Thursday, December 22, 2005

If Women Governed: Hamas Political Poster Child 

Remember the old slogan that claimed if the world were governed by women there wouldn't be an any more war? Well Hamas is going to let us test out that steaming pile of wisdom very soon.

Reuters brings us the picture and credentials of Hamas' new political "poster child" -- the face of Hamas' future as it allegedly morphs into an elected political party.

Mariam Farhat, a Palestinian elections Hamas candidate, looks on during an interview in Cairo December 21, 2005. Farhat's three sons died fighting Israel. Now, as a candidate in elections to the Palestinian legislature, she says politics is a natural extension of her role in Hamas's armed struggle. Seen by Palestinians as an icon of the uprising or intifada which broke out in the Palestinian territories in 2000, Farhat is one of several women from the Islamist group contesting the legislative elections due on January 25. (Aladin Abdel Naby/Reuters)

For an alternative viewpoint, let's consult a source that can't possibly be imagined to be anti-Hamas. Let's see what Al-Jazeera has to say:

Mariam Farhat, an icon of the intifada, will join male Hamas leaders to contest a legislative election due in January in which Hamas, the Islamist group sworn to Israel's destruction, is taking part for the first time. It is expected to present a serious challenge to Fatah, the party of Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president.

Farhat, 56, has strong militant credentials, including an appearance carrying a gun in a video in which she advised one of her sons, Mohammed, on tactics before he attacked a Jewish settlement.

Mohammed, 17, killed five Israelis before he was shot dead in the assault in the occupied Gaza Strip in 2002.

Farhat's eldest son, Nidal, was killed in 2003 as he was preparing for another attack. A third son, Rawad, died earlier this year in an Israeli air strike on his car, which was carrying rockets. Three other sons are still alive.
Still, that's just her past, right? Heck, she's still got three sons left. Once elected, she'll be able to send them out as peace emissaries to kind of balance things out. Whatever she might have done in the past doesn't matter now because from here on out she is choosing the political path. If two old warriors like Ariel Sharon and Yitzhak Rabin can get second chances, reborn as political peacemakers, then why not Ms. Farhat? Shouldn't we at least ask her?

"The jihadist project completes the political one and the political project cannot be completed without jihad," she told Reuters, using the Arabic term for "holy struggle" against the Jewish state.
Thank you for the generous translation of Jihad, but I think most of us know what it means by now.

"She told Reuters", but did Reuters tell us? Well, not in the caption for this picure, but actually, Reuters did tell us -- Reuters wrote the Al Jazeera report. I'm sure it happens all the time. I guess it really shouldn't surprise me.

If you really, really liked this -- or even really, really hated it -- there's lots more: