Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fun Times in Gaza

The Swedish left, including author Henning Mankell and Green parliamentarian Mehmet Kaplan, are all big supporters of Hamas’ regime in Gaza. In fact, Mankell and Kaplan are so fond of Hamas that they and several like-minded Swedish lefties joined the protest tourism cruise trip billed as “Ship to Gaza”.
Since they’ve vowed to return with even more protesters, let’s have a look at what recent events reveal about what tourists can find to do in Gaza—or not do. There have been a few changes since the flotilla was trawling in these waters, so protester please take note.

Firstly, ladies, forget about trying out one of those hookah bars. As of mid-July the Hamas regime banned women from smoking a nargila in public, because doing so violates “social norms and traditions.” Hamas police enforce this law strictly. As liberal feminists, left-wing Swedes can certainly understand that women in Islamic societies enjoy greater freedom when they stay at home where they belong.

Here’s another note for women: Don’t forget to pack your underwear, because you will have a hard time finding a lingerie store unless you can read shop signs in Arabic. Hamas has banned all displays of women’s underwear in shop windows—and especially mannequins modeling underwear—as an offense to “public morality.” But even if you can get locals to direct you to the store, it seems you will be buying without trying on the garments, as the doors of these establishments must be kept open to prevent the immoral behavior these stores may encourage. Violators are fined by the police. Of course, Swedes will again understand the need for enforcing scrupulous modesty, and the societal dangers of underwear.

We would have recommended a visit to Gaza’s Crazy Water Park, part of $20 million in leisure investments made recently by Gaza entrepreneur Samir Saed and others, in part as a response to the high cost of dining out. The park provided family entertainment at a modest cost. But the park was closed about two weeks ago because men and women were there together. This week gunmen beat the watchmen and completely torched the water park’s facilities.

-“ Unidentified gunmen set fire Sunday to the Crazy Water Park, one of the Gaza Strip’s most popular entertainment sites.

Eyewitnesses said that at least 25 men participated in the predawn attack. The gunmen beat the two night watchmen, bound their hands and confiscated their mobile phones before setting the complex on fire, they said.”

Next time the flotilla sails into Ashkelon, Swedes will find Gaza entertainment options are restricted to eating in some of Gaza’s fine restaurants, and perhaps a quiet stay at the Grand Palace, Gaza’s most deluxe hotel. And remember, behave yourselves!

By: Chanah Shapira

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