Friday, June 08, 2007

Hell in Jerusalem?

Two articles on the same theme. Revolutionary fervour is great for a few months, especially for gung-ho young males with nothing else to do, but it does wear thin after a bit. It wears so thin that whatever social fabric you once had becomes so ragged that you can barely cover a woman's face with it. Such is the situation in the West Bank and Gaza. Two quotes. From US News.

'Give me hell in Jerusalem over paradise in the PA.'

From Reuters.

Jum'a said ordinary Palestinians were so fed up with the armed groups "they now wish the Israeli occupation would take over in Gaza or hope for the return of Jordanian rule in the West Bank" to get rid of them.

Very significantly, the Palestinians living in Jerusalem are arguing with their feet for the maintenance of the status quo; ie Israeli sovereignty. Why? Because, despite the fact that they are discriminated against in comparison to Isreali nationals, they live far better than their fellows over the fence.

"They just want to live normal lives, with security, with a little money in their wallets. They want their kids to be able to go to school. They want what everybody wants."

They want what everybody wants. Isn't that what Bush and Blair have been saying for some years now only to be shouted down as Western supremecists with no right to say what Others want? The evidence. Not in what people say, but in what they do.

Only 15 percent of them (Jerusalem Arabs) voted in last year's PA elections—compared with 78 percent of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.

[I]n return for the taxes they pay to Israel, Arabs in Jerusalem receive healthcare and social benefits. And if Israeli police tend to be overly suspicious or worse toward Jerusalem's Arab population, they also tend to know their limits.

They are reporting crimes to Israeli police in greater numbers. There is also a big shift in the schools away from the PA-approved curriculum to the one approved by Israel—at the insistence of Jerusalem Arab parents.

The reasons for all this are certainly not entirely due to Israeli goodwill. If nothing else, it is simply the contrast between good governance and bad.

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