Looks Like Hitler Will Win in Jenin

The candidate’s name is Jamal Abu Roub, but everyone here calls him Hitler because, well, that is the name he has answered to quite comfortably since he was a teenager. The Int’l Herald Tribune had the story.

Roub, 40, is a leader of the militant Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades in this turbulent corner of the West Bank and has spent the past five years leading his ragtag band of gunmen in frequent clashes with the Israeli military. Roub’s deeds include hauling a Palestinian suspected of collaborating with Israel and of molesting his own daughters into a town square, where the man was shot to death.

Now Roub is a candidate for the Palestinian Parliament and is virtually assured of winning a seat in elections Wednesday. He is wanted by Israel, and therefore does not appear at rallies, yet this seems only to have bolstered his reputation.

In an interview in Jenin, Roub said with a crooked smile that it was his first campaign appearance, and probably his last.

“I leave the campaigning to my brother and my supporters, but this is not a problem because people here know me and trust me,” Roub said. His eyes are bloodshot and his hair is tousled, giving him the look of a man pursued. He chain-smokes Marlboros and gulps his coffee. …

When Roub was leaving after an interview, a group of Palestinian women spotted him and a buzz swept through the room. “It’s Hitler; it’s Hitler,” they said, one after another. Roub could not resist speaking to them for 15 minutes.