Do Unto Others focuses on the Middle East, (nonviolent) social movements, and how I make sense of my place in the world. I'm currently based in Cairo, Egypt doing peacebuilding and community development.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Quotations from 21st Century Palestinian Wise Men

The first quote comes from a serveece (big taxi) driver in Yatta. He assumed I was from Tuwani because foreigners in Yatta are very rare unless they are from Tuwani. Our conversation continued.

"Min ween inte?" - Where are you from?
"Ana min Ameerka." - I am from America.
"Ah, Ameerka! In Americans, the people, good. But in Americans, the politics, very bad."

Pretty profound. It got me thinking...the U.S. definitely sees Israeli politics as good and Israeli people as good. If only the U.S. would see Israeli politics as bad. The U.S. sees Palestinian people as bad, and their politics as bad. If only the U.S. would see Palestinian people as good.

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My second encounter with a wise man was in the CPT apartment in Hebron. We began to speak about the upcoming elections. Palestinians are generally very well-informed about US politics and particularly the upcoming elections. Most Palestinians would like to see Obama elected, despite not holding much hope for him changing anything for Palestinians. At one point in the conversation the United Nations was mentioned. The second wise man quickly retorted, "when talking of the plight of the Palestinian people, there is no United Nations, there is only United States."

I raised my eyebrows and could only muster a descending, "yeah."