Tens of thousands of Palestinians turned out today in a huge show of support for Hamas, as the Islamist movement marked its 22 anniversary with defiant speeches and denunciations of Israel almost a year after a deadly offensive against Gaza.Tell me again Noam, Naomi, Judy and Jewish Code Pink slatterns how it's about colonialism and "the Occuption" so I can chuckle mordantly at your useful idiocy and suicidal self-loathing.
Under a thick canopy of green Islamic flags, the crowd – divided between men and women, almost all of the latter wearing green Hamas baseball caps over their Islamic headscarves – pledged in unison to fight on despite a four-year siege, last year's deadly war and their isolation from the outside world.
The massive gathering was the first time that the Hamas leadership has emerged in full strength in public, normally keeping a low profile for fear of Israeli assassination. Ismail Haniyeh, the Hamas leader in Gaza, made a long address as his senior ministers and aides sat in the front rows, apparently confident Israel would not attack so large a civilian target.
“We are the future,” Mr Haniyeh said, as green balloons were released by Hamas activists and small children dressed in military fatigues were held aloft by their mothers. “Gaza is the only liberated part of Palestine,” he boasted, as he vowed to fight.
But he also called for a national unity government with Fatah, Hamas’ secular mainstream rivals that rule the West Bank and which, unlike the Islamists, have recognised the state of Israel.
The mood at the rally was edgy but festive, with singers – also dressed in military fatigues – regaling the throng with songs about resistance, bellowing out: “Even if there is no water or electricity, our martyrs will make light with a bomb.”
Behind them, pictures of Hamas leaders, many of them killed in Israeli airstrikes in recent years, hung alongside a vast image of masked fighters photoshopped on to a computer-generated image of the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, which is one of the holiest sites in Islam.
The crowd, each member holding aloft a forefinger to represent the one god of Islam, chanted its allegiance as a Hamas speaker addressed them from the stage, shouting: “Allah is your God, Mohammed is your model, the Koran is your constitution Qassam (Hamas’ armed wing) is your army, you hope to die in the service of God.”
Monday, December 14, 2009
Jihad a Hit in Gaza
Thousands of the faithful turned out in Gaza to give thumbs up to the jihad against the Jewish state. From the timesonline: