Hamas has some interesting political ideas; it appears that it is only a bad thing to kill Palestinians and shell refugee camps when Jews do it. When anti-Sunni Arab dictators shell peaceful Palestinians, that is perfectly OK.The breathtaking cynicism of the leadership of this terrorist organization is rarely so openly on display, but when the economic and personal interests of its leaders are involved, Hamas will support Butcher Assad as he wallows in Palestinian blood.It is now clear which side of the Syrian revolution Hamas wants to win. Despite attacks on Palestinians in the coastal city of Latakia (where over 5,000 Palestinians fled the Palestinian refugee camp of al-Rami after it came under fire from Syrian gunboats) and arrests and intimidation of Palestinians in the Yarmouk neighborhood of Damascus, home to many Palestinians who were marching in support of the Palestinians fleeing Latakia, Hamas has firmly placed itself in Assad’s camp.The official response to Syrian attacks on Palestinians? Silence and a crackdown on any anti-Assad, pro-Palestinian protests in Gaza. As the conservative Israeli newspaper Jerusalem Post reports:
A Gaza youth organization tried to stage an anti-Assad rally on Tuesday evening, but plain-clothed Hamas security police showed up ahead of time and ordered journalists away. They briefly detained a handful of youths who tried to protest.
Notice the different way the PLO leadership reacted: Yasser Abed Rabbo, the PLO secretary general, told Reuters yesterday:
The shelling is taking place using gunships and tanks on houses built from tin, on people who have no place to run to or even a shelter to hide in…This is a crime against humanity.
Not to be unduly cynical, but Fatah sees (correctly) that Hamas’ squalid policy of collaboration gives Fatah the chance to peel away more Hamas followers in the ongoing bitter struggle between the rival Palestinian movements. Fatah on its part said next to nothing as Egypt enforced a blockade of Hamas-controlled Gaza.Political forces naturally compete, but Palestinian factions, which generally depend on foreign funders to provide the money for the salaries which keep their followers sweet, have historically been more fractious and less manageable than most. Bitter internal feuds among the Palestinians and the ease with which outsiders can influence Palestinian leadership are among the great weaknesses of the Palestinian project. That doesn’t, sadly, seem likely to change.