A Snarky View of Hamas

Familiarity breeds contempt.

We are cynical about the people that we know and romantic about the people that we don’t know. Benefits of the doubt are granted to obscure and shadowy political groups, and vitriol is ladled out to the governments that we know.

Transparency may be beneficial to the body politic, but it’s a curse to your image.

That’s why Hamas seems to have been able to gain some real ‘brownie points’ when they were able to ‘obtain’ the release of Alan Johnston, the kidnapped BBC reporter.

It’s funny that Hamas was ‘only’ able to release Johnston when they were in control of ALL of Gaza. I’d be interested to know why it took a total control of Gaza to initiate the bribe that got Johnston free. I don’t even live in Gaza, let alone control it, yet I bet you that I could have done the deal myself (assuming that I had the connections that Hamas had).

But, there I go again, cynical of the political group that I know.

Aside from my generally snarky disposition, what brought this on was an interesting article in the online edition of The Times, called Hamas won the propaganda war this week, by Gerard Baker. He writes a pithy paragraph here:

Funny isn’t it, how, when the US or British governments do anything they claim is good we always assume there’s some ulterior motive? They foil a terrorist plot and the world’s media note with heavy irony the coincidence of a president’s or prime minister’s flagging approval ratings. But when Hamas pulls a stunt like the one it managed this week, we’re all transfixed, lost in innocent admiration at the sheer humanity of these people. Our credulity is mocked further because we really ought to know that this latest incident is straight from the Hamas playbook – doing little works of charity and economic efficiency in Gaza and the West Bank, the Palestinian equivalent of making the trains run on time to further their bloodcurdling big objectives.

Hamas has played a deep game with us for decades. They built hospitals and fed some of the poor. Then they pointed to these institutions when they solicited funds – which were channeled to their terrorist groups.

It was great that they obtained the release of Alan Johnston, who is a really good guy (if a bit misguided). When evil people do something good, we shouldn’t hesitate to commend them.

We just don’t believe that they have suddenly joined the side of the angels.

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