Gaza’s Killjoys

Gaza is getting out of control. Now that the bombs are not falling (as much) and people have only grief, disability, illness, starvation, and embargo to deal with, they seem to be getting out of line!

Here's when the Islamists come to the rescue.

Being so alert, they did it twice in the past two days:

The Hamas representatives in the Palestinian Legislative Council (which is dysfunctional since all other groups have been boycotting it from the time of the Hamas armed take over) felt the need to make their presence felt and finally turned their attention to what really matters: they approved new laws that punish those who misuse computers and cell phones. Specifically, they are targeting anyone who uses electronic devices to spread "al Fahisha," a baggy-bogy term that refers to sexual transgression.

This intervention allows them to score on two fronts: first, they present themselves as protectors of the people, concerned about their moral well-being, just as they were protecting them against the Israeli attack. The political capital gained from those tragic events get to be spent on advancing hamas's social agenda.

Second, this allows Hamas to exercise more censorship and surveillance of their rivals and of the population as a whole. They are hardly innovators in this field: those in power often find that censorship and surveillance are essential to maintain an iron fist. I'm particularly suspicious every time I hear a government say it wants to protect the people from the internet. It usually means it wants to protect itself from the people.

The other intervention came in the form of Friday sermons. Because now that the school year has ended, kids in Gaza are getting ready to step into those dens of vice called UNRWA summer camps. According to some killjoy Sheikhs, these summer camps must be boycotted because they allow boys and girls to mix and they have them sing and dance. Apparently, these summer camps are all part of an international conspiracy that seeks to indoctrinate our kids with fun. And you wonder how Palestine was lost!! Instead, these Taliban wannabes are urging the fathers to send their children to Islamic camps where they can learn the Qur'an and get a proper Islamic education.

They are also demanding the closure of the "Action Playrooms" that have sprouted over Gaza because (hold your breath) they teach kids a culture of violence. Coming from the purveyors of a culture of "die first and ask questions later," this is a stunning example of the hypocrisy of those self-appointed religious moral police.

It's not the first and, unfortunately, it won't be the last.

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