Editor’s Note: Israeli Elections, Obama’s Inauguration, A General Strike…!

InvestPalestine.com must apologise for being so remiss in not uploading articles that were promised earlier. Hashim Shawa and Fadi Ghandour (see below) have been overtaken by events (starting with the conflict in Gaza in November, never mind the financial crisis facing the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, and the Jordanian elections), but we are still promised exclusive interviews with both of them, which we will bring you, when they arrive.

Jordan's King Abdullah in Ramallah, November, 2012.  Photo: Photo: Mohamad Torokman, Reuters.

Jordan’s King Abdullah in Ramallah, November, 2012. Photo: Photo: Mohamad Torokman, Reuters.

Despite the international media’s focus on the rightward shift in the Israeli elections, InvestPalestine.com is impressed by the determination and fortitude of fair-minded Israelis, who have donated their votes to Palestinians in Israel and who are speaking out, courageously, for putting the Palestinian issue back on the agenda, no matter what … just as they are vociferously opposing the Israeli army’s dismantlement (with arrests and injuries) of the tent cities set up by Palestinian protestors in Bab al Shams and Bab al Karama.

Palestinian protesters set up a tent village in the vital "E-1" area between Jerusalem & Bethlehem. Photo: Slobodná Palestína, Facebook.

Palestinian protesters set up a tent village in the occupied West Bank between Jerusalem & Bethlehem. Photo: Slobodná Palestína, Facebook.

The importance of this particular form of protest in the vital “E-1” area between Jerusalem and Bethlehem (mirroring the popular protests against the ‘Separation Wall’ in Bil’lin and elsewhere) cannot be underestimated … as Hanan Ashrawi has pointed out … and, which, we are pleased to note, has caught the imagination of the international press.

Meanwhile, a general strike by public sector workers is planned in the West Bank tomorrow. Despite the Saudis coming up with some funds for the PA to partially pay overdue salaries from November and December, the strike demonstrates, once again, the futility of a “government” that depends on foreign aid, and the importance of promoting a private sector in the West Bank (and Gaza) that can provide sustainable employment.

All of us, outside, need to remember, perhaps, that survival on the land is what counts, and that can only happen if Palestinians have the basics they need to pay their bills, feed their families, and put a roof over their heads. (Like all of us, wherever we are, actually.)

Far away, celebrations were held last night in Washington. But can Obama deliver, despite the US Congress?

Somehow, Michelle's choice of "red" seemed an appropriate sign of the times.  Photo:  Agencies.

Somehow, Michelle’s choice of “red” seems an appropriate sign of the times. Photo: Agencies.

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Next week we will bring you the long-awaited report on Gaza’s Economic Potential.

Meanwhile, its nice to note that our host, WordPress.com, has sent us a message that we are among the leading WordPress sites in terms of:

a) The longest-lasting features (i.e. viewers continue to access our articles dating back to June, 2011), and

b) the number of countries whose viewers have sought us out … at present, more than 93, ranging from the US, the UK and Canada (tops) to others, such as Brazil, Switzerland, Oman, Peru, Thailand, South Africa, Singapore, Azerbaijan, Iraq and New Zealand, who have just discovered us.

Thanks for reading,

Pam

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