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Issue 101, January/February 2007

Nablus: Civil War with Brakes On

The entry of the New Year reminds us that the Palestinians elected Hamas in January 2006. This has not been a cause for widespread celebration. Fatah and Hamas maul each other in Fury, while the Palestinian people remains sunk in Apathy. In Lebanon too the tension grows between the anti-Syrian Siniora government and pro-Syrian Hezbollah. These are Two Civil Wars, claims our editorial, both still with Brakes On.

In Iraq the brakes are off. The Bush Doctrine hasn't worked. But the basic causes of the region's problems are poverty and backwardness. Until these are addressed, the only open Windows of Flopportunity.

In the spirit of Dixieland, a new order forbids Israelis and foreigners from transporting Palestinians in the West Bank. Under the guise of security, Israel also protects its demographic interests. A recent law prevents an Arab citizen of Israel who marries someone from the Territories from living with this person in Israel; it says, in other words, Take Your Family and Scram.

During the Lebanon War a group of Palestinian filmmakers and artists renewed a Cultural Boycott against Israel. We discuss its main effect so far, which has been to punish Israelis who oppose the occupation.

If the Israeli economy is growing as we are told, then why do half the wage earners live at or beneath the poverty line? We find that the labor market, worldwide and here, has become Flexible, All Too Flexible.

Finally, as a follow-up to an art exhibit called Bread and Roses, artists and laborers met in Kufr Qara to seek ways of working together, firm in the conviction that Only they distort reality who believe it cannot be changed.

In the hope of not distorting reality, we wish our readers a Happy New Year.

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