Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Foggy Bottom, Line 1

It will be interesting to see how long it takes for the State Department and the Progressives in Congress to buy into this drivel.
Gaza's New Rulers Seek to Win Over the West

Having gained control of the Gaza Strip, Hamas is now trying to polish its image. Seen by many as Islamist terrorists, the group wants to win over the West with law and order.

The Hotel al-Deira is considered the best in Gaza City. Each of its 22 multi-story suites comes equipped with high-quality wood furnishings and costly wall hangings. A night at the al-Deira runs from €65 to €100, making it unaffordable for most Palestinians. "Foreign guests are our bread and butter," says Samir Sukeik, the manager. But put off by street fighting and a wave of kidnappings, it's precisely those guests who have stayed away in recent months.

But business at the hotel has recently picked up again. Since Hamas seized power in the Gaza Strip three weeks ago, "the situation has become much safer," Sukeik says. A few days ago one of his guests, a Turkish woman, was harassed on the beach by young Palestinian men. "The police intervened within seconds," the manager says enthusiastically.

Hamas is clearly taking steps to restore order to the Gaza Strip -- and broadcasting its efforts to the public in Gaza, Israel and the West. After facing worldwide criticism for their brutal power grab in the region, the Islamists are now intent on demonstrating that they speak more than just the language of violence. Indeed, they have little choice in the matter. Economic recovery is unlikely as long as Western aid money pours into the Fatah-ruled West Bank, where Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has established a relatively moderate emergency government.
Yes!!! It's all the fault of the West! And the Joooos!

Meanwhile, Fatah no longer plays a role in Gaza City. Two weeks ago, Hasim Abu Shanab was given the job of Fatah spokesman. The party's position is tough: moderate Palestinians say Fatah abandoned the coastal strip without much of a fight. Islamists, on the other hand, accuse the party of plotting to overthrow Hamas together with the Americans and Israelis.

When he led a demonstration against the new rulers through the streets of Gaza City without being harassed by authorities, even Shanab had to admit Hamas seemed kinder and gentler. But he insists the organization's seeming change of heart is an illusion intended to divert attention from its true goals. Hamas, Shanab says, all but abandoned the idea of an independent Palestinian state when they split the Palestinian territories in two. That, in the end, is all that really counts.

The usual suspects were unavailable for comment.

No comments: