|“Jephthath’s Sacrifice” by Maciejowski (c. 1250)|
|If you sell pot on the Gaza Strip, be careful or you could lose your head.|
Selling pot can now officially get you killed in Gaza City — by the government, that is.
Despite the area’s proud tradition of fine hashish (Blond Lebanese, anyone?) the Hamas-run government of Gaza has approved a law that will allow for the execution of “convicted drug dealers,” its attorney general said today, according to the Associated Press.
The Islamist government ruling Gaza is taking a page from the tired old playbook of drug prohibitionists in America and worldwide — that imposing draconian sentences will reduce drug smuggling and discourage drug use. The policy, in place for close to a century in many parts of the world, has proved to be a colossal failure.
Hamas has cracked down on drugs, saying it has arrested more than 100 drug dealers and users. Dozens of pounds of contraband, mostly marijuana, have been seized.
Blithely undeterred by the facts, Gaza’s attorney general blamed the Israeli government for not punishing potheads severely enough (or killing them quickly enough). If the intent is to prove governments in the Middle East can have drug policies even dumber than those of the United States, then mission accomplished!
Surprise, surprise: They say it’s all the fault of the Jews. “The Zionist law included light punishments that encouraged rather than deterred those who take and trade in drugs, and there is no objective, national or moral justification for continuing to apply it,” said Attorney General Mohammed Abed, who certainly doesn’t sound like a very fun guy.
“The government has approved a decision to cancel the Zionist [Israeli] military law with regard to drugs and enact Egyptian law 19 of 1962,” said Abed, who was appointed in October. “The latter law is more comprehensive in terms of crime and criminals and the penalties more advanced, including life sentences and execution.”
According to Abed, the Egyptian drug law will remain in effect until a new law can e passed by the Palestinian Parliament, which has met only rarely since the 2006 elections.
Egypt ruled the Gaza Strip from 1948 until the 1967’s Six Day War, when Israel seized the territory along with the Sinai peninsula, the Golan Heights, the West Bank and east Jerusalem.