Thursday, July 23, 2009

Celebrating absurdity in Nablus

Sousan Hammad writing from Nablus, occupied West Bank, Live from Palestine, 22 July 2009

".....As the horde of spectators pushed and elbowed their way to get to the front action of the rite in al-Shuhada (Martyrs) square, Salam Fayyad, the appointed Palestinian Authority (PA) prime minister, arrived in a caravan of armored cars with bodyguards for a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Like bride and groom in a wedding ceremony, al-Rabi cut from the monstrous plate of kanafeh and handed Fayyad the first piece.

A local resident shook his head in disbelief. "It's unbelievable. Even Abu Ammar [Yasser Arafat] never traveled with such an entourage as Fayyad's. It's a lavish greeting I've never seen before," said Tareq Touqan.

Responding to the closure of the checkpoint as an "improved economic and security situation" in Nablus, the US-backed Fayyad, who previously worked for the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, said, "Today Nablus became not only famous as a producer of kanafeh, but also as producer of hope for all of Palestine."

Fayyad's visit to Nablus came just days after The New York Times reporter, Ethan Bronner, wrote a front-page article calling the opening of a cinema in Nablus a "sign of hope emerging in the West Bank," yet failing to mention how the PA is becoming more tyrannical on the streets, imposing new laws by the day. A young woman from Nablus, who wished to remain anonymous, said Fayyad's visit was nothing more than a "shameful public display of opportunism" and called the kanafeh celebration an expensive, unnecessary public relations stunt......."

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