PSC parliament protest

The hypocrisy of Israel’s stooges in Britain

Stuart Littlewood views the hypocritical reaction of the Board of Deputies of British Jews who are quick to condemn Palestine solidarity activities and resistance in Gaza but are silent on Israel’s crimes. More »

Palestinian woman carrying child in Khan Younis

Every Israeli missile strike is a war crime…

Jonathan Cook explains why talk of “proportionality” or of Israel's “potential” war crimes is nonsense, and argues that Israel is committing war crimes by definition – right now, as you read this. More »

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

Palestinians claim UN protection, prepare lawsuits

Stuart Littlewood explores why the Palestinian leadership failed to publicize its lawsuit against Israel and its request for UN protection  and why it has taken it so long to act. More »

US media distortion

Zionist megaphone: “Missiles raining on Israel”

Jamal Kanj looks at how the US media – uncritical servants of Israel – portray Israeli killers as victims and Palestinian civilians, who have been murdered in droves by Israel, as oppressors. More »

Stop funding Israel

American complicity in Israel’s war crimes

Alan Hart says American complicity in Israel's war crimes is as shameful as the crimes themselves, and that Washington will remain beholden to Israel until lobby funding is removed from US politics. More »

Gaza Under Attack July 2014

What more horrors are in store for Gaza?

Against the background of the silence – or complicity – of Western political and religious leaders towards Israeli war crimes in Gaza, Stuart Littlewood outlines possible scenarios that could bring about change. More »

Israeli soldiers celebrate Gaza killings

Why do Israelis continue to kill Palestinians?

Alan Hart argues that Zionist brainwashing and the occupation have dehumanized Israeli Jews to the extent that killing Palestinians comes as naturally to them "as pissing when the bladder is full”. More »

Free Gaza and Palestine

Deconstructing the Zionist view of Gaza’s horror

Lawrence Davidson debunks the fantasies and inventions of the Zionist view of the horror in Gaza, as represented by the thoughts of David Harris, the executive director of the American Jewish Congress. More »

Philip Hammond and Binyamin Netanyahu

Britain dies of shame…

Stuart Littlewood highlights Britain’s continuing shameful policies towards Israel’s aggression against the Palestinian people, noting that the new foreign minister, Philip Hammond, is as wedded to Israel as his predecessor, William Hague. More »

Gil Hoffman

BBC lets right-wing Israeli write for its website

Nureddin Sabir says that far from toning down its pro-Israel bias following mass protests, the BBC has allowed a right-wing Israeli journalist to peddle the Israeli view on Gaza. More »

Daily Archives: April 8, 2013

Hamas puts backward ideology ahead of liberation

One would have thought that the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas has more on its mind than hair gel, haircuts and hipsters, what with the medieval Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip, poverty and destitution of Gaza’s people and the failure of attempts at Palestinian national reconciliation.

Apparently not.

Recently, we took Hamas to task for enacting a gender apartheid law in Gaza’s schools that barred men from teaching at girls’ schools and mandated separate classes for boys and girls from the age of nine.

We also drew attention to Hamas’s decision to ban women from running in a UN marathon, prompting the organizer, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, to cancel it.

Now we learn that Hamas’s police officers have started snatching young men with long or gel-styled spiky hair off the streets, bundling them into jeeps, mocking them, beating them up and shaving their heads. Other young men wearing tight or low-waist trousers have also received similar treatment.

The man on the left is wearing a  hairstyle deemed "obscene" by Hamas, and on the right is a man with his head shaved by Hamas police as punishment for wearing the "wrong" hairstyle

The man on the left is wearing a hairstyle deemed obscene by Hamas, and on the right is a man with his head shaved by Hamas police as punishment for wearing the wrong hairstyle

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights cites one victim of Hamas’s Islamist police:

I finished my work at approximately 1630 on Thursday 4 April 2013 and took a taxi to Al-Shuja’iya taxi stand, east of Gaza City. While waiting for another taxi to take me home, I was surprised that a policeman called me and ordered me to get into a police jeep. There were about 12 other young men inside the jeep and no one knew the reason of [their] detention. We were transported to Al-Shuja’iya police station. Meanwhile, one detainee was beaten by a policeman. At the police station, they ordered us to stand in a queue and they were making fun of our hairstyles using abusive words. When a detainee protested, he was beaten. The policemen started cutting a young man’s hair and I was the next one to have his hair cut.  All young men had their hair cut. I then signed a statement saying I would not grow long hair or have strange hairstyle or wear low-waist trousers. I left the police station at approximately 1830 on the same day.

According to Al-Arabiya news website, Hamas officials played down the campaign. It quoted Ziad al-Zaza, the deputy prime minister of Gaza, as saying that head-shaving “was a very limited, isolated behaviour of the police and is not going to continue”.

These men's trousers are considered "obscene" by Hamas police – and worthy of punishment

These men’s trousers are considered obscene by Hamas police – and worthy of punishment

However, Hamas’s denial is both cowardly and unconvincing. As Al-Arabiya says, it is “a stance adopted in the past that allows the group to distance itself from a controversial crackdown while at the same time instilling fear in those it targeted”.

But there may be more bad news for Gaza’s youths, whose space for self-expression is shrinking by the day. This is because Hamas appears to be competing with super-primitive Salafi bigots, who have criticized Hamas for not implementing seventh-century Islamic law in Gaza quickly enough.

All this – gender apartheid, harassment for wearing the wrong hairstyle or the wrong trousers, enforcement of “Islamic” attire for women – comes as a godsend to Israel. It distracts world public opinion from the Zionist entity’s own obnoxious apartheid policies and illegal occupation of Arab territory, and it paints the Palestinian people in the worst possible colour.

We know that for many years Israel tolerated and at times encouraged Islamic activists and groups, including Hamas, as a counterweight to the secular nationalists of the Palestine Liberation Organization. Now, unwittingly, Hamas is paying back the favour by destroying Palestinian society from within.