Monday, October 16, 2017

By Petra Marquardt-Bigman

A few days ago, Ali Abunimah’s Electronic Intifada published a story about the situation in Gaza that started out with the untimely demise of Nidal al-Jaafari, a recently married 29-year-old, who “was killed on 17 August in a suicide bombing near Gaza’s boundary with Egypt.”

Since Nidal al-Jaafari was a member of the Qassam Brigades, he would have certainly been among those who would celebrate any suicide bombing targeting Israelis. But other Islamist terror groups love suicide bombings just as much as Hamas, and Jaafari was killed in a “bombing [that] was attributed to the Islamic State group.”

Unsurprisingly, Abunimah’s Electronic Intifada doesn’t mention terrorism in this story that is really about one terrorist group – namely Hamas – being forced to fight another terrorist group – ISIS – in order to appease the Egyptians.

The reader learns that already in June, “Hamas also began clearing a buffer zone along its boundary with Egypt” – and the link leads to an article in Ha’aretz that notes that this “will force a lot of families out of their homes.” Well, if even one Palestinian faced the prospect of being forced to move just a few yards because of Israel, Abunimah’s Electronic Intifada would have had plenty to say about this terrible hardship…

But now that Egypt is forcing Hamas to confront ISIS supporters in Gaza, it’s of course time to trot out the usual variations of the Nazi slogan “The Jews are our misfortune” – so here goes:

“Some also see an Israeli hand in the area.

Akram Attalla, a political analyst and columnist for al-Ayyam newspaper, speculated that Islamic State in Gaza and the Sinai is funded by Israel in order to undermine Hamas.

‘Israel is aware that the Palestinians have adapted to the division among them and the siege,’ he told The Electronic Intifada. ‘Hence, Israel is trying to create groups that can wear Hamas down.’

Omar Jaara, an Israel affairs expert and lecturer at An-Najah National University in the West Bank, echoed this theory. Islamic State, he said, is a ‘tool controlled by Israel to maintain instability’ at the boundary with Egypt. As the group’s threat to Egypt grows, he added, it becomes a ‘wild card’ that Israel can wield against Hamas.”

Well, if even an “Israel affairs expert and lecturer at An-Najah National University” thinks Israel is behind ISIS, there must be something to it, right? And indeed, I think no one can deny that this view reflects as much “expertise” as Dr. Omar Ja’ara’s amazing performance on Palestinian TV a few years ago, when he explained that “Moses the Muslim” led “the first Palestinian liberation through armed struggle to liberate Palestine from the nation of giants led by Goliath.” As he said: “This is our logic and this is our culture.” 

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