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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

How did they not see this coming?

In a news story yesterday, it was revealed that Hamas has banned (meaning confiscated and burned) all copies of a collection of Palestinian Folk tales because one or two of them allegedly contained what are described as 'sexual overtones'.   

Now, book burning isn't exactly surprising behavior for the local branch of the Taliban called Hamas... but the general reaction of the Palestinian public is beyond surprising*:

"The book ban angered and worried many Palestinians, who long feared that Hamas would use its victory in last year's parliamentary election to remake the Palestinian territories according to its hardline interpretation of Islam.:

Huh?

The reporter writes as though the Hamas government was some sort of unwanted shower gift from a distant relative that the Palestinians don't quite know what to do with.  Helloooooo... you guys voted these guys into power in a landslide!  The whole world warned you...  not only of the financial consequences... but of the very real possibility that the PA would soon come under strict Shari'ah law.

Of course, I'm not one to talk about not seeing things coming.  I think I may have mentioned on at least one occasion that I nearly wet myself one hour, 12 minutes and 37 seconds into ‘The Crying Game’.  I'll be the first to admit that I have a little... OK, a lot... of trouble predicting the outcome of even the most obviously telegraphed plot turns.

But seriously, Hamas wasn't exactly keeping its  'All Islam, all the time' platform a secret during the elections.

If it wasn't such a dangerous development for those of us who live next door, this would be a really satisfying case of 'you've made your bed, now lie in it!'

[* Source]

Posted by David Bogner on March 6, 2007 | Permalink

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Just as King Abdullah of Jordan once concluded, “Democracy means different things to different people”, Islam is interpreted in many ways, so it does mean different things to different people. Israel means different things to different people, look at the BBC polls… another satisfying case of “another mans meat is another’s poison” :-)

Posted by: Rami | Mar 6, 2007 8:25:24 AM

The reporter writes as though the Hamas government was some sort of unwanted shower gift from a distant relative that the Palestinians don't quite know what to do with.

I don't see where that's the case -- presumably those "many Palestinians" weren't Hamas voters. My objection was more that those people (for example, Hanan Ashrawi, who pops up to worry in the Haaretz coverage, the Christian leadership, I'm guessing the Berkeley-based author of this book also falls into that class) could devote a much higher percentage of their complaining to this issue than they do.

Posted by: JSinger | Mar 6, 2007 7:07:51 PM

I suppose now isn't the time to tell you that "Rosebud" refers to a sled he owned when he was but a care-free lad living in a small cabin in the snow.

Posted by: Wrymouth | Mar 7, 2007 7:05:08 AM

Hamas did not exactly win by a landslide. Had Fatah run only one candidate in eachelection district, they would have won a clear majority.
Your point is well taken however. It's not like they had no clue what the eventual outcome of a Hamas government would be.

Posted by: jordan Hirsch | Mar 9, 2007 5:24:52 AM

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