There’s an interesting piece out from the AFP entitled “Bold new Gaza play skewers Fatah and Hamas
.” Apparently, there’s a play out in the Gaza Strip that rips Hamas and Fatah:
A new play has shocked audiences in the Gaza Strip by shouting out what many in the Hamas-ruled territory mutter behind closed doors -- that Palestinian politicians are a bunch of crooks. The biting comedy entitled "Umbilical Cord" goes after the Islamist Hamas and its secular Fatah rivals, accusing them of ignoring the suffering of their people and selling out to Iran and the United States, respectively.
The shocking part about the play obviously isn’t the content of the play – it’s that Hamas hasn’t shut it down and shot all the participants. The question is: why not?
The answer is simple: Hamas has nothing to fear from this play or those who attend it. Sure, the play calls on the Palestinian Arab leadership to stop stealing money, but that’s passé after the story that Rafiq Husseini, the Rahm Emanuel of the Palestinian Authority, was trading influence for sex
. (That story was utterly ignored by the US media, allowing President Obama and his lackeys to continue pushing for aid to the Palestinian Authority.) Hamas actually likes
calls for “honesty” among Palestinian politicians, since they constantly portray Fatah as the corrupt sell-out branch of the liberation movement.
The play also links Hamas with Iran, and blames the Hamas/Fatah conflict for failing to better the lives of Palestinians:
At one point a character representing Hamas claims to have liberated Gaza, from which Israel withdrew all of its troops and settlements in 2005, and of being "steadfast against the siege", drawing an angry reaction from other figures in the play.
"Gaza is under siege and every day the (Israeli) tanks enter," another character says. "The steadfastness against the blockade comes from our martyred children."
"But we bring you money in exchange for your martyred children," the man representing Fatah chimes in.
"Fuck the money," says an actress playing a Palestinian refugee whose son was killed in an Israeli incursion. "Take my life and give me back my son. This is a dog's life, with no electricity, no flour, no jobs."
Once again, Hamas has nothing to fear here – fans of the play are the same people who overwhelmingly elected Hamas. Hamas fears only political parties, not plays – if somebody put this in a platform and tried to run against Hamas, you can bet Hamas would storm into their offices in the dead of night and drag them off to some hellhole.
The bottom line is this: it looks good for Hamas to allow this to run for a short while (three days ain’t exactly a Phantom of the Opera
-like run). They suffer no consequences, and they are feted by the world media for not
shutting it down.
We have to remember one thing, though – Hamas is still Hamas. Even if there is
burgeoning support for an anti-Hamas movement, it means nothing because Hamas always has the ability to crack down, the same way the ayatollahs crack down on burgeoning dissent in Iran.
Nothing in the play suggests conciliation with Israel, merely distaste for some of the current ruling parties; I therefore remain suspicious that the media is inflating the amount of dissent within the Fatah and Hamas-controlled territories in order to push Israel into concessions, as they have done so often in the past.
Let’s see this play transferred to the United States in its original form – I have a feeling we’d find it shocking more as an object lesson in Palestinian hatred for Israel than as a true demonstration of liberalization among Palestinian Arabs.