Hanging Out With Hamas

Izz al-Deen al-Qassam, Wham Bam Thank You Ma'am!

April 30, 3007 — Somewhere Along the Gaza Strip (apj.us) — I was sitting in the lobby lounge of a sand-colored hotel here (that I agreed not to mention by name) with a friend – an Arab-Israeli named “Rocki bin Ali” – when a rocket landed thunderously in the swimming pool, soaking my new blue linen jacket.  Without dropping my cigarette – or my Jack Daniels – I turned to Rocki and said, “What the hell was that all about?” 

He just shook his head and said “Izz al-Deen.” 

I said, “Me too,” and headed to the men’s room.

Only later did it dawn on me that bin Ali meant to say Izz al-Dean al-Qassam – which is the Palestinian Hamas brigade that decided it was time to break the cease fire with Israel and launch 43 rockets and 68 mortars on parts of Israel along the Gaza Strip.

That was it for the five-month-long truce.  So what else is new?

Israel decided not to launch a full scale retort – instead they settled for a very limited response which amounted to flipping the bird across the fences disjoining to two sides and shooting a few rounds at anything that moved around the launch sites. 

It was clear that Condi Rice had asked them to “be gentle.” 

Imagine sitting around the pool at the Palm Beach Country Club and watch as rockets from Mara Lago – Trump’s place on the “island” – whacked the 11th green of your golf course.  Would you simply sit there and take it?

Bin Ali told me later that the rocket and mortar attack from the ”Izz” was merely a cover for something else they were up to – trying to kidnap some more Israeli soldiers to trade off in the might-be upcoming prisoner swap between Israel and Palestine.

How imaginative.

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