For much of the world, 69-year-old Greta Berlin, spokesperson and co-founder of the Free Gaza Movement, is a hero. Berlin recently gained international attention for orchestrating the Gaza aid flotilla, calling Israel “a terrorist state” in interviews and articles.
Along with other leading members of her movement, mostly retired and well-to-do California-based women, Berlin has spewed anti-Israel hate rhetoric while simultaneously campaigning for the Palestinian cause.
According to The Guardian, Greta’s colleagues are from the generation who protested in the 1960s as part of the anti-Vietnam movement. The four leading activists, who led communications and legal activities during the flotilla operation, were grey-haired grandmothers and pensioners aged between 65 and 85.
Back in August 2007, two months after Hamas’s bloody military takeover of Gaza where Hamas killed off its political Fatah opponents, Berlin stated on Radio Free Europe (Aug. 13, 2007) that:
The world is busy starving the Palestinians of Gaza into submission, simply because they exercised their human right to vote democratically for the party they wanted in power. I find it obscene that, just because the US, Israel, the EU don’t like the party’s goals, they are suddenly called “terrorists.”
It is ironic that these self-professed humanitarians, with Greta Berlin in the lead, choose to side with and support Hamas, the radical Islamic terrorist organization that seeks to drastically limit the rights of Gazan women and eradicate any form of liberalism in the Gaza Strip.
Since coming into power, Hamas has implemented strict religious decrees, in compliance with the Sharia Islamic law, into public life in the Gaza Strip. Last summer, Gaza’s top judge ordered female lawyers to wear Muslim headscarves, to ensure that women dress in accordance Islamic law, which requires women to cover up in public and wear loose-fitting garments that show only their hands and faces.
The Gaza-based Palestinian Center for Human Rights issued a statement describing the new dress code for female lawyers a ” dangerous violation of personal freedoms and women’s rights.”
Gazan female lawyer Sbubhiya Juma responded that the law was “dangerous” and ” taking away our personal freedoms.”
Since Hamas’s rise to power, modesty patrols scour Gaza beaches to ensure that both women and men are properly covered, admonishing and even arresting women who are not swimming in full-length robes. An increasing number of public schools are enforcing headscarves and cloaks as uniforms upon girls, sending girls attired in jeans back home.
From musical concerts to hair salons, Hamas has stamped its interpretation of Islamic Sharia law into every imaginable aspect of everyday life. Three months ago, in March 2010, Hamas banned men from working in women’s beauty parlors and hair salons, which have been the target of explosions and other attacks since Hamas took over three years ago. Anyone breaking the new salon law, according to Hamas, will be arrested and tried.
In April, Hamas sent police to break up the first major hip-hop concert in Gaza. A Hamas policeman cited that the dancing routines were “immoral.” Hamas forbids men and women from publicly dancing together and Hamas militants carrying Ak-47s have been reported to stop such dancing venues in the past.
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