Thursday, 16 February 2017

Hamas hardliner?

When I saw this BBC report on Hamas's new leader, some things stuck out like sore thumbs.

'The Palestinian militant group Hamas has elected a hardline commander of its armed wing as the movement's overall leader in the Gaza Strip.

Yehiya Sinwar replaces Ismail Haniyeh, a former prime minister in the territory's Hamas-run government.

Mr Sinwar was jailed in Israel for murder but freed under a deal when Hamas released an Israeli in 2011.

Hamas rejects Israel's right to exist and Mr Sinwar is known to oppose any compromise with the Jewish state.

Some Hamas leaders have suggested a long truce with Israel if it completely withdraws to pre-1967 ceasefire lines and lifts its blockade of Gaza.

The movement's charter, however, calls for Israel's destruction and it is designated a terrorist group by Israel, the US, EU and other world powers.'

The use of the word 'hardline' I thought was interesting. a quick google of Yehiya Sinwar reveals that he's not just hardline:
'Fears are growing of an escalation in conflict in the Middle East after Hamas in Gaza elected a new leader who wants to improve links between the group and Isis.

Yahya Sinwar, 55, who will succeed Ismail Haniyeh, 54, has also argued for prioritising links with Iran ahead of more moderate allies such as Egypt and the Gulf states.'
I've been arguing for some time that Hamas is no better than ISIS when it comes to being an Islamist  terrorist organisation. Now it seems that the link might be more than theoretical. Of course many in the Labour Party see Hamas as 'friends' and proudly scream "we are all Hamas now" at anti-Israel protests, which makes it hard for the pro Labour Party/institutionally anti-Israel BBC to take a contrary view. So the BBC opt for ignoring the inconvenient fact that Hamas may be linking up with ISIS.

Later in the article I read something that I don't remember the BBC stating so clearly before, maybe my complaints have had an effect after all:

'Israel and Egypt maintain a blockade around Gaza aimed at preventing attacks by militants there, though the measure has been condemned by rights groups as a form of collective punishment.'
 The BBC acknowledging that Egypt also blockades Gaza, we make progress. However the BBC also push the idea that this blockade is a form of 'collective punishment' when it's not and is a legitimate counter terrorism act, one step forward...

Unfortunately the BBC are back on the anti-Israel propaganda bandwagon immediately afterwards:

'Yehiya Sinwar was jailed for four life terms by Israel in 1989 for a series of offences, including murder and kidnapping.'
 Shall we put some meat on those bare bones?

Here's the Times of Israel reporting on Yehiya Sinwar's conviction:
“Sinwar, sentenced to life in 1989 for murdering Palestinian collaborators with Israel, spent 22 years in Israeli prisons before being released in the 2011 prisoner exchange deal for IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.”
“He [Sinwar] has boasted more than once of the manner in which he executed collaborators. At one point he became known as “The Man of the Twelve” for the twelve Palestinians, suspected collaborators, whom he murdered with his own hands. The number has gone up since then.
Sinwar is the man who established the Al-Majd intelligence unit, which operated against collaborators from the start of the first intifada. In a report written by Amit Cohen, a reporter for Ma’ariv at the time, Sinwar recalled how Hamas’s spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin granted him a fatwa allowing him to execute anyone who confessed to collaborating. Wonder of wonders, they all confessed.”

I wonder why the BBC want to minimise the descriptions of the crimes that Yehiya Sinwar was convicted for. Maybe the new Hamas leader deserves a second chance, after all he only killed those who collaborated with Israel.

The BBC's institutional anti-Israel coverage is incessant, I wonder what the Balen Report really said about it.

No comments: