I am Palestinian. Just because I happened to be born in America, due to my family who decided to flee their homeland following the 6 day war with Israel, I am sitting here. Waiting. Stuck in Al-Arish, 20 kilometers from the Rafah/Gaza border, for 10 days now waiting to get permission to enter Gaza.
Their rules for entry are unclear and confusing and with no reason given – I have been denied permission to enter Gaza. I have been denied entry NOT by the Israelis. NOT by the US government. NOT by the relentless Egyptian military who has refused to loosen the Rafah border one bit, since the great Egyptian revolution. I have been denied entry by the Gaza gov’t, Hamas – who has slowly and steadily been tightening their grip on the strip, and increasing in power and repression Daily – while under international blockade!
With such overwhelming odds such as an international blockade making it extremely difficult to rule, I felt it was important to give the Hamas government a chance to prove themselves. But not only has the “Palestinian parliament, which has a large Hamas majority, not convened” their “term effectively ended in January 2010, so it currently lacks constitutional legitimacy”1. Repeatedly, they reveal their true intention in one thing and one thing only – getting and keeping power and control over their lil fiefdom.
In providing some hope, their are those daring to speak out, such as Gaza Youth Break Out (GYBO) who wrote the Gaza Manifesto. But many of the youth have been targeted and imprisoned by the Gaza authorities, for doing so. It’s fine for those in solidarity to blame Israel and US to a certain point, then it is up to Palestine activists everywhere to draw attention and highlight this fact. We can no longer remain silent, the youth of Gaza need our support for opposing such oppression!
I never thought I would defend the corrupt PA, but imagine if one day they began to refuse entry to foreigners, for arbitrary reasons, and those coming in solidarity to resist the Israeli occupation and international embargo. That is exactly the case with Hamas! I believe their would be an immediate outcry by activists worldwide. In fact, the only reason Hamas won such an overwhelming majority of support is, according to GYBO: “We were tired of Fatah government’s corruption, wanted a change and hoped Hamas would be that change. That PRECISELY gives us the right to shout our anger at them, because they are responsible of us, responsible of our well-being, our security.”
It seems clear that Hamas is the next link in the chain of the victim becoming the oppressor. When will activists, rise up and start calling out the abuse of power, control and oppression from WITHIN Gaza?! It is up to us to FIRST stop building our own chains, that snakes and binds itself around our communities, and those who should be our most natural allies. And, if it is not stopped now – their grip on power will only grow stronger and more cemented in place making it much more difficult in the future.
Obviously, their are some perfectly good civil servants within the gov’t, but those in charge are running Gaza like a typical oppressive regime and police state. This has predictably already resulted into fear, mistrust and infighting amongst activists! Allah yustor.
So much for solidarity…it clearly appears the Gaza government has sadly become that which we, who are struggling for justice, must add to the long list of those to fight.
DREAMS OF RETURN
Dashed by the bearded traitor
from his decorated prison pen.
All I can do is sit and write
poems of exile
like so many of my brothers and sisters stuck in plight
denied, exiled and banished of the most basic human rights
Stuck in limbo
Waiting in vain
Where do we go from here
Or is it too late
did we already miss the train??