Letter From American In Ramallah

Ali Eteraz in his eponymous blog:

Following is a letter from an American in Ramallah, who is a friend of a friend. Checkpoints, Nasrallah, IDF, jokes, arrests, kidnapping — it’s all in there. We pick up after the initial greeting:

I apologize for the huge gaps in my emails. These past few weeks have
been very very busy and it has become nearly impossible for me to plan
ahead of time. Yesterday I was planning on going to Hebron when my
friend called me and told me that there was going to be a huge rally
“welcoming” Condalezza Rice. Sure enough he was right. The rally was
enormous. All of Ramallah—all the stores, all the supermarkets, all
the food stands—shut down protesting her arrival and the entirety of
the city hit the streets yelling, screaming, and chanting. So while
Condalezza was talking peace in Arafat’s compound, the entire city was
on the streets telling her to ‘go back to where she came from.’
Judging from the rally, it seems that Abu Mazen, the Palestinian
president, and Condalezza Rice were the only two people in all of
Ramallah (or more accurately all of the West Bank) who didn’t realize
that Condalezza was wasting her breath talking to a powerless
government and a powerless people. I guess the Bush Administration
never got the newsflash that more than half of the Palestinian
government was detained only a few weeks back by Israeli soldiers and
now are being tried in court. There are a few leaders who managed to
escape the roundups and the Israeli soldiers have come into Ramallah
nearly every night looking for them.

More here.