Well, I have been away for a while in Palestine. Although I had read a lot about the situation, the reality is more disturbing, and the experience was more personal than I was expecting.
I will write more about it by and by. But I start with one thought. Often in the West we read well meaning discussions separating out the Islamists, the suicide bombers, secular traditions and the workers movement as if they are discrete and separate.
In reality they are all jumbled up. This picture was hanging – with pride of place - in a trade union office. It is a picture of one of their members, a manual worker in a stone cutting factory, who martyred himself in a suicide bombing attack against the Zionists. He was a member of the Al Aqsa Martyrs, itself a further level of confusion as Al Aqsa is linked to Fatah, which is effectively the pro-business party in Palestine, and is a nominally secular organisation, but names itself after the Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, and note the image of the dome of the rock mosque on the poster.
The brave young Palestinians who have engaged in martyrdom operations against Israel are not separate from mainstream Palestinian society. Look at this young man, fashionably dressed, not a fanatic or someone intrinsicly different from us, but someone responding to intolerable oppression, and apartheid discrimination. A brave young worker, and trade unionist, prepared to take up arms againt the military occupation and attempted anexation of his country.