07 June 2006

No pun intended

Marc Grajower, our reader from Brussels, found a priceless quote in an article from Birzeit University. Before we go to the quote, it is worth mentioning that the PR machinery of Palestinians becomes more and more adept in artfully mixing half-truths with slogans - quite impressive.

But this post is only about that quote. Here it goes:

12 students from Gaza have been denied permission to go to Bethlehem and study Occupational Therapy (a course not available in Gaza).

Surely we all know that this specific therapy is not available anymore in Gaza, there was no need to add that. But the fact is amazing: it is less than a year since IDF left Gaza to deal with itself as Gazans see fit, and they are already missing the occupation? So much so that they have to go to Bethlehem?

I share with the authors of the article the ire toward the authorities who prevented these 12 students from going to Bethlehem. On the other hand, I could outguess the logic the authorities employed in the decision process: judging by the number of Qassams that continue to fall in Israel, IDF will have no choice but to get back to Gaza. Then these 12 students will be saving the travel expenses.

Another point in that article that just begs for a clarification is a description of rude treatment of an American student (by the border police, obviously).

He was strip searched, yelled at, called an "arsehole", had his face photographed as if he were a criminal, and when it transpired he was half-Arab the interrogator responded "what a pity, what a pity".

  • First of all, let me assure you that the exclamation "arsehole" is not an indication that the policeman found an arsehole on the student during the strip search: our border police folks know/were taught to expect that even Americans have one (at least). In reality this exclamation was about the mere idea that an American citizen will decide to enroll in Birzeit. See it as an unsolicited advice.
  • About the photograph: it was taken just to show the friends afterward, for pure fun (see above why)
  • Regarding that "what a pity" response: being a border policeman, the interrogator was in a quandary. He was unable to decide to which part of the visitor to apply that famous border police club - is it the lower part that is American or the upper? And let us see you resolving this one.
I hope it clears any possible misunderstandings now, doesn't it?

Cross-posted on Yourish.com