UNITED NATIONS, Jan 22 (IPS) - In the 1967 movie classic the "Battle of Algiers", which recreated Algeria's war of independence against France, a handcuffed and shackled insurgent leader, Ben M'Hidi, is brought before a group of highly-partisan French journalists for intense interrogation.
One of the journalists asks M'Hidi: "Don't you think it is a bit cowardly to use women's handbags and baskets to carry explosive devices that kill so many innocent people [in cafes and night clubs]?"
Responding with equal bluntness, the Algerian insurgent retorts: "And doesn't it seem to you even more cowardly to drop napalm bombs on unarmed villages on a thousand times more innocent victims?"
"Of course, if we had your fighter planes, it would be a lot easier for us," he adds. "Give us your bombers, and you can have our handbags and baskets."
Like the Algerian insurgents, Hamas militants were not fighting on a level battle field - as the Israeli military unleashed its massive firepower on a virtually defenceless population in Gaza, killing over 1,300 Palestinians in the 22-day conflict.
"Perhaps it would be interesting to see the roles reversed: the Palestinians with American fighter planes and battle tanks and the Israelis with homemade rockets," says one Arab diplomat, striking a parallel with the Algerian insurgency.
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