I shall tell you a great secret, my friend. Do not wait for the last judgment. It takes place every day.” The Fall
All eyes are glued to alJazeera here! There is a sense of solidarity with the Egyptian and Tunisian people, a hope for similar occurrences in Syria, Yemen, Algeria, and a distinct confusion about what to do here in Palestine, it seems. The Palestinian Authority, scared like every single other regime in this region, has announced that they will hold municipal elections in both the West Bank and Gaza “soon” to stem unrest. Right.
There have been protests held here, most in solidarity with Egyptians as well as others pro-PA (mostly supporters bused in from the northern West Bank). Hamas and the PA have responded by forcefully dispersing demonstrators (HRW article here). But, for the most part, you don’t see the same action that is happening in other places. I think, for two reasons. One, the security forces here have a strangle on public space. Two, and this is more of an educated guess than any sort of fact, I think the ethos of Palestinians for so long has been – the occupation is the number one enemy and to protest against anything else is a waste of time. There appears to be a sense that a protest, whether against the Palestinian government, Israel, or for Egypt, will not bring about any positive change.
But, we will see what happens in the next couple days. Yesterday was the “Day of Departure” protests in Egypt, and Mubarak has yet to step down. Protesters are saying they won’t leave Tahrir Square until Mubarak leaves his seat as President, and Mubarak is saying he won’t. The army is a key player in this situation, as the police forces are done.
In other news, it’s been raining and cold here for the past week straight. In fact, it’s so cold in my apartment that you can actually see your breath. So I’m leaving you with some pictures of the area of Ramallah in which I live, taken last week before the rain came in. Sigh. The sun.
- Anti-Mubarak protesters rally in Gaza, arrested on West Bank (foreignpolicy.com)
- Why Palestinians remain so quiet as Egyptians loudly rail against Mubarak – Christian Science Monitor (news.google.com)
- Palestinians split (bbc.co.uk)