Monday, June 05, 2006

Just your ordinary terrorist

In today's Newark Star-Ledger is an amazing article about the Gaza economy that effectively sympathizes with a terrorist:
KHAN YOUNIS, Gaza Strip -- Silhouetted by the late afternoon sun, a lone family of Palestinian bathers gathers around a table at Ibrahim's beach café to sip tea against the backdrop of the shimmering Mediterranean.

The scene easily could have been lifted from a marketing pamphlet for an exotic beach resort. But Ibrahim's actually is located in Shirat Hayam, a former Israeli settlement, and the beach is surrounded by rubble where militant squatters make their own law.

The beach had been off limits to Palestinians before Israel ended a four-decade occupation of Gaza in September. Now, a strip of Spartan yet rustic cafés like Ibrahim's has sprung up in anticipation of a busy summer.

"We are hopeful that the coffee shops will be crowded," says Sabri el Khidra, the 48-year old owner of Ibrahim's and a local militia leader who plunked about $15,000 into the renovation. "There are a lot of plans to make this a tourist area and to make Khan Younis the most beautiful beach in Gaza."

The reporter, Joshua Mitnick, is quick to describe his ideas of the source of the problems with building the Gaza economy:

The problems here begin with economic isolation and the desperation it has spawned.

Bracing for cross-border attacks, Israel's military has sealed key commercial crossings and lobbed thousands of tank shells into Gaza. At the same time, the refusal of Hamas (the country's ruling party) to recognize Israel after taking power in March has brought a suspension of international aid.

Nowhere does Hamas' and other Palestinian Arab terror aims have any part of the equation. Israel's closure of crossings is described in the active voice; everything else is in passive voice. No responsibility for Gaza's problems is ascribed to those that practice or advocate terror.

After talking about the "success" of turning Jewish schools into a branch of Al-Aqsa University, Mitnick concludes:
Still, Ibrahim's owner, el Khidra, is hopeful the financial crisis will end soon. He even believes tourists one day might discover Gaza.

"I am prepared to protect any tourist that comes here," he boasts.

Almost any tourist. Israelis, as el Khidra points out in a stark reminder of how little things really have changed, won't ever be welcome here.

"If I could get inside (their country) today and blow myself up, I would do it."

So in paragraph 30 of this long story, we find out that the person that the reporter is profiling as a bright shining star in rebuilding Gaza is in fact a would-be mass murderer.

An article that could have emphasized that terrorists are running Gaza instead implies that Gazan terrorists are just ordinary people who want to build up their country despite Israel's and international pressure.