Wednesday, July 06, 2005

No, You May Not Rock


Al-Jazeera and others are reporting that gunmen from the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade disrupted a concert by Ammar Hassan, winner of last year's Super Star 2 talent competition:

About 1500 fans showed up for the concert, eager to see the singer who is known throughout the Arab world and was born in the nearby town of Salfit.

When armed men of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades - an armed wing linked to the ruling Fatah party - began shooting in the air, Hassan's arrival from a nearby hotel was postponed.

"This is the not time to have parties like this in Nablus," said one of the masked armed men, who would not give his name.

"We lost a lot of martyrs and lost a lot of friends, and this is not appropriate for Nablus," he added.

About 20 people who said they were members of the resistance group Hamas held signs reading: "Don't dance on our blood."

After Hassan was taken from the stage by bodyguards, the concert dissolved into chaos. Palestinian police tried to talk the gunmen out of further disruptions rather than arresting anyone, and pro- and anti-concert attendees started throwing chairs at one another.

Even as the Gaza pullout looms, the West Bank seems to be sinking into chaos. I wonder what will happen if Gaza is handed over to the Palestinian Authority but the West Bank keeps edging towards civil war? I worry the West Bank will go the way of Lebanon in the 1970s and '80s if Abu Mazen doesn't step onto the stage and take the microphone away from armed groups like al-Aqsa and Hamas.

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