March 23, 2004


They say Hitler loved his dogs, was vegetarian and was in frail health at the time of his death. Funny how the obits tend to focus on the nastier details of his resumé. By contrast, here is how the CBC describes Ahmed Yassin.

Yassin, a cleric and quadriplegic who founded Hamas in 1987, died early Monday when Israeli helicopters fired rockets at his entourage as he was leaving a mosque. Seven other people died in the same attack.

Not to be outdone, the BBC had this to say (and this).

Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the founder and spiritual leader of Hamas, was a frail quadriplegic who could barely see. His voice was thin and quavering. Sheikh Yassin believed in "holy war" (y)et he wielded growing power among Palestinians, long frustrated with a peace process that has failed to improve their lives.

Amish Tech Support provides an alternative to Canadian and British state-sponsored Ewok-media. Knock knock jokes!

Knock Knock.
Who's there?
Sheikh who?
Sheikh hands with Satan, buddy, BECAUSE YOU'RE F***ING DEAD ! ! ! !

And then... Sanity prevails at the Ottawa Citizen.

In interviews, you could see the old man take lascivious delight in the blood of his followers -- followers such as Reem Riyashi, a Palestinian who blew herself up in January, leaving her two children motherless. "I always wanted to be the first woman to carry out a martyrdom operation, where parts of my body can fly all over," she said in a videotaped message. Shortly after, Mr. Yassin ghoulishly confirmed that Hamas was now recruiting female bombers.

And then... While the Guardian compares Yassin to Nelson Mandela and blames suicide bombing on - who else? - the Jews.

Like a Mandela - unseen, unheard, yet charismatic in his prison cell - now half blind and deaf as well as crippled, Yassin's prestige grew inexorably, just as that of Arafat, the official Mr Palestine, an ever-greater travesty of all that Mandela ever stood for, withered beneath the glare of a publicity he could no longer escape.

But it was the self-sacrificing zeal of Yassin's followers that achieved this for him. It was only after the massacre of 30 worshipppers in a Hebron mosque, by a suicidal Israeli settler in February 1994, that the Hamas suicide bombers really got going.
Posted by the Flea at March 23, 2004 07:02 AM

For the past day or so, I've been trying to work out why the story of Yassin sounded so familiar: wheelchair-bound cripple, respected by his followers, menace to everyone else, promoter of genocide, etc.

It's just clicked: you can see him here -

It's a shame he wasn't exterminated by his own creations; but being blown to bits when he has done so much to promote this fate for everyone else, does have a certain degree of poetic justice.

Posted by: Simon Jester at March 23, 2004 10:01 AM

Reading many of the comments on the BBC's board that you linked to repeated the same mantra:
"See. Isreal and Palastine operate the same way."

Only if you can reasonably conclude that Isreali kids on a bus are the equivalent as jihadist terrorists planning the murder of the Isreali kids on said bus.

Posted by: jkrank at March 23, 2004 11:05 AM

Yep that about covers it.

Posted by: Andrew Ian Dodge at March 23, 2004 01:31 PM
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