Thursday, January 17, 2008

Mr. Bush's trip to Ramallah

A Good Piece

Anne Paq writing from Ramallah, occupied West Bank, The Electronic Intifada, 17 January 2008

"So US President George W. Bush came to Ramallah, and of course the city was turned upside down. The Palestinian Authority (PA) wanted to show that they were up to the task of handling the security......

The police were blocking the street to prevent people to join the demonstrators. I argued that I was doing my job and that they had to let me pass but they would not. So with a few friends we had to climb some fences and run towards the demonstration, only to find again more Palestinian forces ready to crush the demonstration......

.....Suddenly the Palestinian forces attacked the demonstrators with gas and sticks; the beaten up demonstrators included the numerous women present. Photographers and journalists were also attacked. I found myself taking the same type of pictures that I take at demonstrations against the Wall, only this time it was Palestinians oppressing Palestinians. The Palestinian Authority used the same tactics as the Israeli soldiers. The pushing, crushing, the gas. They even had some special forces in civilian dress to identify the most active demonstrators.

All expression of dissent had to be crushed so that the circus could go ahead.......

All along I was thinking, "What a sad day for Palestine." After almost two hours of confrontation, the demonstration finished. We all went away a little shocked. But I think we should face this and not pretend that it did not happen. The PA is acting more and more as a proxy to benefit the Israelis, with methods comparable to the occupier. They learned well but we have also to learn from this episode. We internationals working in Palestine, what are we fighting for? Which Palestine? If we are talking about a pseudo Palestinian state run by the methods used by the PA today, and for the service of Israeli and US interests and the Palestinian elite, then this is not a worthy fight. The Palestinian Authority must go. A revolution has to start in support of Palestinians that rejects the master plan designed by Bush and Olmert and implemented by the PA. There are some alternatives, and strong voices on both sides which are more and more frequently advocating the vision for a one-state solution. We internationals involved in the struggle should clearly position ourselves.

I would like to thank Mr. Bush for opening my eyes on the true face of the PA. Now it is clear that the struggle has different fronts. If we ignore one of them we will lose it all."

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