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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Three stories about freedom

Three separate incidents over the past day show a little bit about Arab freedom.

In the Gaza Strip, Hamas attacked a wedding party for the Madhoun family, shooting two guests including a woman. Their crime? They put up pictures of Samih Madhoun, a senior Fatah leader who was executed by Hamas (on video) in 2007. This is the state of freedom in Gaza when Hamas controls the area.

In the West Bank, the PA is taking Al Jazeera to court to suspend the channel's operations in the area. The PA is not saying that Al Jazeera is revealing state secrets, only that Al Jazeera broadcasts "incitement" against them. This is the state of freedom in the West Bank when the Palestinian Authority controls the area.

In Israel, the G.ho.st virtual operating system was released. It is the brainchild of an Israeli entrepreneur, a joint venture between Palestinian Arab engineers and Israelis to create an operating system on the web where users can upload, edit, and share files as well as do social networking tasks. It was developed via videoconference and with occasional meetings at a coffee shop in the West Bank. It actually looks fairly nifty, with a bunch of applications available already and the ability to add your own. Although I have no idea if it will be a hit, it shows that Israelis value peace and cooperation above all and will go out of their way to work with the "enemy" in the quest for solving problems.