an end to the shooting; if the moderate states, and first and foremost Egypt and Jordan fail to contain Hamas — Israel will have no option but to embark on a broad military operation.
The Israel Defense Forces raison d’etre is to protect the country’s citizens from attack. Even if the success of a military operation is not guaranteed, that concern must not prevent the government from doing what is necessary in order to protect the lives of its citizens and the state’s border. The solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is political, and should always be pursued. At the same time, Israel must prove that the blood of its citizens cannot be forfeited — so that in the future, its neighbors will abide by the agreements to which they have committed.
Hat Tip: Marty Peretz
First there was Farfur, the pro-terror Mickey Mouse knock-off. After an international outcry, Hamas’s Al-Aqsa TV made the mouse a martyr, showing him being beaten to death on his children’s program by an Israeli character.
Now, the Daily News reports, Al-Aqsa is using a bunny to promote hatred of Jews:
Hamas has reached a new low in its cartoon brainwashing of kids to kill Israelis: a Bugs Bunny look-alike who declares, “I will eat the Jews!”
Assud the rabbit is the newest star of “Tomorrow’s Pioneers,” a Hamas-authorized kids show that airs on Gaza TV and is beamed around the Arab world.
The 6-foot bomber bunny appeared on camera in recent days with a head-scarf-wearing little girl named Saraa.
She sits listening entranced to the rabbit’s rants.
“I, Assud, will finish off the Jews and eat them,” he hisses.
“Allah willing!” Saraa says.
The bunny replaces another martyred cartoon character, a Gazan bee who dies after he couldn’t get to Egypt medical treatment. The bunny appears to be a particular champion of the Palestinian “right of return.
Yesterday’s lengthy New York Times article on the plight of Gaza merchants — including an arms-smuggler named Muhammad — featured the following gem:
Hamas is working with the Egyptians to destroy unauthorized tunnels, Muhammad said, while the Egyptians, under pressure from the United States and Israel, have recently changed all the security officers along the border, replacing many of those who had been bought off by smugglers. Egypt, he said, is clearing almost 1,000 feet of houses from the Egyptian side of Rafah, a city cut in two by the border.
When Israel cleared Palestinian houses in Rafah to stop smuggling tunnels, there was an international uproar and many demonstrations. Will there be demonstrations in Egypt? Muhammad roared with laughter.
…will quickly become unpopular.
This seems encouraging: Ha’aretz reports that Palestinian proponents of liberal democracy are mobilizing to provide an alternative to the gunman kleptocracy of Fatah on the one hand and the Islamist theocracy of Hamas on the other.
An earlier attempt in this vein, in which now prime minister Salam Fayyad took a leading role, yielded paltry results at the polls. This time, however, Palestinian liberals hope to benefit from widespread disgust at the internecine fighting between Hamas and Fatah.
This is certainly good news.
But, in the interest of finding a dark cloud in every silver lining, I do have to confess a certain concern that the emergence of such a movement as an electoral force might split the vote of Palestinian opponents of Hamas. It’s worth recalling that Hamas, in its 2006 electoral victory, won a parliamentary majority without winning a majority of the popular vote. The Islamist movement’s victory was due in large part to Fatah’s inability to maintain a united front. Instead, candidates aligned with Fatah competed with one another, handing the election to the more disciplined Hamas.
The recent rout of Fatah in Gaza underscored that Palestinians desperately need an alternative to Hamas that is dedicated to building democracy, advancing human rights and fighting corruption. One can only help that efforts to build such a movement do not yield unintended consequences.
UPDATE: The New York Times reports that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is planning on ending constituency-based voting in the next elections. That’s where Fatah’s disarray resulted in Hamas picking up a ton of seats. By moving to a more strictly proportional system, Abbas would be removing the danger that a third party could siphon votes from Fatah thereby handing victory to Hamas. So my silver lining no longer has a dark cloud accompanying it.
Okay, so I took some liberties with that title. Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal doesn’t really pepper his speech with Yiddishisms. I do think, however, that the title is a fair summation of the sentiment behind this funny phrasing (reported by the AP):
In an interview broadcast Wednesday on Hamas TV in Gaza, Khaled Mashaal, the Syria-based leader of the Islamic group, rejected an Abbas proposal to post an international peace force in Gaza. “It’s (bad) enough to have Zionist forces, for us to have international forces as well?” he said.
For some reason, it brought to mind a similarly amusing anti-Israel quote I saw awhile back in The New York Times (and reported here as well). Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysia’s ousted vice president, had accused his tormentors in Malaysia’s government of using tactics reminiscent of Gestapo or East German (it was reported differently in different places) and Israeli secret police methods. This was simply too much for Malaysia’s police inspector general, Abdul Rahim Noor:
”We can no longer tolerate it when he accuses us of being similar to Israel,” Abdul told local reporters. ”If he had accused us of being similar to pirates, then we could accept that. But not that he equates us with Israel, because Israel is a sensitive word in this country.”
It’s not bad enough that Hamas has a pathological hatred of Israel, that Malaysia should hate Israel, too, as if Israel ever did anything to them? Oy, such tsoris!