Thinking of an overseas holiday? Consider Gaza


Gaza – not an Islamist hellhole, after all, but a sparklingly exotic Mediterranean oasis, full of shiny happy people – at least according to this Hamas election ad.

The Hamas government, as the old joke goes, is now in the tenth year of its three-year term, and as part of a current election campaign it has released a 2 and a half minute “Gaza in 2016” spruiking to show how much it has achieved despite the dastardly Jews. All the Gaza residents in the ad are holding a sign with a Twitter hashtag that translates to “Thank you Hamas”. One feels there are serious-looking young men with AK-47s just outside the shot urging people to smile, except that Hamas remains quite popular in Gaza, though perhaps not as much as a decade ago (to the extent public opinion can be accurately gauged in a one-party non-state).

Some of the Gaza glitz is possibly thanks to Australian taxpayers. A few days ago, the Australian government suspended funding World Vision charity after allegations that its Gaza manager has been for years diverting majority of the NGO’s funds to Hamas. World Vision is denying the allegation, particularly the quantum of losses.

Meanwhile, on the West Bank, the election campaign recently saw the ruling Fatah government listing as one of its achievements that it “killed 11,000 Jews”.

One day, both Gaza and the West Bank might have a chance to become genuinely normal and pleasant places to live and visit, instead of the Potemkin villages of Hamas campaign ads. But that will only happen when the Palestinian leadership – as well as the Palestinian people who support them – concentrate less on killing Jews and less on achieving a one-state solution (Palestine, no Israel) and more on helping their own people lead decent lives.