So what else is new?

In all this talk about anguished settlers and Palestinian terrorists/government officials (not that there’s much difference) self-importantly bloated with undeserved pride all scrambling to take responsibility for disengagement, I think we may have forgotten the little people of Gaza, the Achmed Q. Falastins and their 87 extended family members.

But don’t fret. Your typical Gazan Arabs are treating the disengagement like Christmas Eid al-Fitr in August. Just look at precious little 11-year-old Hanadi Abd al-Daim:

Eleven-year-old Hanadi Abd al-Daim danced and laughed in the family living room as she watched IDF soldiers drag settlers out of their homes only a few kilometers away.

For over six hours on Wednesday, Hanadi and her older sister Mediha flipped between the Palestinian TV station, Al-Jazeera Arab satellite network, and Israeli channels 1 and 2 on their television set to follow the live action from the settlements.

“I wanted to see how they are taking out the settlers from their villages,” Hanadi said sitting on a mattress on the floor of the TV room still wearing her orange-striped pajamas. “It makes me very happy.”

Like most Palestinians in Gaza, the elementary school girl from Beit Hanun has been glued to her TV set since the withdrawal began on Monday. And like most Palestinians, the scenes of grief she saw on her screen were a dream come true for her.

Her sister Madiha enjoyed watching a Jewish settler who was crying very hard. “He’s crying because he left his home,” she said. “We are happy we are getting our land back.”

Another scene that stood out for the 12-year-old was the burning of a house after its owner lit it on fire. “I was happy,” she said. “We don’t want his house on our land.”

When I was 11 and sitting in front of the TV in the morning in my jammies, I think the only thing bringing me joy was Saturday morning cartoons. But I’m glad to see that something can bring a happy smile to the face of the poor children of Palestine: abject human grief, especially of the Jewish variety.

But the girls’ aunt, who is 19 and already a mother, has her own observation, which I’m sure has come to her through the accumulated wisdom of many years and motherhood:

Hiba, 19, agreed. “I don’t want them to leave a single brick behind,” said the young mother with dark eyes and a head covering. “We want this land clean so we can sow it and develop it as is our tradition.”

Hiba, by sow and develop according to your tradition, do you mean leaving it a barren, fruitless wasteland, waiting until somebody else comes and reclaims it from the swamp/sand/sea, sowing and developing it and coaxing it into producing yields in defiance of all conventional agricultural wisdom, then claiming that it was your cherished holy soil all along? That is what you mean, right Hiba?

Oh, but look, here I am spoiling this joyous holiday for Palestine with my typical Jewish cynicism. Just call me ibn-Scrooge.

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