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Jodi Rudoren Crosses Red Lines And The Naked Truth About Arab Girls In Gaza

Palestinian girls exercise during a summer camp organized by Hamas movement in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip August 10, 2015. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa - RTX1NQOD
Palestinian girls exercise during a summer camp organized by Hamas movement in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip August 10, 2015. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa – RTX1NQOD

It’s hard to know where to begin with this piece in the New York Times by veteran apologist Jodi Rudoren (along with her Gaza employee Majd Al Waheidi, twitter handle @GloriaGaza):

Red Cross Offers Workshops in International Law to Hamas

GAZA CITY — A new training regimen for fighters in Hamas’s armed wing employs slide presentations and a whiteboard rather than Kalashnikov rifles and grenades. The young men wear polo shirts instead of fatigues and black masks. They do not chant anti-Israel slogans, but discuss how the Geneva Conventions governing armed conflict dovetail with Islamic principles.

I’m not going to quote it extensively, it’s a bizarre mix of moral equivocation and utterly ridiculous notions. The very idea that the terrorists of Hamas will fight in a recognised uniform on a cleared battlefield without the cover of their own civilians while taking exquisite care to only target Israeli military targets is absurd.

If it weren’t for the carefully guarded border around Gaza you can bet Hamas would still be sending daily suicide bombers to Israel. Five of the seventeen suicide attacks Israel has stopped just this year came from Hamas! No mention of that number in Jodi’s PR puff piece. Last time I checked the ICRC didn’t have a chapter on when and where suicide bombings in pizza parlours and night clubs are permissible.

“The prophet used to give orders to his army that you don’t kill any child, don’t cut any tree,” one fighter said promisingly, lending Quranic support to the principle of distinguishing between soldiers and civilians. “As long as he is not fighting me, I should not kill him.”

But a colleague soon countered, “The prophet is different than today,” and the conversation quickly shifted from Hamas’s own questionable methods to the enemy.

To mix in a bit of deceptively quoted Islamic scripture is, of course, de rigueur. Of course all that good stuff about distinguishing soldiers and civilians is in the holy texts of Islam: it’s completely cast aside, however, by further rulings that all Israelis are occupiers and therefore combatants so it’s just fine to blow up or run down infants.

Skeptics may question the utility of teaching humanitarian law to a guerrilla force that the United States and the European Union classify as a terrorist organization. The Qassam Brigades fired thousands of rockets and mortars toward Israeli cities last summer; its weapons caches have been found in civilian homes and schools across Gaza, and Israel alleges that it uses Palestinian residents as human shields, purposely risking their lives to mobilize international ire against Israel.

Yeah, skeptics. Still, lets give Hamas positive space in your paper for this whitewash Jodi, that’s fine. We know how it works, the International Committee of the Red Cross (a foreign funded NGO in Israel of course) pitched you a story, lead you by the nose to it and you wrote it for them. Great investigative journalism, I’m sure you didn’t even have to get up too early and were home to tuck your kids into bed in Jerusalem.

The Red Cross may be acting in good faith (perhaps), but Hamas accepting these lessons and calling in the New York Times to publicise this nonsense with barely a critical examination, is nothing more than a cynical PR stunt. And it’s completely fitting that a naive Jodi falls for this and gives Hamas the positive attention it craves. Look, they are trying! They’re going to school.

“What was your role when the massacre in Rafah happened?” one fighter wanted to know, referring to Black Friday, when Qassam fighters took the remains of a slain Israeli soldier after a tunnel battle, prompting an Israeli assault that killed as many as 200 civilians. “We were besieged inside the hospital — why didn’t the I.C.R.C. help us?”

The rules of war which Israel plays by are pretty clear: if enough terrorist are hiding in a hospital, no matter how horrible you may feel about it, the hospital is a legitimate target. It doesn’t mean Israel attacks hospitals very often, but when Hamas are admitting to using them, it makes it much more likely.

Meanwhile, from another source (Arab based of course) comes the story of what is really going on in Gaza behind Jodi’s back. Shall we call it the naked truth about Arab girls in Gaza perhaps?

Hamas concludes first-ever military training camp for girls

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — On Aug. 1, Hamas’ women’s wing opened the all-female “First al-Quds Army camp” to prepare academically exceptional girls aged 12-18 for the liberation battle of Palestine.

This camp, which ended Aug. 10, is the first of its kind in the Gaza Strip, as Hamas has never organized a female training camp before. Around 1,000 girls attend the camp, which offered a special curriculum to resist the occupation taught by women affiliated with the Hamas movement. These women enjoy extensive military experience and know how to intellectually mobilize people against the occupation.

Camp director Rajaa al-Halabi told Al-Monitor, “The goal of the First al-Quds Army camp is to prepare girls for self-defense and for future battles against the occupation.”

That sounds like a healthy move toward co-exitance right? Lets see what the participants have to say.

Wafaa al-Sharbassi, 16, told Al-Monitor, “I joined the First al-Quds Army camp, and I am proud to be part of it. These camps grow the seeds of love of the nation and teaches us about our Islamic sanctities that are being blatantly violated, such as Al-Aqsa Mosque. They also strengthen our rights to defend our presence and resist the Israeli occupation.”

She added, “This camp revived our hopes to create a female army to liberate Al-Aqsa from the occupation. We learn about weapons and how to handle them, and we are ready to go through intensive military training for this purpose.”

Hiba Abu al-Laban, 13, told Al-Monitor, “I joined the First al-Quds Army camp because I hope women can play a role in the future liberation battle. We were also exposed to the Israeli lies about Al-Aqsa Mosque, such as the existence of Jewish artifacts under the mosque, which would give [Israel] the pretext to violate the mosque’s foundation and structure and destroy it.”

Another thing: we pretty much always assume (in casualty statistics we revealed on Israellycool) that women are non-combatants. We ALWAYS assume that young girls are not combatants. Perhaps this should change now.

Oh dear. Read more if you want. Jodi Rudoren probably won’t bring this news to you.

h/t to one of our readers  for sending the New York Times story: if you see something you think we may have missed just send it.

About the author

Picture of Brian of London

Brian of London

Brian of London is not the messiah, he's a very naughty boy. Since making aliyah in 2009, Brian has blogged at Israellycool. Brian is an indigenous rights activist fighting for indigenous people who’ve returned to their ancestral homelands and built great things.
Picture of Brian of London

Brian of London

Brian of London is not the messiah, he's a very naughty boy. Since making aliyah in 2009, Brian has blogged at Israellycool. Brian is an indigenous rights activist fighting for indigenous people who’ve returned to their ancestral homelands and built great things.
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