Donna Mulhearn

Saida's Six Days of Curfew

I am writing this by candlelight in a family living room in the Palestinian West Bank town of Saida where I am currently under military-enforced house arrest, along with 3,500 others. The living room of my adopted home is packed full of people. They have no choice but to stay inside. If they open their front door they will be confronted by the machine gun of one of the hundreds of heavily armed Israeli soldiers who invaded and occupied this sleepy farming town three days ago. Donna Mulhearn has spent the last week in the Palestinian West Bank town of Saida under curfew and military occupation with its people. 

"Democracy" under Occupation

Perhaps you saw images of flag-waving youth in Ramallah. Or maybe you heard the optimistic words of George W Bush and other world leaders about new opportunities for peace. Yet from where I was sitting in the West Bank city of Nablus, one thing was clear: voting for a president in a state that does not actually exist will not change much in the lives of the people here. It is clear how much the Palestinians want peace and good government, but after hearing the glowing, yet often patronising, cliches about ‘Arab democracy’ that have been bandied about in the media recently, the fact remains that Palestine can never experience true democracy while it remains under occupation.