Monday, October 10, 2005
"From Martyrs to Elections"
posted by: bethlehembloggers at 3:47 PM
It’s a little old, this article, but it is still relevant. It was written by Ben White, who stayed in Bethlehem during the summer. We keep saying to send us your stories, so the least we can do is put them up… sorry for the delay Ben:

Returning to Bethlehem after an absence of around nine months, one of the first things I noticed were the new posters. Even by the summer of 2004, the pictures of the shahid were fading, and recent additions were few and far between. A year on, and the faces of martyrs have been replaced by aspiring politicians, a reminder of the local elections that took place in the Bethlehem district not so long ago. Perhaps this is an example of the kind of ‘reform’ urged on the Palestinians by the U.S. and her allies.

The city streets are livelier in the evenings now, as the young men cruise around in their cars, and families take the opportunity to go for a late stroll. Behind this superficial improvement in life here, however, is a crippling unemployment rate that has become most people’s foremost concern. Many here have been out of work for months, if not years, and those lucky enough to be in employment are taking home a salary so low it is almost as insulting as it is gratefully received.

Full story here and Ben has his own website, if you want to read more of his writing.
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