This weekend is the beginning of Ramadan, the annual month-long celebration during which Muslims fast to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran. In honour of Ramadan their Israeli overlords have decided that Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza will no longer be considered "terrorists" or "security risks." Palestinians will be allowed to travel to Jerusalem to pray, visit their relatives beyond the normal barriers and even visit the Mediterranean Sea. This niceness is often bestowed upon the Palestinians during Ramadan. I'm not sure what difference Ramadan makes in the labelling of citizens, but apparently it does to Israel.
To announce this generosity, The Commander of the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories took to facebook with a video. He spoke to his audience in Arabic, though there might have been a few pronunciation problems, as reported by Samah Salaime on +972:
The high point of the video was when he announced "Intu btiqdaru truhu al-basat." Meaning that Palestinians can freely reach the underwear. What? We have access to our underwear!? Finally, God is great, Ramadan kareem, thank heavens. Every Palestinian who wants to is now able to wear and touch his or her underwear without having to go through a checkpoint, undergo a search or receive an entry permit.
On my second listen, I realized the commander meant to say "buses" rather than underwear.So yes, "buses" and "underwear" are different things. Palestinians are given permission to visit their own land, families and mosques, as if they were foreign tourists with a one-time 30-day visa. The humour lasts only a few minutes while the reality of occupation seems to go on forever.
Copyright 2015 by Jim Murray.