Thursday 23 January 2003

Humor Under Occupation

Since the Israeli re-invasion of Palestinian cities last April-2002 has left most of the population confined to their homes, no cases of sunstroke were reported in the Occupied Territories despite the hot Middle Eastern summer.

With drivers hardly ever able to reach even fourth gear thanks to checkpoints, car accidents are way down. We also save on petrol.

Sharon is losing the demographic war with the Palestinians. What do you expect people locked-up in their homes to do, especially when the power is out and no TV?

Outsiders think the Israeli Merkava tank is a formidable machine. But we hear that Israeli soldiers don’t like it. It has small openings so they cannot steal whole computers from Palestinian homes and offices. That is why there are so many reports of them opening up PCs and taking out only motherboards and hard disks.

At the Surda checkpoint, on the road from Ramallah to Birzeit University and other villages, Israeli bulldozers are always busy digging up the asphalt and piling mounds of earth and cement blocks. Every day we find the distance to walk becomes longer. But there are positive aspects to it. The exercise it takes to go across is making us fit, we are using this chance to enjoy nature and the change of seasons, and using the opportunity to meet friends and colleagues, help the elderly and sick across, exchange the latest news and jokes, sympathizing with those arrested by Israeli soldiers and often made to sit on the ground tied up and waiting for ‘processing’, and putting our remaining energy hating the occupation even more.

In spite of the terrible hardship, you still won’t find people sleeping on pavements like in New York or London. There are still a lot of family and neighborhood safety nets. So we guess we still have a long way ! to go before we become an advanced society.

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