Powered by WebAds

Thursday, June 28, 2007

CNN correspondent returns to Gaza

CNN's Jerusalem correspondent Ben Wedeman returned to Gaza last week for the first time since January. His description of what it's like there is interesting:
The scene once we passed through the final gate was surreal.

Around a hundred people, mostly young men with a smattering of women and children, were huddled by the sides of the concrete corridor. There was a strong stench of sweat, urine, human excrement and rubbish. The people were mostly members of the defeated Fatah security services and their families, desperate to get out of Gaza.

When our cameraman Adil Bradlow raised his camera to capture the scene, many of the young men shouted for him not to film. Others covered their heads. But a few did speak with us, and let us film them, and told us Hamas was rounding up Fatah members and killing them.

The usual Palestinian security forces who manned the crossing had abandoned their posts. I was reminded of Iraq in the immediate aftermath of the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime. All semblance of authority had vanished. Everything was for the taking.

Once we passed through the first checkpoint manned by Hamas gunmen, the atmosphere changed. There was order. And the deeper we went into Gaza City, I was struck by how calm the place was. There weren’t as many cars and people about as usual, but I could hear no gunfire, and some stores were open. [A video by Wedeman on CNN's web site today gives a far less pristine view, but that's not the point of this exercise. CiJ]


Not surprisingly, almost every regime in the Arab world is terrified by what happened in Gaza, and is scrambling to do whatever they can to shore up the bruised and battered leadership of Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank. They see themselves in Mahmoud Abbas, and know that the forces that bolster them could, if faced by a determined and well-armed Islamic opposition, crumble just as easily.
Read that last paragraph again. I want you all to understand that the reason that the Arab regimes have rallied around Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen has nothing to do with him being a 'moderate' or wanting 'peace' with Israel and everything to do with survival. They all fear the Islamists and they all fear that what happened to Abu Mazen and Fatah will happen to them.

So what's Olmert's excuse? (And please don't come back with clever answers like "he's afraid of the Haredim taking over Israel," because I've never seen or heard of a Haredi suicide bomber).


Post a Comment

<< Home