Sunday, March 6, 2011
Palestinians Too Flush to Revolt
A Washington Post report claims that the 'Palestinians' aren't rising up because the only party they want to rise up against is Israel... and because - oh, by the way - the economy there is pretty good.
In Ramallah, as shoppers and cars jammed downtown streets, Jabaiah ticked off the reasons he saw for the quiet: Abbas, elected in 2005, is not an autocratic ruler who has seized and held power for decades; Palestinians in the West Bank enjoy a measure of free expression; and their standard of living is better than in many neighboring Arab countries.
The split between Hamas and Fatah also had a chilling effect on attempts to demonstrate against the leaderships in the West Bank and Gaza. Anti-government dissent in either place is often viewed as support for the rival faction - a sensitive point in the divided society. Hamas seized power in the Gaza Strip in 2007 in a brief civil war, routing Fatah, which is the ruling party in the West Bank.
"If I want to demonstrate in the West Bank, it's automatically interpreted that I served the interest of Hamas, and in Gaza that I served the interest of Fatah," said Khalil Shikaki, a Palestinian analyst and pollster. "Most people who want to revolt - not too many at this stage - hate both Fatah and Hamas and see them as failing in the tasks of building a democratic entity that respects freedoms and implements the rule of law."
Demonstrations in support of the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia were broken up by Palestinian Authority security forces in the West Bank and Hamas police in Gaza, with some protesters arrested and beaten, an indicator of concern that the protests could turn against the authorities. The "Day of Rage" on Feb. 25, initially called by Fatah, was apparently called off for the same reason.
Labels: Arab democracy, Palestinians
posted by Carl in Jerusalem