Roger L. Simon

Who translates Arabic for the BBC?

Because I doubt this non-sequitur is an accurate translation of a flyer distributed to Gazans by the Israeli army:

“For your own safety, read this statement carefully and act accordingly,” the leaflet says in Arabic.

“Know that the terrorists have made you hostages and human shields and safeguard your interests,” it continues.

I notice some of the more militantly pro-Israeli blogs are using this situation (yesterday’s problem with Islamic Jihad,etc.) as yet another opportunity to ridicule the incompentence or worse of Mahmoud Abbas. They have a point, of course, and we all know Abbas’ dubious background, but history works in strange ways (call it the Nixon in China syndrome), so I don’t think it makes sense to marginalize Abbas until he entirely marginalizes himsef. He’s not there yet, making attemps to deal with the militants. I wouldn’t want to be himat this moment, would you?

MEANWHILE: The election process in Gaza seems not yet to have ““:Dozens of masked Palestinian gunmen took over election offices in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, exchanging fire with Palestinian police and demanding spaces on a list for Jan. 25 parliamentary elections.

The clashes came as the two main factions of the ruling Fatah Party ‚Äî the so-called “young” and “old” guards ‚Äî announced an end to an internal rift that threatened to bolster the electoral prospects of Hamas militants. Young guard members announced that Fatah will submit a single, unified list for the elections.