Tuesday, April 02, 2024

Occasionally, videos pop up of Gazans expressing their anger at Hamas. Yet the mainstream media - who rely on Gaza-based stringers who are afraid of Hamas - steer away from any stories that show both how Gazans are angry at Hamas and how they still fear the group, which makes the quotes of all Gazans suspect.

Haaretz' Amira Hass, to her credit, reports that Gazans are deathly afraid to denounce Hamas, even though they know it is Hamas decisions that are making their lives miserable.

The donkey cart full of people and mattresses is one of the sights of the war on Gaza and the current siege. "More than once, I've heard a cart owner urging his donkey on and saying something like, 'Move it, Yahya Sinwar, move it,'" says Basel (a pseudonym, as I've used for everyone in this article).

"People are constantly cursing Sinwar, but this isn't reflected in the journalists' reports," he says.

As he put it in a phone conversation, not our first, he said, "Early this week, an elderly man standing in the middle of the market cursed Ahmed Yassin for giving us Hamas" – Yassin was one of the Hamas leaders assassinated by Israel in 2004. "I blew him a kiss for his courage. I'm not for cursing a dead man, but I love it when people rebel."

I didn't know Basel before we started our phone correspondence; he initiated the contact to express his fury at what he calls "Hamas' takeover of our narrative." He's angry that the Palestinians outside Gaza and their supporters expect Gazans to shut up and not criticize Hamas, because the criticism ostensibly helps the enemy. He rejects the assumption that doubting the decisions and actions of this armed group – and to do so publicly – is an act of treason.

"I have the right that they should know what I think and feel, even if I'm in the minority – and I know that I'm not in the minority. And I know that I speak for a lot of people," Basel says. "I have the right to speak, if only because I'm one of the millions whose lives Hamas is gambling with for crazy slogans with no basis in reality, which have dwarfed the Palestinian cause and turned the struggle for high and existential goals into a struggle for a piece of bread and cans of food."

Two friends and an old acquaintance of mine confirm that Basel's criticism of Hamas represents many people. 

[Nura] too hears the curses against Hamas everywhere: at the hospital that couldn't treat her wounded granddaughter, when she's waiting in line to fill their water container, and when passing by piles of stinking garbage that no one clears – and there's nowhere to take it to anyway.

"I sat with some friends at a café," says Shaher, 75. ..He and his friends sat at the café and criticized Hamas. But, "the owner heard us and told an employee not to serve us until we went," Shaher says and adds: "The café owner may agree with the criticism, but it was clear he got afraid." Meaning, he was afraid that someone from Hamas might overhear and harm him in one way or another.

"Obviously, there's enormous anger and bitterness everywhere against Hamas," says Amal, another woman in her mid-60s, whose apartment building in Gaza was bombed at the start of the war a few days after she and her family moved south. She has also heard about people "who were threatened after they expressed their opinion in public." 

Nura tells how someone proposed that they demonstrate, but others were afraid that Hamas would shoot at them. 

Shaher tells about demonstrations that called for Hamas to release the hostages in order to end the war. "Applying a typical tactic of a dictatorship, anonymous supporters of the organization mixed in among the demonstrators until the slogan was changed to 'We demand to go back to the north of the Strip,'" Shaher says.

As Basel puts it, "Hamas' military power in Gaza has been almost totally destroyed, but not its power to oppress us." 

Basel and Shaher boil with anger when they talk about the silence of the Palestinian and Arab-world media – and about the freelance photographers who turn their cameras aside when one of the people gathering around the rubble cries out against the Islamic resistance movement rather than only against Israel, the United States and the world in general. Whether they're photographers who support Hamas or are simply afraid of the group, the result is the same.
The Free Press also has shown a number of cases of Gazans railing against Hamas. 

Don't think the mainstream media is simply not aware. As I noted earlier this week, CNN interviewed a person, who insisted to remain anonymous, confirming Israel's story that Shifa Hospital had hundreds of Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists, many openly brandishing guns. But they said they "couldn't confirm" the statement and buried that fact between anti-Israel statements by others.

The depth of fear that ordinary Gazans have for Hamas is simply not being mentioned in the thousands of articles that uncritically quote Gazan "testimony" saying things like they have seen Israeli bulldozers run over living people. Gazans know the narrative they are supposed to say to Western reporters and they play their part. 

It is just another example of how most media cares more about an anti-Israel agenda than telling the truth.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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