Commentary Magazine


Thanking Hamas

As Eric Trager has pointed out, Israel’s sealing off of Gaza raises some dangerous potentialities. One such potentiality has come to life, as Hamas just toppled a fence on Gaza’s Rafah border crossing allowing thousands of Palestinians to stream into Egypt. The New York Times describes the event as “a great bazaar” and seems to think the security breach represents a problem no greater than, say, Black Friday shoppers sustaining injuries during a door-buster sale. Meanwhile, the potential for arms replenishment is sure to be exploited to the hilt (as David Hazony notes below). But what really jumps out at the reader is this:

People began pouring over the fence before dawn, said one witness, Fatan Hessin, 45. She had crossed into Egypt to be reunited with a childhood friend from whom she had been separated by the border. “I am a Palestinian. I am not Hamas or Fatah, but I thank Hamas for this,” she said.


Ms. Hessin, who had used the breach of the border to meet up with her friend, Inshira Hanbal, on the Egyptian side of the border, said: “We are extremely tired of this life. The closure, the unemployment, the poverty. No one is working in my household.”

In these two quotes we see the flimsy declaration of Palestinian victimology for what it is: I’m not a terrorist or even politically-minded. I’m just a human being who wants to live freely. If Hamas delivers this freedom, then I thank them. But as for the poverty, the restrictions, and the violence that continue to quash my hopes for a decent existence—well, I’m extremely tired of it.

Ms. Hessin should thank Hamas for furnishing the daily hell that is her life in Gaza. Yet, she makes no connection between the Qassam rockets that regularly land on Israeli homes and the miserable conditions in which she lives.

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