Ahmed Youssef, Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs for Hamas in Gaza and widely regarded as one of Hamas' more moderate voices, was interviewed by Jordan's Addustour newspaper (reported in PalPress.) In the interview, he describes why Hamas has not been keen on suicide terror lately: "Martyrdom operations bring us problems with the international community, and are exploited by the Israeli media to distort our image, and accuse us of terrorism and incitement to violence."
That stupid international community, thinking that heroically blowing yourself up among women and children is a form of terrorism!
He also said that the current relative calm in Gaza was partially in order to take advantage of the negative political views of Israel worldwide, because a new barrage of rockets would cloud the impression from the Goldstone Report that only Israel was an aggressor. (His words were that the calm was "an investment for the international reaction, which criticized Israel following the Goldstone report.")
He claimed that the timing of the attack that killed four Jewish civilians in late August was not meant to derail the peace talks or embarrass Abbas, saying that it was "only a coincidence" that the attacks occurred right before the negotiations were to resume.
Perhaps the best part of the interview was his insistence that Hamas is not trying to turn Gaza into an Islamist statelet. Specifically dealing with the law that makes it illegal for women to smoke a hookah in public, he responded:
"There is no place in the world does not prohibit smoking in public places, and in Western countries there are strict laws (restricting smoking), while in Gaza, we have more freedom, and the law is limited to women to maintain public morality."
There you have it - Hamas is more liberal than Western states because it allows men to smoke in public!
(Not to mention...if it is immoral to have women seen smoking in public, using their mouths to inhale the fragrant tobacco from the long tube, wouldn't men smoking in public be....gay?)
A Conversation with an IDF Medic
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