Shrewdly selling himself to the non Arab/Moslem world as a moderate, recently self righteously condemning Hamas as terrorists creating an "empire of darkness," Mahmoud Abbas thus cleverly distances himself from their savage slaughter while subtly implying his Fatah reign was full of light and good.
Benefiting from the hard bigotry of twisted expectations--not to mention the hard bigotry against aiding Israeli expectations of real peace--Abbas will be gloriously rewarded as promises of even more money, more aid, more protection frantically gush forth from the appeasers, the incredulous believers, the schemers. To justify these promises, the deluded givers of all types will conveniently downplay Abbas' uh, terrorist past and corruption and his total incompetence at governing. That will be easy.
Abbas knows that. He counts on that because he understands the demands of European and American cultures much better than they are willing to admit.
But now Hamas has also decided to play peaceful benign victim to its European audience, conveniently exposing and publicizing a Fatah torture prison, a blatant reminder that Abbas' Fatah is just the other less disciplined, secular side of the terrorist coin.
Where parents in other parts of the world might take their children to a chamber of horrors in an amusement park, the main attractions in the Gaza Strip these days are Fatah's torture chambers.
The headquarters of the Fatah-controlled security force in Gaza have been open to the public since last Thursday. Every day is open house now.
For years the complex was a symbol of the horror disseminated by the security forces that reported directly to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. This is where Hamas men were taken after Fatah had arrested them. Some of those lucky enough to be eventually released reported that they had been tortured. Others disappeared forever. (snip)
In the room next to the guard booth, large puddles of blood are drying out, surrounded by swarms of flies. "Fatah used this room to shoot people," says the al-Qassam militiaman. (snip)
Grown men wept when they saw their former cells. Others accompanied widows who came to see where their husbands had been murdered. (snip)
And just as with Fatah, Hamas is succeeding with its total makeover.
And what is better for Gaza, now that Hamas is in charge? "That you, as a foreign journalist, can sit here without being kidnapped," says the militia leader, smiling thinly. "There is security in Gaza now, even for Fatah's people."
Hamas, says Mohammed, has released all of the captured enemies -- "except for a few dozen with blood on their hands" -- and guarantees their safety. "We now have law and order."
And soon once again there will be talk that now that Hamas is really, really controlling those million Gazans who need schools, electricity and all that basic stuff they will soften, will be more amenable to compromise with Israel; that its previous chatter of strict Islamism to totally eliminate Israel and its people was just that--chatter.
Fatah or Hamas, with minor fringe differences, are the same.