Hard Times

For those familiar with social policies in Saudi Arabia the following should not come as such a surprise:

According to a new Hamas law, women in Gaza are forbidden to smoke tobacco water pipes; the latest in a year long campaign to enforce gradually a strict life code on the citizens of the Gaza strip. Hamas has also banned women from riding motorbikes, impoverished women from riding behind their husbands on cheap Vespas; and teenage girls must cover up in loose robes and headscarves.

Men are targeted by Hamas officials if they are seen alongside women in public and if they dress in ways considered too Western, such as shorts and a T-shirt.

Last year, a 23-year-old man was interrogated for a week because of rumors that he was gay. In another case, the New York-based Human Rights Watch reported that a gay man was being held in a Gaza jail.

Better Times

Meanwhile, on another note, TomGrossmedia.com, a personal blog reported on bustling and crowded food markets in Gaza and the construction of a new Olympic-size public swimming pool,

“No shortage of building materials or water here”

observed Gross. He also mentioned luxury restaurants, “where you can dine on steak au poivre and chicken cordon bleu”. Well, lastly brought to attention in this personal blog was an impressive new shopping mall on the strip.

My point is not that the residents of Gaza should not have these things, but it is much to the contrary of the Western Media’s portrayal of the region, justifying human rights flotillas, for example.