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Some tiems left out of this bourgousie tale
on April 11, 2005
Mr. Barghouti's tale of returning to his city is interesting, as I soppose it would be itneresting to read the account of a Jew returning to Iraq tro see where he grew up before all Jews were forced to leave Iraq. However Mr. Barghouti makes some major errors in describing the reality. He has obvisouly never travelled to Israel, the country he so abhors and who he blames all his problems on. First of all let us remmemebr that his nostalgia is for pre 1967 Palestine, a place where women could not vote and only rich landed gentry, like Mr. Barghouti could vote.
His Mr. Barghouti is for a Jerusalem where Jews could not pray at their holy site and where Christians were forced to teacht he Koran half the day in school. His nostalgia is for a country where Jordanian curfews kept people inside most of the time and where Jordanian army troops occupied every inch of the countryside, wher emost villages had no water, no electricity or sanitary services. Of course Mr. Barghouti is nostalgic for this society for was one where he and his clan made up a small elite of the five or six families who controlled Ramallah and Jerusalem. His nostalgia is like what a Russian nobleman felt after the rise of Communism.
This poetic, well written book is disengenous for it harkens back to a world where the poor had no agency where women had no rights and where his land was occupied by simply a different foreign power. Although many of his generation still retain framed pictures of the late King Hussein on their walls, it is a fake image, an image of self rule that never existed, an image of a perfect society that only the Palestinian bourgousie could tell.
Seth J. Frantzman