Hamas' targeting of Fatah sparks international... silence
When Israel opened its military campaign against Hamas in the Gaza strip, the international reaction was nothing if not predictable.
Foreign leaders declined to touch the matter with a 50-foot pole, while anyone with even the slightest bone to pick with Israel took to the streets in protest.
But now that Israel has withdrawn from the Gaza strip, Hamas has reportedly taken the aftermath of the conflict as an opportunity to settle some scores with their political rival, Fatah.
Reportedly, up to 40 members of Fatah have been arrested, tortured and killed by Hamas militants, who accused those individuals of collaborating with Israel.
One would expect that those concerned about the human rights violations that allegedly took place during Israeli offensive are rushing to the streets again, this time to protest human rights violations by Hamas.
Predictably, there is no outrage over Hamas' actions. But this lack of outrage has some serious implications for the credibility of many protest organizations.
As an example, consider the case of Independent Jewish Voices, an organization of (allegedly) anti-Zionist Jews. "We see it as a major war crime, an atrocity, a massacre, a genocide," IJV coordinator Diana Ralph insisted.
In the same interview, Ralph seems to overlook the criminal actions of Hamas. "We know that Israel has actually announced that one major wing of this assault is a propaganda war," she insisted. "They’re refusing to allow journalists into Gaza, they’re trying to portray Israel as the victim here with lots of press about the Qassam rockets landing on people in Sderot and other places nearby, poo-pooing the disproportionate damage. It’s pretty clear."
Yet if one were to accept Ralph's arguments that Israel's actions in Gaza were war crimes, there would be no question that those in Fatah who have allegedly collaborated with Israel are accessories to those crimes.
As such, the proper course of action would be for those individuals to be arrested and arraigned for war crimes, not be executed in hospitals or schools by Hamas militants.
Yet in the wake of Israel's withdrawal from Gaza, there seems to be very little objection to Hamas' actions from those who protested Israel's actions so rigorously.
This is nothing new. In 2007, one year after Israel's offensive against Hezbollah in Lebanon, there was nary a peep when Lebanese forces fought it out with Palestinian militants with a refugee camp square in the middle.
Instead of using ground troops to minimize casualties amongst the refugees, Lebanese forces surrounded the camp with tanks and artillery and bombarded the militants -- much like Israel's objectionable use of tanks and air strikes against Hamas militants hiding out amongst civilian centres.
There were no mass protests then, there seem to be no mass protests now.
Will Canada's Palestinian community please stand up?
Other bloggers writing on this topic:
Walker Morrow - "Hamas Moves on Fatah 'Collaborators'"
Ezra Levant - "Stop the massacre in Gaza"