Years of Strife and Lost Hope Scar Young Palestinians
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This story has so many points that could be used to show pro-Palestinian or pro-Israel bias, but at the end of the day I think it is an objective perspective of one journalist looking into the future of Palestinian youth. Sure its all quotes by Palestinians, but the spin is mostly absent. Sure, some stuff is blamed on
Their worried parents call them the lost generation ofThe first quote sounds like it could from PMW
: its most radical, most accepting of violence and most despairing. Palestine
“Ever since we were little, we see guns and tanks, and little kids wanting little guns to fight against
,” said Raed Debie, 24, a student at An Najah University here. Israel
But that is responded to by
Issa Khalil, 25, broke in, agitated. “We never see anything good in our lives,” he said. He was arrested for throwing stones in the first intifada, the civil disobedience that began in the late 1980s and led to the 1993
Osloaccords with . He was arrested again in the second uprising as the agreement faltered. Israel
I wouldn’t exactly call the intifada civil disobedience. Also, the agreement didn’t falter with the second intifada, it was being broken by Palestinian terrorism, and a Palestinian Authority which did nothing to stop the scourge.
Then we get to the depressing part
Few talk of peace, only of a lifetime of “resistance.”
Opinion polls show a generation more supportive of armed struggle and terrorism than their parents, according to Waleed Ladadweh of the
for Policy and Survey Research. The violence is directed not only toward Palestinian Center , but also toward one another. Israel
We are given the Israeli line and the Palestinian line as to why this is happening
Now, the only Israelis whom Palestinians see are armed — soldiers and settlers. The
West Bankis cut into three parts by checkpoints; Gazan men under 30 are virtually unable to leave their tiny, poor and overcrowded territory. Few talk of peace, only of a lifetime of “resistance.”
Many Israelis agree that the current generation of young Palestinians has been thoroughly radicalized, but say that is the product of Palestinian political and religious leaders who have sanctioned and promoted violence and terrorism against
Both are true, and it’s a viscous cycle. But, it is not the “cycle of violence” that everyone talks about, that could be broken by anyone at anytime.
A few paragraphs down we see that the Israeli line is probably more accurate
“We’re pushed all the time to be more political, more militant, more religious, more extreme,” said Shadi el-Haj, a 20-year-old student at An Najah. “We want to be Palestinians, like the generation of the first intifada. But people push you, ‘Are you Fatah or Hamas?’ All our problems start with, ‘I’m Fatah, I’m Hamas.’ It wasn’t like that before.”
We also get a chillingly accurate depiction as children as pawns used and abused. Reminds me a bit of Molech worship, I guess all that death-cult stuff wasn’t far off target
“It was always our choice to be fuel for the struggle,” he said. “But our problem now is that the car burns the youth as fuel but doesn’t move. There’s a problem in the engine, in the head. These kids are willing to be fuel, but many have been burned as waste.”
Later we have Mustafa (age 6) saying:
‘I want to be fat, Mommy,Because I want to put on a suicide belt and not have the Israelis see it.’
I recently have had a few conversations with people about what they really think the current situation will lead to. Here is what some Palestinians think of where we are all heading
For the Id al-Fitr festival, the boys asked for toy Kalashnikovs and Uzis, and they know all about the crude rockets, the Qassams, that militants fire into southern
. “They classify the weapons, they want a particular gun,” Mrs. Assar said. “And when you think of the violence, and what future will we have here? It will be a very violent future.” Israel
Mr. Assar broke in. “The world is moving ahead, and we’re moving backward,” he said. “We’re back to 1948.”
Doesn’t give much hope does it? Well at least maybe someone will realize there that they are stuck in 1948, and that they should move along and come up with some new ideas, hopefully ones that don’t involve violence.
Here is what a remember of of the Abu Rish brigades, a militant Gazan offshoot of Fatah that opposed the Oslo accords with Israel and has moved closer to Hamas, has to say:
Raed, 30, was arrested in the first intifada, when he was 16. He felt a hero at the time, but the political result, the 1993
Osloaccords, “were useless and benefited ,” he said. “No one can resist with stones or build a nation without violence.” Israel
You can’t resist with stones? Wasn’t that what the whole first intifada was about? I guess he means that he thinks the current means of "resistance" with bigger and bigger guns is actually helping...except he doesn't.
“Hamas and Fatah are so divided, the goal of
disappears,” he said. “I talk about willing my children to be martyrs for Allah, but I honestly wish for them to be safe and healthy, that’s all.” Palestine
Now if this is what some crazy terrorist is saying, how much can we extrapolate to what real Palestinians are feeling deep inside?
There is bravado there, but also frustration. None of the fighters, who agreed to talk if their last names were not published, believes a Palestinian state will be established; none can imagine living next to
. All of them want to leave and start again, somewhere. Israel
That’s amazing. Now if
With the economy of
shutting down, much of the work available for young people is either in the swollen and disorganized security forces or in the armed militias or gangs, many of them built on clan loyalties, and some of which engage more in racketeering than in fighting. Hamas and Islamic Jihad, with considerable financial help from Gaza Iranand , are known at least to pay their people, even if Hamas cannot pay full salaries to all Palestinian Authority employees. Syria
Hassan, 21, ran out of money before finishing university, but cannot imagine what he would do in
with a degree. “I look at the graduates here, and their diplomas are useless,” he said. “That’s why I’m in the resistance.” Gaza
Many were skeptical that the Palistinians voted in Hamas for anti-curroption and ecomic reasons. Why not vote Hamas, when we all know that Fatah is no less violent? Oh, yah they are fanatical book banners, but hey they give us money. It’s pretty sad that a degree is worth nothing and that it is easier to fight. Yet that doesn’t excuse your decision to go around and kill people.
According to the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group, about 19 percent of those killed since 2000 have been 18 or under, whether in fighting against the Israelis or among Palestinian factions.
You know all those complaints about
To anyone seriously interested in getting the Palestinians out of the west bank and
Where young Palestinians once dreamed of staying to build a new state, now many are giving up and scheming to get out.
Moayyed Haj Hussein is 22, educated and well spoken. But after he failed to find a job in six months, his mother pressed his brother-in-law to give him work in a coffee shop near the Hawara checkpoint, which the Israeli Army uses to control who comes in and out of Nablus.
He hates waiting on people and washing dishes, and says he is still looking for a decent job. But he is also looking to get out — to the
, if possible, where his sister lives, but “almost any place,” he said, “where I can work and live a normal life.” United States
He is a Palestinian patriot, he insists. “But there’s no hope here,” he said. “You see the situation. It’s useless to think it will improve. You see it; it just gets worse.”
If we help people like Moayyed get out it will just get worse. The brain drains the every country worries about are probably the most severe with the Palestinian population. The smart people find ways out. Not only that, but the more liberal minded Palestinians will be found in scattered throughout the world. If people like Moayyed leave en masse we will be left with a more violent Palestinian population, if that is even possible to imagine.
In his own quest to leave, Mr. Hussein, the cafe worker, has contacted the American Consulate in
East Jerusalem. But, he said, “I can’t get a permit to go to to make an application.” Jerusalem
What about those who would accuse you of giving up your rights in your land?
Mr. Hussein turned away. “I don’t care,” he finally said. “I want to live happily.”
If Hussein and those who are like him leave, there is no hope for peace. Remember the famous golda quote?
Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us
Well when the Palestinians concentrate more on building a Palestinian state than destroying the State of Israel there will be peace. It is tautological that those who leave י"שע (West Bank and
One thing both people on the right and the left would probably agree with is that we find a way to let Mr. Hussein into ירושלים (