Philip Rizk: Our Poisonous Democracy

By Philip Rizk
PalestineChronicle.com

A few days ago a woman walked through the markets of Nuseirat, Gaza. Throwing her hands up in the air she yelled,

“I don’t have even one shekel!”

“I have no bread in my home!”

“Is there anybody who will help me?”

Like all Palestinians, this woman has two options to respond to her desperate reality, neither of them is good.

Her first choice, counter to any democratic logic, is to join Abu Mazen in calling for early elections in the hope of Hamas losing its majority in the parliament.

This would return Palestinians to the previous status quo, submission to any and all demands of Israel in return for dire but more manageable living conditions. In this case Israel will continue to be in command of all Palestinian borders, Israel will continue to single-handedly control the Palestinian economy, Israel will continue illegal assassinations of whomever may be on her wanted list, Israel will carry on shelling areas in the Gaza Strip if it is deemed necessary for her own security and Israel will continue expanding its settlements and deepen its reach into the West Bank at the cost of Palestinian villages and cities.

The upside?

The current international embargo of Palestine would be dropped, meaning government employees, making up a third of the workforce in Gaza, would once again be paid. Driven by such international aid the Palestinian economy, fueled by renewed government wages, would return to its previous state of hibernation with its absurd cycle of charity.

The woman would stop yelling in the market.

The second choice is this, she can vote for Hamas which will not accept Israel to be in command of all Palestinian borders, nor for Israel to single-handedly continue to control the Palestinian economy, nor for Israel to continue illegal assassinations of whomever may be on her wanted list, nor for Israel to carry on shelling areas in the Gaza Strip if it is deemed necessary for her own security nor for Israel to continue expanding its settlements and deepen its reach into the West Bank at the cost of Palestinian villages and cities.

If she votes for Hamas she will have chosen to continue yelling in the market for bread to eat today but there may be a chance that she will still have a home to live in tomorrow, she may still be called a Palestinian in coming years and she will have better chances of not being controlled by the likes of Israel’s Avigdor Lieberman’s vices.

In the meantime the Palestinian street is battling to the death whether this decision should be made at all.

This is our poisonous version of democracy.

-Philip Rizk is an Egyptian-German free-lance writer living in Gaza City. You can access his blog at tabulagaza.blogspot.com

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