Wednesday, May 09, 2007

It just ain't normal

Omri asks an interesting question about the Salafist shooting at a school in Gaza over the weekend:
What on earth is compelling the Palestinians to post that many guards at an elementary school? ...Has the situation in Gaza gotten so bad that Palestinians are now posting guards at schools? And if so, shouldn't more people be talking about this?

After immersion therapy in Palestinian Arab newspapers for a number of months, I'm almost used to the many things in the territories that are taken for granted that simply do not exist elsewhere and that the West is clueless about.

Here's a tiny example, in a story about a missing boy:
The family searched in the police departments and in the neighbouring fields and deserted areas, but they could not find the missing boy.

Zeidan said that it is unlikely to be a politically motivated abduction as his family has good relations with all parties and political factions.
Well, of course every family in Pallywood must keep the local militias, political parties and clans happy so as not to have their children kidnapped.

Or this story:
Assault rifles, pistols, hand grenades, pipe bombs and assorted ammunition are now on sale in Gaza's bustling used car market. "Come along, come along, a bullet for eight shekels ($2) and a stun grenade for seven shekels ($1.75)," Hassan, a 17-year-old arms dealer shouts. Dozens of cars are still being offered but the 25 weapons competing for business show the extent to which the rule of the gun has largely become the rule of law in the Gaza Strip. "Anarchy, what anarchy?" Hassan says when asked for his view about the lawlessness that pervades the impoverished territory where Palestinian militant groups hold sway.

I've mentioned before the major difference between Palestinian Arab newspapers and those of the rest of the Arab world: There's no crime section. The PalArab police are so weak, and the judicial system close to nonexistent, that there may be articles about murders and kidnappings but not small crimes like arson or thefts that are so endemic that they do not merit being mentioned at all.

This is a small taste of what things are like in that wonderful part of the world.