Reflections on Palestinian Attitudes during the Gulf War
"Why not?," Qa'id replied, more perplexed than annoyed by my question. Indeed, few persons I met in Palestine even understood that cheering the Scud missiles was a "controversial" issue. As I approached the Barham home on my first day in Bayt Sahur, Abu Issa (the grandfather) excitedly beckoned to me from the balcony to come upstairs. After the usual greetings, his first impulse was to describe a wide arc in the air as he made the hissing sound of a missile. He then broke into a wide grin as everyone in the room laughed appreciatively. It was one of the few moments during my entire stay when people seemed genuinely-if ever so ephemerally-happy.
Norman Finkelstein received his Ph.D. in political science from Princeton University and is presently teaching international relations and political theory at the City University of New York. He wishes to thank Carol Chomsky, Noam Chomsky, and Samira Haj for comments on an earlier draft of this essay. Many of the references to the Hebrew press are taken from Israel Shahak, ed., From the Hebrew Press: Monthly Translations and Commentaries from Israel.