It was the 18th of September, our third evening in Ramallah. We were at the Ramallah Cultural Palace to listen to Palestinian youth bands perform. The place was teeming with people, mostly young, in their twenties and thirties. The hall was packed, the atmosphere so electric that even if Magid had not been there to explain, there was no way we could have missed the excitement and the anger that the songs evoked in the audience. Interestingly, not all the songs were about Zionist oppression and the travails of everyday life in occupied Palestine. When a song critical of the PA (Palestinian Authority) began, the hall went up in spontaneous applause, endorsing the sarcastic lyrics directed at PA that has lately been involved in carrying out repression on its own population.
The complexity of the current phase of the movement arises from the fact that now, the new forces of Palestinian liberation are arrayed, not merely against Israeli occupation but also against this entity called PA and the Oslo Accords that put in place the political arrangements that mark the division of territories today. An arrangement that was supposed to be merely an interim one lasting but a few years, until the question of Palestinian statehood could be settled, has become a quasi-permanent one that is seen to threaten the longer-term goal itself.