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'Why Doesn't Hamas Go to Hell and Hide There?' - Other Voices from Gaza - by Bassam Tawil for the Gatestone Institute - 12.02.24

One can understand why Al-Jazeera and Arab media journalists are so anti-Israel that they do not want to provide a platform to any Palestinian to criticize Hamas. Yet, one cannot understand why the foreign media is turning a blind eye to the critical voices coming out from the Gaza Strip and Palestinians and Arabs living outside the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave.


Why? These journalists are busy searching for stories that reflect badly only on Israel.

"Anyone who questioned Hamas's motives or objectives has been painted as a cowardly collaborator. To demand better living conditions or more political liberties was akin to treason.... Others are reluctant to speak out against Hamas for fear of seeming disloyal or pro-Israel. If people outside of Gaza find it difficult to question the forced conformity, imagine how much more challenging it is for many inside the coastal enclave." — Ahmed Fouad Al-Khatib, X (Twitter), January 6, 2024.


"You're either going to govern and develop the place, or you're going to be a resistance group, but you can't do both at the same time.... Hamas could have made different choices that would have opened new political pathways for Palestinian unity and the development of Gaza. Instead, they chose to hold their people hostage and divert materials and resources into a futile armed resistance project that has set Palestinians back by decades." — Ahmed Fouad Al-Khatib, X, February 4, 2024.


"Those who don't have to live with the consequences of Hamas's "resistance" are understandably the group's most fervent supporters and excusers (weirdly especially in London). Leave it to lousy beneficiaries of Western privilege to defend a terror group that oppresses its own people and uses them as cannon fodder in its suicidal adventures...


Never forget that over 30,000 Gazans would still be alive today if Hamas kept its fighters at home on October 7. The pro-Palestine movement deserves better 'allies' and 'supporters' than overt & covert Hamas enthusiasts." — Ahmed Fouad Al-Khatib, X, February 2, 2024.


"Anti-Hamas = Zionist. Call for coexistence = Zionist. Condemn Hamas = Zionist. Both sides' lives matter = Zionist. Sympathize with Israeli hostages = Zionist. How many definitions are there for Zionist? .... I forgot the most important one: Peace supporter = Zionist." — Hamza, X, February 5, 2024.


Palestinian writer Majdi Abd Al-Wahhab called on the international community and the Arab world to act to eliminate all the Palestinian organizations and stop their military and civilian activity, "so that the Palestinians will be rid of them and their harm and can start blazing a new, straight path for themselves, far from destruction, killing and devastation."


"The destruction caused by Hamas to Gaza will not end even if Israel's war on Gaza does stop. The destruction will continue, as is evident from the 'glorious' history of our [Palestinian] organizations." — Majdi Abd Al-Wahhab, Elaph, January 9, 2024.


The Arab media covering the war in Gaza ignores any Palestinian who dares to criticize Hamas. Al-Jazeera, the Qatari TV station that has long served as Hamas's official mouthpiece, removed from live interviews Palestinians who complained about Hamas's oppressive measures and who hold Hamas responsible for the massive destruction.


Since the beginning of the current war in the Gaza Strip, a growing number of Palestinians and Arabs have been speaking out against the Iran-backed Hamas terrorist group, whose members committed the October 7 massacre against Israelis. On that day, more than 1,200 Israelis were murdered, raped, mutilated, tortured and burned alive, while another 240 were kidnapped and taken to the Gaza Strip, where more than half are still held hostage by Hamas terrorists.


The voices of the Palestinians and Arabs who are critical of Hamas, however, have been almost completely ignored by mainstream media in the West, most of which remains obsessed with Israel. At present, there are no foreign journalists inside the Gaza Strip, but this should not serve as an excuse for ignoring the views and sentiments of Palestinians who disagree with Hamas's genocidal attack on Israel or who hold it fully responsible for the nakba (catastrophe) that has befallen the two million Palestinians of the Gaza Strip as a result of the war. This war, needless to say, was triggered by Hamas's October 7 atrocities.


The foreign media can always find Palestinians from the Gaza Strip and elsewhere who are willing to express their views through social media.


The Arab media that is covering the war in the Gaza Strip has made it a habit of ignoring any Palestinian who dares to criticize Hamas or say a bad word about its leaders. There have even been a number of incidents in which Al-Jazeera, the Qatari TV station that has long been serving as Hamas's official mouthpiece, removed from live interviews Palestinians who complained about Hamas's oppressive measures and who hold Hamas responsible for the massive destruction of houses and buildings and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians since the beginning of the war.


In one instance, during an interview with Al-Jazeera, a Palestinian patient from the Gaza Strip, who complained about Hamas terrorists hiding inside hospitals, was cut off. Al-Jazeera was asking the elderly wounded Palestinian to give his eyewitness testimony about the fighting between Israeli troops and Hamas terrorists. The man said: "What's happening is criminal! Why is the resistance [Hamas] hiding among us? Why don't they go to hell and hide there?"


This is just one example of how Al-Jazeera and most of the Arab media organizations operating inside the Gaza Strip have been working hard to silence critics of Hamas or anyone who dares to accuse the terrorist group of bring death and destruction to the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip.


One can understand why Al-Jazeera and Arab media journalists are so anti-Israel that they do not want to provide a platform to any Palestinian to criticize Hamas. Yet, one cannot understand why the Western media is turning a blind eye to the critical voices coming out from the Gaza Strip and Palestinians and Arabs living outside the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave.


The bad news is that many Palestinians continue to support Hamas even after the October 7 carnage. The good news is that there are increasingly some Palestinians who deplore what the Hamas terrorists did and who are willing to speak out. The anti-Hamas Palestinians, however, are being ignored by foreign media and are failing to attract the attention of Western journalists. Why? These journalists are busy searching for stories that reflect badly only on Israel.


One of the popular voices against Hamas on social media is Ahmed Fouad Al-Khatib, who left the Gaza Strip for the US a few years ago. Many of Al-Khatib's family members remain in the Gaza Strip, and some of them were killed in the fighting between the Israeli army and Hamas.


Here are some of the comments he posted on X (formerly Twitter) in response to the international media's indifference:

 

"For decades, Hamas has cynically equated itself with the word 'resistance,' (muqawama) as if the group's violent ideology was the only real way to push back against Israeli injustices.... In the past, however, many have embraced non-violent resistance.


"Hamas, by contrast, has always promoted armed struggle as the sole path for Palestinian rights and statehood. The group's suicide bombings undermined the fragile but promising Oslo Peace Accords in the 1990s, and it has consistently incited Palestinians against peace, coexistence and nonviolent resistance.


"The group has used mosques, charity groups, youth camps and slick media campaigns to propagate its message and has used public shaming and violence to smother dissent.


Anyone who questioned Hamas's motives or objectives has been painted as a cowardly collaborator. To demand better living conditions or more political liberties was akin to treason. Many people have fallen under this pressure. And many Muslims in the diaspora have taken on this messaging.


"Others are reluctant to speak out against Hamas for fear of seeming disloyal or pro-Israel. If people outside of Gaza find it difficult to question the forced conformity, imagine how much more challenging it is for many inside the coastal enclave."


For the full nine page article please click here or click on the link below for the pdf file:



'Why Doesn't Hamas Go to Hell and Hide There' - Other Voices from Gaza - by Bassam Tawil f
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Bassam Tawil is a Muslim Arab based in the Middle East.


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