People around the world are becoming fed up with their portrayal in the international major media. It should come as no surprise then, that blogging has become one of the most legitimate ways to learn about certain places. Ramzi Khoury of Arabisto says:
In this day and age communications can turn the devil into angel and beat the angel to a pulp. Under the hammer of a heavy propaganda machine supported by international networks even “legitimacy” becomes so elastic that it is no longer visible!
It is with this in mind that we venture this week into the Palestinian blogosphere, to see what's really happening on the ground. With the situation in Gaza escalating (12 Gaza residents, including a 12-year-old boy, were killed by Israeli troops Wednesday (Guardian Unlimited), which some see as a direct attack on Hamas, which took control of Gaza two weeks ago (Newsweek).
Blogger tabula gaza ponders what will happen in Gaza:
The democratically elected Hamas government was doomed to failure when the world refused to recognize the last election outcome. Furthermore, as the former government dominated by Fatah was not willing to hand over authority over government institutions and security forces, Hamas was forced to carry out what was practically a coup d’etat in order to take its place as sole governing body of the Palestinians and thus be able to tackle the ever increasing lawlessness there.
Now, the new mini state of Gaza will fail, because the world will not allow it to succeed.
The blogger adds:
How long can Gaza survive while its civil servants are ordered to stay home by its Fatah leadership whom they are loyal to, yet which has deserted them? How long can Gaza go on with school teachers, ministry employees and policemen remaining in their homes? These should answer to their elected government and yet the oligarchy has illegitimized it and instated a puppet government, while international leaders follow suit.
Almanara Square, a blogger from Ramallah, shares his fears of the future:
Since Gaza became a war zone I feel as if all the boundaries have broken in Palestine. As if everything is allowed..
But have we forgotten that there are boundaries in this world?
And not everything is allowed?
How can Palestinian kill another Palestinian?
Is our goals have changed? Haven't we all hope for the same thing?
To be a responsible big nation? Is it not our goal anymore?
My big fear is that the “war” in Gaza will drip to the west bank, and even to ramallah my city.
I do have hopes that after the sharam summit the future will be much quieter and better..
but hopes and reality not always match…
Blogger Haitham Sabbah speculates on the media coverage:
We all believe that Hamas is doing whatever it can to starve Palestinians… Fatah/Abbas doing the same in different means… and all the other lies Israel dishes out… “Warnings of terror alerts” it gets us every time… Israel closed one crossing on this totally BS basis, and if all remains quiet on the media front, will soon close the other. The media? hey, “don’t ask, don’t tell”… when was the last time any reporter or network said “we aren’t allowed in” we report what we’re told?”
And Wassim from Maysaloon‘s sarcasm demonstrates just how fed up everyone is with the situation:
Some would say that the Arab ‘intelligentisa’ become deranged and narrow minded when it comes to discussing Israel. I can't imagine why they could possibly be like that. In other news, Tony Blair is now officially a ‘special’ envoy to the Middle East and, if you thought things couldn't get any better, Paris Hilton is now out of prison and she's also found God. Happy days.
Concern for the 3,500 Palestinian Christians in Gaza is also growing, as a Catholic convent and school were ransacked during Hamas’ sweep to power there (Houston Chronicle). Yet Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haneyya has promised Gaza's Christians safety (Voice of Palestine). The blog Meanwhile in Palestine and Iraq reports:
Haneyya's affirmation came as he received priest Manuel Musallam of the Latin Church in Gaza Strip at his office in Gaza city, and stressed the importance of Palestinian Christians’ role in defending the Palestinian issue.
Although finding good news in the Palestinian blogosphere can sometimes be like trying to find a needle in a haystack, there was one item of news announced by Meanwhile in Palestine and Iraq that stood out:
This one goes under the category of alhamdulillah
Egypt has banned all female circumcision, the widely-practised removal of the clitoris which just days ago cost the life of a 12-year-old girl in the country.
Creative Commons licensed photo of Gaza City by excauboi