“Have you ever read anything that just left you feeling stunned?” asks Meanwhile in Palestine and Iraq. Indeed, we all have. So what exactly has this blogger so tongue-tied? As it turns out, it's an International Herald Tribune article which depicts Ramallah as if it were Seattle. The blogger comments:
Doesn't Ramallah sound like a slice of Palestinian heaven? Right. If you close your eyes you can almost ignore the checkpoints.
But while Ramallah may be a sort of heaven for some, Gaza right now is most certainly not. A Blogger from Gaza reports:
There has been an Israeli incursion to our neighbourhood last week, which resulted in 11 martyrs, all of them are under 25 years old, just young men, who haven't even started their lives yet…
The blogger then adds:
All this is happening while we are still fighting… who is Fatah and who is Hamas, still pointing fingers and looking for someone to blame.. still throwing accusations here and there… i'm trying to put some sense into what i'm going through right now… but nothing comes across my troubled mind but “madness”…. complete and absolute “madness”…
Another Ramallah blogger, Oranges and Olives surmises on “how Hamas surpassed the US,” saying:
Take a look at the other side of the Middle East: Gaza. Hamas took over in what was reminiscent of the fall of Baghdad 4 years ago. What did Hamas do afterwards? of course with a small force like the Executive Force you cannot rule almost 2 million people most of them in deep poverty. Hamas now controls the same security forces that used to belong to Fatah. They got rid of the previous leaders and promoted others from the lower ranks to lead the institutions. So the institutions remained in place, and were run by people who always worked in them. Therefore, these people did not need to start learning about the institution, its roles and its responsibilities, they just continued to do their job.
I think, therefore, that Hamas was much smarter than the US, albeit, maybe, just as evil.
Meanwhile, I Saw it in Palestine mourns the memory of 943 Palestinian and 118 Israeli children who have been killed since 2000:
On Wednesday, we read all 1,063 names of Israeli and Palestinian children killed since 2000 outside of the Northwest Convergence, a conference featuring members of the Likkud party who strongly advocate the continuance of the Israeli occupation.
The blogger added:
It's was easy to lose myself in the complex task of sounding out names like Shalevet and Khaled. It took all of my concentration to stumble my way through unfamiliar sounds and multisyllabic surnames. But then I would come across a name I knew well – Fadi, Jamil, Bassem, Huda, Mohamed, Rachel. I can't help but picture other children I know with those names and wonder if they're still okay.
And asked the question:
How many more years? How many more children?
In the interest of finishing on an up note, we'll move to a fantastic post by a self-described Palestinian housewife. Peace For Palestine pontificates on the idea of freedom and its limits:
Freedom allows people to do whatever they want, provided that they do not harm others and that they remain wholly devoted to truth. Freedom that does not acknowledge religious ideas and feelings, and that does not serve as the ground for virtue and morality, is like the desire to eventually become restless and wander off the common road of humanity.
Creative Commons-licensed photograph of Ramallah by the walker cleavelands