Hannah Mermelstein to hannahreports
show details 1:43 am (8 hours ago)
Just a quick note about the incredibly sad internal Palestinian violence…
and a hopeful response. I probably don’t know more about the fighting than
you all do, because Gaza is just as inaccessible from the West Bank as from
the US, where most of you are. Perhaps I hear news with less sensationalism
and more emotion, though – people here are really sad and frustrated. So
yesterday, at 10 am, I got a call that there would be a demonstration and
human chain in Ramallah at 11. I was already in Ramallah, so I decided to
go, thinking it would be tiny.
The event was organized by the Farmers’ Union and the idea was to include
farmers and workers in the political process and involve people in a
grassroots process to take back Palestine from those who seek power at the
expense of the people.
I arrived and saw hundreds of women and men of all ages, girls from school
groups, etc. We began at the parliament building (Hamas-controlled) and the
idea was to make a human chain to the PA headquarters (Fatah-controlled).
We didn’t quite reach it, but we did reach to the center of town, after
which time the crowd just started marching and chanting.
“Ya Haniye, w ya rais, dam ilshab mush rhiis” (Hey Haniyeh, and hey
president [Abbas], the blood of the people isn’t cheap)
“Wahde wahde wataniye, Fatah, Hamas w’shiuiye” (one one nation, Fatah,
Hamas, and the communists)
We marched to the PA headquarters and went inside. The guards in their
uniforms and guns shook people’s hands as we walked by and let us in without
protest. I said to a friend, “This is amazing that they’re just letting us
“They have to,” he replied, “We elected them, we put them there.” Can you
imagine that happening in the US? A group of people marching to the
Whitehouse and the guards letting us in…
I felt a little strange going as an international, since I think there’s
enough foreign meddling in (and foreign reasons for) the internal violence.
But as soon as I arrived it was clear it was Palestinian-led, I was one of
only a few internationals, and several people thanked me for being there
with them. In that moment, being there felt like solidarity.
And like an important story to share. There was tons of press there, but I
worry that it was all Arab press. I’m curious if it got any Western press.
Take care, all. A longer report is on its way.