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« Small Companies and Sarbox | Main | Qwest »

AP and Reuters: It's Israel's Fault

In an ironic twist of Sophoclean proportions, an Israeli company has cut off - get this - gasoline supplies to the Iranian-funded Palestinian territories for non-payment of bills:

An end to fuel supplies could cripple hospitals, halt food deliveries and keep people home from work - a devastating scenario for an economy already ravaged by Israeli and international sanctions.

Right. The "economy" has been "ravaged" by Israeli sanctions. It's nothing whatever to do with the fact that Arafat and his friends - and that includes the current President, the Holocaust-denying, walking Hamas assassination target, Mahmoud Abbas - have spent the last fifteen years shipping everything that's not nailed down (and if they can pry it loose, it's not nailed down) out of the country. Which, as of the last AP report, was the reason that Hamas got elected in the first place, not their hostility to Israel, if you remember.

In Nablus, a line of taxi drivers said they had stopped working because they had no fuel. One driver, Mahmoud Tourabi, said he would try to drive to a nearby Jewish settlement in hopes of filling his tank.

``They may kill me there, so I will be the martyr of the gas,'' he quipped.

Oh, that Mahmoud! What a card! Why hasn't he quit his day job yet? But seriously folks, when was the last time you heard of an Israeli crowd torching Arab cars?

Asaf Shariv, a spokesman for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, said Israel would ``absolutely not'' bail out the Palestinians in this case. Dor has threatened to cut off supplies twice before this year - only to be paid at the last minute by the Palestinians.

This will be important in a moment, as we examine the Reuters-fueled Washington Post version of events:

The fuel shortage, caused by a cash liquidity crunch, threatened to worsen an economic crisis that began when Western countries froze aid and cut most diplomatic ties after the Islamic militant group Hamas came to power in March.

So this has happened before. The crisis didn't just suddenly descend from the skies. What Reuters stringer Mohammed Assadi (now there's a surprise!) forgets is that while the current - er, liquidity crunch - is a result of sanctions, there's a gigantic difference between a government solvency crisis and an economic mess. Governments all over the US, including the one in Washington (and no, I don't mean the one Formerly Known as Marion Barry's Glorious Patronage and Coke Machine) shut down all the time over budget disputes, and it doesn't bring the economy to its knees.

The real problem here, the reason that taxi-driver Mahmoud is contemplating suicide by buying gas from Jews, is that the Palestinian Authority has no business being the fuel supplier for whatever remains of the "private" economy in a state consciously patterned after Stalin. It only does this so they get a couple of more chances to skim the scum off the top of the barrel on the way to the pumps.

Naturally, no Reuters piece would be complete without a discussion of how Hamas's intentions are good, please don't let them be misunderstood:

Hamas, winner of a January parliamentary election, is formally sworn to destroy Israel although it has largely abided by a truce for over a year.

Oh, those pesky formalities. It's not as though every paragraph in the Hamas charter refers to Israel's destruction, or anything like that, as though Hamas's entire reason for being were the takover of everything between the Jordan and the Med.

Aside from that. I suppose that the sentence is accurate, if by "largely," you mean "except for the daily cross-border Kassam rocket attacks, and the daily dispatching of suicide bombers to the Green Line like a game of 'Red Rover,' which, incidentally, many of the would-be martyrs are young enough to be playing during recess."

Ironic for Reuters, then, that as the US and Israel buckle to international pressure to fund Hamas's recruiting activities, no doubt to prevent them from becoming radicalized from their association with Iran, that:

Hamas's political chief in exile, Khaled Mashaal, while on a visit to Qatar on Wednesday, asked "Hamas supporters throughout the world, as well as Arab states, to send weapons, fighters and money to the Palestinian Authority."

And to think that in our day, it was only "lawyers, guns, and money."

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