I spoke with someone in the West Bank yesterday who told me she had bought some children’s outfits to donate to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society that would be distributed to the children in Gaza. She had asked a relative if they would be kind enough to send the clothes to the Red Crescent for her. His response was “why did you even bother?” This person told me that there are many in the West Bank who don’t really care that much about the people in Gaza. A lot of people there have this mentality that most Gazans are Hamas supporters and therefore deserve what they’re getting. Not only was I shocked and saddened to hear this but it also left me angry. How could this be? Regardless of what people’s feelings are about Hamas, this current crises goes well beyond politics; it’s about humanity. Hundreds of innocent people are dying and it couldn’t matter less who they support or what they believe. No people on earth deserve what the people in Gaza are going through right now and it is absolutely shameful that a lot of Palestinians are condoning it. It is just unbelievable to me.
We Palestinians have long said amongst each other that the reason that we will never have a state of our own is because we can never come together as a united people. Hearing what this person told me only cemented that sentiment for me. Let’s keep it real. Even though Palestinians in the West Bank are living under occupation, their lives and lifestyles are in the lap of luxury compared to those in Gaza. West Bankers are spoiled; particularly those in and around Ramallah. They’re living the relatively good life while Gazans are going through hell. And while it may not be said out loud, many West Bankers think that, for whatever reason, they are better than Gazans. It’s so disgusting. I don’t really know what these people are thinking. Do they think that Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority are going to save them from the fate that Gazans are facing now? If they really do then the joke’s on them. Abbas is a puppet of Israel and the US and the fate of the Palestinians in the West Bank relies on their whims, not on Abbas’ absent leadership.
There’s absolutely no question that Israel, with the support of the United States, is responsible for the current crisis and carnage and it must be held accountable for its crimes against humanity. We all know that Israel must ultimately end the occupation. And while the focus should be on Israel to end the occupation, we would be cheating ourselves if we do not address the division amongst us. The Israeli leadership sees this division and is loving it. Olmert and Livni are probably sitting back in their chairs laughing their asses off at the sight. It’s what they want.
We are witnessing an unprecedented crisis in Gaza. People around the world are taking to the streets to show their solidarity with the Palestinian people. Without question, Palestinians should be rallying around each other, helping each other and showing solidarity with each other. Sadly, if this crisis doesn’t bring Palestinians together, I don’t know what will.
We can never, ever believe in such a thing as Gaza Palestinians or West Bank Palestinians. We are all the same. We are all one. We are all Palestinians.