Uproar as Qatar depicts “Palestine” as just the West Bank and Gaza

I am supposed to be on a blogging hiatus during my exam period, but I can’t not blog this video and the discussion that followed it.

In a move that has bewildered many Palestinians, Qatar has depicted the “State of Palestine” as the West Bank and Gaza during the opening ceremonies of the Arab Games Doha 2011.

This move infuriated many Palestinians who are feeling betrayed that Qatar does not acknowledge that Palestine is the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, and instead depicts it as only the West Bank and Gaza.

I am not really suprised that this happened, I actually thought it was funny that we have come to the point where our Arab sister Qatar depicts Palestine as two loose pieces of land, a mere 22% of the original Palestine. We have brought this to ourselves, haven’t we?

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas was present at the opening ceremony of the Doha games, I doubt he was angered by this introduction. Haven’t the Palestinian Authority been seeking to establish this “state” which I like to refer to as a bantustan? Isn’t it the wish of those who claim to speak in the name of Palestinians, that the state of Palestine is established according to the 1967 “borders”? Who is it to blame in this situation, Qatar or the Palestinian Authority?

This video has created ridiculous outrage by many Palestinians who were once completely supportive of last September’s bid for the “State of Palestine” to be admitted to the UN, and are now angered to see Palestine depicted as the West Bank and Gaza. Of course, I believe Qatar’s move is a horrible inexcusable move, but I don’t believe we have to put all the blame over Qatar.

On Facebook, Quds News Network (QNN), a page with with over 100,000 likes, was one of the first outlets to shed a light on this issue. There was a raging debate in its comment sections which pushed it to conduct a poll asking who is to be blamed for this move. The poll’s results as of time of publishing are: 155 people Blame Qatar — 94 people blame the Palestinian Liberation Organization — 350 people blame both sides.

Seeing the site of two little pieces flitting across the screen representing “Palestine” was like a slap to the face of many Palestinian who supported the statehood bid. I’d like to thank the state of Qatar for the fabulous opening ceremonies and, here I address my fellow Palestinian brothers and sisters: think twice before offering any blind support for a mysterious statehood bid.



Jalal Abukhater

Jalal Abukhater's picture

Jalal Abukhater is a Jerusalemite, he is a graduate MA(hons) International Relations and Politics from the University of Dundee, Scotland.