"I wish these pictures reached leftists abroad," my friend said to herself Tuesday as she watched Hamas police use rifle butts and clubs to beat her friends - activists from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Although my friend has never been a fan of the Fatah government in the West Bank, she is outraged by the romanticization of Hamas rule by foreign activists.The article goes on to talk about the power shortages and Hamas' attacks on other protests and gatherings.
Photographs of Tuesday's protest will be hard to come by, as the Hamas police prevented photojournalists from doing their job. At some point, shots were fired into the air to disperse the PFLP protesters in Gaza City, a demonstration Hamas called an illegal gathering. Many protesters were injured and needed medical attention; others were detained for some time.
"We women weren't physically attacked by the police," my friend told me later on the phone. "They only swore at us." The profanity, mostly variations on "whore," was accompanied by words like "Marxist," which the police see as an insult. They don't need to know exactly what it means - it's among dreadful words like atheism, communism and dialectic materialism. In other words, all the terms that don't explain the world as Allah's creation.
Hamas and the PFLP have a lot in common: opposition to the Oslo Accords, glorification of the armed struggle and opposition to direct negotiations with Israel. Many of the PFLP's supporters, especially the younger ones, are also religiously observant. But in terms of social vision and ideological temperament, the gaps seem as wide as they were in the 1980s, when the Muslim Brotherhood aimed most of its attacks at "heretics," especially the Palestinian left, then many times stronger than today.
From reading the article, it seems that Amira Hass was moved to criticize Hamas not so much because of their brutal rule but because they attacked a Marxist organization that she greatly admires. And the PFLP happens to also be a terror group (their terror wing is the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades.)
So don't call Amira Hass a Hamas supporter. She only supports secular terrorism, and would be very insulted if you imply otherwise.
(h/t EBoZ and T34zakat)