Tarry for the Nonce

August 2, 2005

Conflict of Interest

Filed under: News — lmwalker @ 6:04 pm

Have you heard about the Hamas summer camps?

Seventeen-year-old Osama Abu Asi knows what Hamas stands for: swimming lessons, horseback riding, potato sack races and other summertime fun — including religious education and paramilitary training.

At Hamas camp, every camper gets a crisp green baseball cap. Camp officials said they have already given out 12,000 caps this year in 60 Gaza summer camps, out of 100,000 caps they ordered from a Chinese company . . .

At one beach camp, attended by approximately 100 kids, an instructor wore a heavy flannel shirt under which a webbed belt could be seen strapped to his stomach. Asked by a reporter what it was, he answered, with a broad smile, “Boom!” . . .

Across camp, a group of younger children — most between 10 and 12 — sat in a circle in the sand singing one of the “intifada songs” they learn at camp . . .

On the beach, Osama was learning how to react, under the watchful eyes of his instructors.

“We’ve been instructed first to provide help to injured people, then to run away,” he said.

What if he found an injured Jew? Osama stopped and looked at his instructors.

“Who shot him?” he asked.

Told to imagine he could not tell whether the Jew had been injured by Palestinians or Israelis, he paused again, looking from instructor to instructor, then replied.

“I would call a paramedic.”

I think my heart is breaking.

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