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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Why would Israel bomb a university? Here's why!

Ma'an (as well as many other pro-Hamas venues) publishes an article from a professor at Islamic University in Gaza that asks, plaintively:
Why would Israel bomb a university? - By Dr Akram Habeeb

As a Fulbright scholar and professor of American literature at the Islamic University of Gaza, I have always preferred to keep silent about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

I always felt that it was my mission to preach love and peaceful coexistence. However, Israel's massive offensive against the Gaza Strip has spurred me to speak out.

When I learned that Israel had bombed my university with American-made F-16s, I realized that its "target bank" had gone bankrupt. Of course Israeli politicians and generals would claim that the Islamic University is a Hamas stronghold and that it preaches terrorism.

As an independent professor not affiliated with any political party, I can say that IUG is an academic institution which embraces a wide spectrum of political affinities. I see it as prestigious university which encourages liberalism and free thought.

This personal point of view might seem to be biased; therefore, I would invite anyone who would doubt my assertions to browse IUG's website and research its history. They would learn about its membership in various international academic institutions, the active role its professors play in scholarly research as well as prizes and research grants they have received.

Why would Israel bomb a university? Israel did not only target my university last night. It also bombed mosques, pharmacies and homes.

...Israel itself chose to wage its wars to eliminate the indigenous people of Palestine.
How heart-rending! A university, dedicated to independent and liberal thought, bombed heartlessly by the Zionists who want nothing less than genocide against all Arabs of Palestine.

A little research shows that Islamic University is not quite as idyllic as the good professor implies.

From YNet, February 2, 2007:
Kidnapped soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit spent most of his time in captivity imprisoned on the campus of the Islamic University in Gaza, said senior Palestinian sources on Monday.

Shalit was kidnapped on June 25th 2006 and up until three months ago had been held at the university – a prominent Hamas stronghold – but arguments amongst his captors led to his relocation.

The Islamic University is under complete Hamas control, with faculty members and students alike all loyal to the organization.

Palestinian officials have labeled the university a "sanctuary for wanted men" and they note that Hamas mastermind Yahya Ayyash fled from the West Bank to Gaza in 1995 and hid in the Islamic University for several months during the time he was being pursued by Israeli forces for his role in numerous suicide bombings in the 90's.

Ayyash and other wanted Hamas members took advantage of the fact that none but Hamas loyalists set foot in the university.

That changed last Thursday when troops from Fatah's Force 17 raided the university campus, confiscating some 2,000 AK-47 assault rifles, hundreds of RPG launchers and massive amounts of ammunition.

Fatah troops also uncovered a tunnel opening leading all the way to the Palestinian Police headquarters in Gaza City. Estimates suggest Hamas had intended to fill the tunnel with explosives and destroy the police building.

But isn't that normal behavior in prestigious universities which encourage liberalism and free thought?

Dr. Habeeb is also being a little less than honest when he claims he prefers to stay silent about the conflict. Somehow, his quiet opinions made it into the Washington Post in 2006, in the wake of Hamas' election victory:
Akram Habeeb, 50, who teaches American literature at Gaza's Islamic University, was just as optimistic. "Hamas possesses the potential to establish itself as the Palestinians' most reliable political party" in the world's eyes, he said. "Hamas has a clear vision for a stable and corruption-free Palestine. "

Habeeb was adamant in his belief that Hamas would not allow international donors to "blackmail" the Palestinian people. "Palestine's land has been occupied for long and we have nothing but dignity, so we won't sell our land for the donors' funds." If donors continue to insist that Hamas change its position on Israel, he said, the new Palestinian government would have to "find alternatives" -- presumably among wealthy Arab nations. Experience has given us little reason to expect that will happen, but Habeeb insisted: "Increasing local, regional and even international investments in Palestine will certainly have a strong boosting effect on the ailing economy, especially when Hamas duplicates what it did in the municipalities.

"Certainly some groups at the end of the day will try to sabotage Hamas's efforts but they will fail because most Palestinians have already said the word: Hamas is our legitimate and democratically elected representative."

It sure sounds like he favors the side that supports the genocide of all Jews in the Middle East, doesn't it? Perhaps his determination that Hamas never, ever recognize Israel counts as "love and peaceful coexistence" in his eyes.

So we now know that Hamas used Islamic University for storing weapons, for holding hostages, for planning attacks and for acting as a safehouse for terrorists.

The IDF claimed after the bombing that the university was where Hamas did its research and development of rockets and explosives. This is more than plausible - it also was the place where Hamas recruited a young woman to build suicide bomb belts and to teach others how to build bombs.

Does this answer your question, Dr. Habeeb?

Another day, another lying propagandist for Hamas.


Pajamas Media has more about Islamic U.'s research facilities, where it gets funding from and more details on its terror history.