Ramallah was Yasser Arafat's capital, the administrative seat of the Palestinian Authority, which came into being 10 years ago on a tide of optimism. Last week there was not a single portrait to be seen.
Yasser Arafat: no political gains
Among his subjects, hope for the future has all but evaporated and Mr Arafat sits in the battered compound in a corner of the city where he has lived for more than three years, afraid to leave in case the Israelis block his return.
At the rusty gates one Palestinian did speak up for his leader. 'The reason there are no posters is that he does not wish to brag,' said Rami Snobr, a young guard. 'He is in the heart of his people with or without pictures.'
The view of Imad Muna, an East Jerusalem bookseller, is more typical of the voices being heard in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. 'Arafat should go immediately,' he said. 'This is not a political opinion. This is not an extremist opinion. It's the opinion of the majority of people.'
After a decade of misrule Palestinians seem to have lost faith in their president. Gratitude at his achievement in keeping their cause alive and reluctance to criticise for fear of giving comfort to Israel once shielded him from direct attack but no longer.
Remember Mary al-Atrash, the Palestinian Olympic swimmer who told Reuters ' Mustafa Abu Ganeyeh that she had no Olympic-sized pool to t...
Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون
This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 12 years and over 25,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.
The Jerusalem Report:"A seemingly indefatigable one-man operation, armed only with a computer, chutzpa and stamina."Algemeiner: "Fiercely intelligent and erudite"
Omri: "Elder is one of the best established and most respected members of the jblogosphere..." Atheist Jew:"Elder of Ziyon probably had the greatest impression on me..." Soccer Dad: "He undertakes the important task of making sure that his readers learn from history." AbbaGav: "A truly exceptional blog..." Judeopundit: "[A] venerable blog-pioneer and beloved patriarchal figure...his blog is indispensable." Oleh Musings: "The most comprehensive Zionist blog I have seen." Carl in Jerusalem: "...probably the most under-recognized blog in the JBlogsphere as far as I am concerned." Aussie Dave: "King of the auto-translation." The Israel Situation:The Elder manages to write so many great, investigative posts that I am often looking to him for important news on the PalArab (his term for Palestinian Arab) side of things." Tikun Olam: "Either you are carelessly ignorant or a willful liar and distorter of the truth. Either way, it makes you one mean SOB." Mondoweiss commenter: "For virulent pro-Zionism (and plain straightforward lies of course) there is nothing much to beat it." Didi Remez: "Leading wingnut"