Sunday, June 3, 2012

Hani Almadhoun Whitewashes Life in Gaza

Palestinian blogger Hani Almadhoun has written a number of articles for the Huffington Post. In his most recent article, Finding Law in Lawless Gaza, he completely whitewashes what life in Gaza is like. While the bulk of the article is about family dynamics among Palestinians, which I trust Almadhoun's judgment on, it's what is not said that makes the article so problematic.

Almadhoun compares life under the rule of three different entities, the Israelis, the Palestinian Authority, and Hamas. He says about the Israeli occupation,
 "Back when we were living under full-blown Israeli occupation, there was no local police or civil government. We lived by the whims of the Israeli military. This contributed to a rise in family-based organization as a means of self-rule in the face of external oppression."
But, of course, rule by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas is not "oppressive," because Almadhoun doesn't bother to mention the people who were thrown off rooftops, the beating of journalists, the women banned from smoking hookah, and the crackdown on various freedoms on Gaza, not to mention all the killings and torture. Those inconvenient facts are discarded in favor of his discussion of "family councils."

 But there's an interesting examples of Palestinian hypocrisy in this article. Take a look at the end section:
"Perhaps one of the harshest rules in family laws is the one put in place in the event of a murder. Say if person A murdered person B where they both live in the same area. The entire family of person A would have to move out of town and sell their property -- they are not to come back. I understand this is comes to avoid unnecessary confrontations, but I think this is a bit harsh and goes against the teachings of Islam "{وَلَا تَزِرُ وَازِرَةٌ وِزْرَ أُخْرَى}" -- and no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another (39:7)."
 How interesting! If one person commits a grievous crime against another, that person and their family has to leave town and not come back. What a remarkable law! I wonder if it applies to when people A invaded and attempt to destroy people B? I guess if people B are Jews, it's probably not a crime to try to murder them. Kind of like how Muslims are allowed to pray loudly, but Jews aren't. Or how Muslims are allowed to display religious icons on their clothing and buildings, but Jews aren't. Awesome.

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