Actually they’re protesting against Israel defending itself, after making nary a peep about the Hamas Qassams lobbed at Israeli civilians. And why are they doing this now? Because they know how to tug on credulous Western heartstrings. “Across Mideast, thousands protest Israeli assault,” by Bassem Mroue for Associated Press, December 28 (thanks to James):
BEIRUT, Lebanon — Crowds of thousands swept into the streets of cities around the Middle East on Sunday to denounce Israel’s air assault on Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.
Think about all the many things we have never seen thousands of Muslims protest against. 9/11, for one. The July 7, 2005 London bombings, for another. Mumbai, for a third. Shall I go on?
From Lebanon to Iran, Israel’s adversaries used the weekend assault to marshal crowds into the streets for noisy demonstrations. And among regional allies there was also discontent: The prime minister of Turkey, one of the few Muslim countries to have relations with Israel, called the air assault a “crime against humanity.”
Baseless, hysterical, and — Erdogan hopes — effective against Israel in the court of world opinion.
Several of Sunday’s protests turned violent. A crowd of anti-Israel protesters in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul became a target for a suicide bomber on a bicycle.
A Zionist suicide biker in Mosul? More likely, the biker represented a sect of Islam that objected to the sect of the protesters.
In Lebanon, police fired tear gas to stop dozens of demonstrators from reaching the Egyptian Embassy. Some in the crowd hurled stones at the embassy compound. It was unclear if anyone was hurt.
Egypt, which has served as a mediator between Israel and the Palestinians as well as between Hamas and its rival Fatah, has been criticized for joining Israel in closing its borders with Gaza. Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit called on Hamas to renew its truce with Israel: “There has been a calm and we should work to restore it.”
In Islamic law, a Muslim force may conclude a truce with a non-Muslim force only if the Muslims are losing and need some time to regroup.
France also called for the truce to be renewed and rallied European nations to use “all their weight” to stop the fighting between Israel and Hamas.
“We have entered a new spiral of despair,” French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner told the Journal du Dimanche in an interview published Sunday. “The truce must be restored.”…
Kouchner, of course, has no idea of the Islamic theology and law governing truces.
In Beirut, Hamas representative Osama Hamdan told the crowd that the militant group had no choice but to fight. Gaza militants have been lobbing dozens of rockets and mortars into southern Israel since a six-month truce expired over a week ago, prompting Israel’s fierce retaliation.
“We have one alternative which is to be steadfast and resist and then we will be victorious,” Hamdan said.
In the capital of neighboring Syria, more than 5,000 people marched toward the central Youssef al-Azmeh square, where they burned an Israeli and an American flag.
One demonstrator carried a banner reading, “The aggression against Gaza is an aggression against the whole Arab nation.”
“Down with America, the mother of terrorism,” read another.
In Amman, Jordan, about 5,000 lawyers marched toward parliament to demand the Israeli ambassador’s expulsion and the closure of the embassy. “No for peace, yes to the rifle,” they chanted.
In Jordan’s squalid Baqaa camp for Palestinian refugees and their descendants, protester Yassin Abu Taha, 32, blamed America and Israel for the Middle East’s problems.
“The Israelis kill our people in Gaza and the West Bank. The Americans kill our people in Iraq. We’re refugees, kicked out of our home in Tulkarem in 1967 and we’re still displaced,” he said, bemoaning his family’s flight in the 1967 Mideast war….
Tired victimology. But it still plays in the West.