Wednesday, May 16, 2007

"My own private Naqba"

I am working on a major series of posts to attempt to create a psychological history of the Palestinian Arabs from the birth of Zionism to today - to show how their mindset guides their actions and how external events change their mindsets. It is slower going than I would like but I think it will be valuable.

Articles like this that show the differences between ordinary PalArabs and their self-anointed leadership shed a lot of light on how they think:
"I've had it. I told my wife and kids that we are leaving the Gaza Strip," A., a businessman in his 40s who lives in Gaza City, said Monday. In the six and a half years since the intifada began he has never spoken about leaving and has remained optimistic, but now he has decided to get out.

"Why? Because I can," he said. With these three words, he summed up the reason why most Gazans stay put - because they, unlike him, cannot leave. "The situation is crap, I don't know what will happen to the kids. You can't send them to school for fear they'll be hurt in the crossfire. It's true that I have a successful business and own a few houses, but I'd rather know that the kids and I will remain alive."

A. says he recently realized that even though he does not belong to any of the organizations and is not in conflict with anyone, his life and those of his family are in danger. Militants have demanded money, threatened to hurt him and his children and tried to rob his car, obliging him to hire a bodyguard.

The events of the past several days were the last straw for him. "Enough, I can't take it any more. We'll go to Cairo or to Amman, we'll find a way to survive. Gaza can go rot, it can burn," A. said. When asked what he will do and how he will support his family, he says, "First off, I'll take my wife to a movie. We'll see people, we'll see women without hijab. Afterward - God is beneficent."

A. curses the "majnunim" [crazies] who he says destroyed Gaza and turned it into a hell. He says that Hamas and Fatah are fighting each other instead of battling against the chaos and the security vacuum, adding that even the hope that followed the establishment of the unity government has become a giant disappointment. "At the end, and ironically precisely on Yawm al-Nakba [the Palestinian term for Israel's Independence Day], what the Israelis failed to do to us, Fatah and Hamas did - to expel me from my home. It's my own private Nakba."

By the way, Israellycool is liveblogging the Qassams and other chaos.