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The Public Morals Unit of Hamas
Saw Yusra al-Azzuri, bold as brass,
In Gaza City, walk with her betrothed,
Her sister also present. Half unclothed.
All three behaved as if beyond the reach
Of justice. Laughing, dancing on the beach,
They almost touched. They thought to drive away.
The Unit followed them without delay.
Her young man drove. Beside him as they fled,
Yusra died quickly in a hail of lead.
The other two were hauled out of the car
And beaten senseless. With an iron bar,
The riddled corpse of Yusra, as the worst
Offender, was assaulted till it burst.
She would have prayed for death. It can be said,
Therefore, it was a blessing she was dead
Already. Thus we look for just one touch
Of grace in this catastrophe. Too much
To bear, the thought that those young men were glad
To be there. Won't the memory drive them mad?
Could they not see the laughter in her face
Was heaven on earth, the only holy place?
Perhaps they guessed, and acted from the fear
That Paradise is nowhere if not here.
Yusra, your name too lovely to forget
Shines like a sunrise joined to a sunset.
The day between went with you. Where you are,
That light around you is your life, Yusra.


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MM sees Fatah as less fanatical and thereby possibly a credible peace partner.Despite being less Islamist,Fatah is fanatically murderous and dangerous and unrepentant. It is responsible for many more Israeli deaths than Hamas .Black September was a branch of Fatah.The funding of the Munich Israeli Olympic team massacre was organised by peace-loving President Abbas.

Posted by M.G. on 2007-10-07 12:30:44 GMT

Why did James write a poem about Yusra? Why wasn't the poem written by a Muslim? Why wasn't a poem written about the Islamic commandment to respect the dead? Why was no fatwa issued on behalf of the moderates we are assured comprise the majority of Muslims? Will anyone write a poem if bad leadership and the pressure of "friends" leads Israel to submit to a peace acceptable to such people?

Posted by paul2 on 2007-10-03 12:47:42 GMT

Yusra's story, which appears to be factual, goes back to 2005. See for the background. The central element of it is the nightmarish regime imposed on Gaza by Hamas. An outstanding inside view comes in a Sunday Times piece that starts this way: "Hamas wants you to believe it has created a benevolent sanctuary where once chaos reigned. At the beginning of the journey into Gaza it’s easy to believe that things are better." It's online at, under the title "Gaza's deadly guardians" and very worth sharing with those pollyanish observers who expound on the joys and beauty of an uncorrupted Hamas government in place of the evil, tainted Fatah. The article, and Clive James' poem, both make clear Gaza has plenty of ugliness to go round.

Posted by Arnold Roth ( on 2007-10-03 08:45:18 GMT

Is this about an actual event?

Posted on 2007-10-03 07:15:36 GMT

Amazing! Clive James has shown for a while that he understands the real issues of Islamic fanaticism. He is too smart to kowtow to PC.

Posted by Mary on 2007-10-03 05:33:05 GMT