No Way Out

So the State Department recently rescinded Fulbright Grants to Palestinian students living in the Gaza strip (Read about it here!) evidently in response to concerns that the Israeli government wouldn’t permit said Palestinians to leave the country. Israel has been the top recipient of U.S. foreign aid since its inception — hence, it would seem that, were the State department determined to offer a better future to young Palestinians, they *might* have been able to pull some strings with the Israeli government.

When Hamas was elected in January 2006, the US and Israel both announced that they were going to “punish the people of Palestine for voting the wrong way in a free election.”  (Chomsky has the ball, once again, in an interview given during the Israel-Hezbollah war in summer 2006.) It would seem that this punishment continues unabated.

I don’t think about the Israel/Palestine thing that much. It’s never been high on my list of interests. I find that people in the US tend to get very emotional about the claims of one side or the other, hence I try to avoid the subject altogether. But when I read today’s NYTimes article I had this sudden sympathy — like I was in the shoes of a young Palestinian student, having been filled with dreams of education by my beleaguered parents, finally about to reap the reward of years of diligent study…just to have it torn away. By an email no less!

I can imagine that my last shred of hope and idealism after years of living in “a prison, a huge prison, under constant attack all the time: economic strangulation, military attack, assassinations, and so on.” would turn to hatred awful quick.

I mean shit guys! if you’re trying to *discourage* terrorism, this is not the way to do it.


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