What does it mean to be a Palestinian?

If you ever go to an Israeli mall, all you have to do is to show your green ID and the place is full of love for you.

Municiple elections voting (photo credit: REUTERS)
Municiple elections voting
(photo credit: REUTERS)
First of all, to be a Palestinian means you are free as a bird; you can reach any spot on the planet and you can say and express everything that comes to your mind.
Palestinians are treated like human beings by their governments, and not like hunted dogs. They can eat and drink just like human beings. Moreover, as a Palestinian you can’t suffer any misery; you have the greatest lifestyle, are offered the best treatment by your institutions, and the world cares a lot for you – so much that your phone doesn’t stop ringing because so many people are calling to make sure that you are still living your beautiful life (actually, the government usually answers the phone instead of you, giving you the time to relax).
You can talk to president and ministers, and even criticize them easily. If a minister steals the money of the people, the people will get their money back, and the minister will be brought to justice. Ministers always show respect for the people.
In the West Bank, as in Gaza, the Palestinian governments and the Palestinian people are the same under Palestinian jurisdiction; and the Palestinians and Israelis are treated equally under Israeli jurisdiction. Oh Palestinians! What a great life you are living. For a moment I could almost wish to be a Palestinian – but I prefer to be a human being.
Palestine is the only place where you don’t have to carry legal documents and identification papers with you, or make sure you still look like the picture in your identity card. No, you don’t have to do all that in Palestine. You don’t have to expect a representative of the Israeli government to knock on your door at 3:00 a.m., take you into a dark detention center and return you to your home after 40 days without even telling you why. Not if you’re a Palestinian.
And don’t expect a representative of the Palestinian government to knock on your door in the wee hours on a holiday, only to then find yourself in a Palestinian court waiting until 12 noon without having actually having been accused of anything (for writing your opinion on Facebook) only to then be released still not knowing what’s going on. No, not if you’re a Palestinian.
The occupation and its strains of racism have long ended and become history. The checkpoints and the various prisons no longer exist. You can’t tell the difference between Palestinian villages and cities and Israeli ones, they have the same buildings, streets, schools, playgrounds. Daily life in both is peaceful and secure.
One can go all over Palestine freely, and the Israeli soldiers are very friendly. The settlers ended their war against the Palestinians, and invite Palestinians to their homes.
While walking the old streets of Jerusalem or Hebron, you can hear settler children singing for peace and love and you can see those words welcoming friendship with Palestinians.
While walking in the streets of Gaza’s cities and villages at night, you think it’s midday with all the lights. You expect to see a gun or a gunman, but all illegal weapons have disappeared. People there can’t stop spreading love. There are no political prisoners there, just as there are none in the West Bank. Freedom – from occupation and of thought – are the living emblem of Palestine.
If you ever go to an Israeli mall, a “kanyon,” all you have to do is to show your green ID and the place is full of love for you; all will come shake your hand, kiss you, and shower sweet words on you. The entire kanyon might even be emptied to show you respect and let you relax while shopping. All for showing your green ID in a public place in Israel.
There are many more examples to explain the meaning of a Palestinian’s life. But, as long as Palestinians are happy, I won’t say any more, so people don’t envy them too much.
The writer is a YaLa member from Beit Likya.