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Friday, November 06, 2009

'Palestinian' youth growing apathetic

'Palestinian youth' are tiring of their politicians on all sides.
Emad Ghiyada, a professor at Birzeit University who specialises in student movements, says factional bickering and the stalled peace process have left both secular and Islamic groups struggling to appeal to young people.

"There has been a drop in youth membership in the political groups," he says. "The parties have failed to realise any of their goals, whether by armed struggle, or popular uprisings, or by peaceful means."

Earlier this month Birzeit hosted an event to protest perceived Israeli threats to the Al-Aqsa mosque, a flashpoint site in Jerusalem sacred to Muslims and Jews that was the epicentre of the 2000 Palestinian uprising.

Israeli police had clashed with Palestinian protestors just outside the mosque days earlier, and organisers expected around 9,000 students to come to express their outrage.

Only 60 showed up, Ghiyada says, despite the fact Al-Aqsa is one of the only subjects on which all political parties, including Fatah and Hamas, agree.

A recent survey by the Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research found 27 percent of young people do not support any political party, which roughly matches the rate of apathy among the population as a whole.

Nader Said, a sociology professor at Birzeit University, has also noticed the gap between party leaders and the students he teaches.

"The Palestinian leadership in all the factions is now singing in a valley and the students are singing in another valley," he says.

"It's a great pity about the youth, because there is this alienation between them and the Palestinian leadership, which are removed from the basic goals and values of the people. For the youth there is no clear alternative."
What if they just decide to leave? Let's say to emigrate to the West....



At 1:29 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

The Palestinian masses know the wish for the destruction of Israel is a pipe dream. And their leadership instead of delivering a better life for their own people and building a country, prefers to waste their time on intransigence and threats of future violence. Perhaps ordinary Palestinians are getting tired of waiting for that Israel-free day that will never come.



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