Thinking in Times of Corona: Towards self Censorship and Herding

As the Corona is invading what we know about the life as we knew it, with the good and bad. Other things are invading the basics of our right, in what we thought was guaranteed, relying on the awareness of the public that consists of intelligent people to the least.

From one side, the panic in responding to the Corona on all levels is universal. Governments and populations. A massive happening took the whole planet by a never expected surprise.

The situation among the Palestinians should not be of much difference to that of the reachable and unreachable world. But as usual, we are the masters of turning what is on our side against us, even in times of Corona.

The PA did an unprecedent smart, overviewed action in announcing the state of emergency for a month period- now it is extended to another month- I think it was a brave decision. At the end the PA is a small, unresourceful, occupied spot, that cannot handle a catastrophe as such. After all, major, strong, big powers fell into the hell of this virus. If Italy, Spain, France, the US and other countries cannot handle it, of course we will not. We know how limited everything in the PA is. Years of living on dependency, corruption, absence of building real resources in infrastructure and industry and everything will only mean a disastrous implication the moment the virus becomes viral.

It took the PA a few weeks to trial and errors, in an overwhelming state of openness and transparency that was overwhelming to us. But after a certain time, things needed to be taken by a deep breath and evaluated, questioned. Science and logic say that it cannot be normal that we haves such a low number of infections. When we started counting a couple of tens, Israel’s numbers started with slightly higher numbers but jumped in 5 weeks to uncaught difference.

The PA started at 26 and now stands at less than 200. Israel started with 70 and now stands at more than 7000. It is true that the PA has one borders, no airports, no … no exports, etc.… but we have 2 million people moving in and out of checkpoints, more than 200,000 workers inside the Israeli factories and different construction and industrial zones.

The precautions were taken quickly in closing schools, universities, public spaces, and later mosques (they shied from doing this until the 3rd week). Employees in the public sector and private sector were asked to stay home, but workers inside “Israel” were asked to keep going to their work with the advice on being cautious and recommendations to stay in their working areas for 2 months.

This happened apparently with coordination with the Israeli side, who by the time of the entry of their Pesah holiday needed to close factories and thus, started returning workers back to their living areas.

IT is easy to blame the Israeli side. It is however appalling to trust them by the PA.

It is true that it sounds ridiculous to blame the PA for blaming Israel, laborer’s, uncommitted people or me… after all we see how the leader of the most powerful country in the world is doing in blaming others for the virus. Whatever happening not our civilization- if it is ever named civilization- is as infecting as a virus. Bullying, threatening, overpowering, and diminishing space of expression.

There is a collective impression that mobilizes itself in such times. The culture of herding becomes a quest. From one side, people need to be ensured that everything is ok. When the PM, the Spokesperson, the President, The Father assures us that everything is fine … everything is going to be fine. We are grateful, thankful and filled with gratitude. There is no place or space for questioning or criticizing. Critical thinking becomes an external suspicious voice.

I was taken by real surprise to the unprecedented attacks I got after my article criticizing the performance of the PM spokesperson. It was really ridiculous to keep watching this demonstration of a performance as if we are in some contests. There is a limit to how thankful and grateful we are. There are questions we needed to be answered. There are behaviors that we need respond to.

When thousands joined a rally to welcome a prisoner in Jenin, the word we heard from the official spokesman was a regretful incident”, to be only followed the very next day in Bani Neim, and a week after in Ramallah.

Many other incidents, behaviors, questions are raising and the only respond we have is around answers and the public opinion is only chanting, applauding with gratefulness and gratitude.

The whole psychology of the influence of the mob is so pathetic. It makes one feel sorry for himself and for the one you are criticizing. They are turning regular people into idols… gods… the moment thing explodes to the worse the same mob with hit hard those idols and blame them.

So why wait?

Why can’t we express and discuss our concerns? Why can’t we ask openly our worries and put straightforward the wrongdoings?

Bu no the situation does not afford critical thinking…

It is so worrying to see we driven into a more militarized, self censorship situation as a consequence of this situation.

At the end I decided… maybe I need to take a break.

It is time to read… not a time to write

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