Classes at Birzeit University, in the West Bank, were suspended on Tuesday after escalating violence between Palestinian political groups on the campus.It seems like student politics are taken much more seriously over there. A sign of too much free speech?
Tension has been rising between supporters of President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement and the radical Marxist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine over a West Bank security crackdown in which militants in the Popular Front, known as the PFLP, have been arrested by Fatah-dominated security forces.
The university’s administration decided to suspend classes and evacuate students from the campus after a Fatah-affiliated student was assaulted in his dormitory room, apparently by four men from the PFLP. The student, Ahmad Jarrar, was treated at a hospital for severe injuries suffered as he was apparently being tortured.
The assailants used charcoal to burn Mr. Jarrar’s face. They also hammered nails into his feet, according to eyewitnesses. Fatah gunmen then arrived at the campus and threatened to kill PFLP supporters.
All kidding aside, here is yet another nightmare example of the kind of people whom all good opinion makers in the West want the Israelis to trust as "peace partners". Tonight there was a story on the CBC (Canadian national) television news showing some Palestinian reaction to George Bush and Condi Rice's Annapolis Peace Show. The thing was, these "Palestinians" were rather sane and intelligent-looking residents of East Jerusalem who are all of a sudden scared that a peace agreement, conceding East Jerusalem to a new Palestinian state, will mean they lose all the benefits of life in Israeli society, such as well-funded schools and hospitals, not to mention relative freedom and security. The "Palestinian" couple being interviewed couldn't quite bring themselves to say they were against East Jerusalem becoming part of "Palestine", but they were suddenly planning to relocate to another part of the city.
Isn't it nice how reality gets an occasional day in the news?