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-what the afterworld will be saying about these days

Politics and Palestinians

Posted by Pia på onsdag 4 juli 2007

”Don’t talk politics” was one advice I got from people before going on this trip. Bearing in mind that it’s my favourite topic of discussion, I was in for a hard challenge.

But really. It isn’t my fault that I’m not following this piece of advice. Every day I meet and talk to Palestinians with different stories and opinions. And after the mandatory hellos and how-are-yous, we always seem to start talking politics. It’s hard not to, you see. This morning we had a meeting with participants from different parts of the West Bank. One woman was late, she said she was sorry, and added that there were now six checkpoints between her village and Ramallah. Yesterday I met a man who had lived in Finland for 20 years and we were able to talk about dark bread and coffee for three minutes, and suddenly there we were again: I asked him what he misses about Finland, and he said the possibility to take the car and drive for hours, discovering new places. In Palestine, he says, he only uses the first and second gear until he has to turn back again. Like living in a prison.

And something as ”neutral” as wearing a green shirt, can awake a lot of discussion. Green! Hamas!? (Hamas supporters are by the way referred to as people with a good relationship with God, possibly because saying out loud that you sympathize with this popular party can mean BIG trouble for you, and all your family, which is something that I will write more about later)

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