Protesters in Palestine’s West Bank and Gaza Strip have been organizing a March 15 uprising through social media, apparently not heeding Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s Facebook postings asking citizens how to change government peacefully.
So far it looks like the Palestinian activists are posting status updates and content on walls, more than creating groups or pages with any significant sized followings.
But this seems consistent with the area’s political divide: The militant Islamic group Hamas has governed since 2007, while the Palestinian Authority rules the West Bank, where Israel’s military still has overall control. The two are also separated by Israeli territory. Associated Press reports:
…activists using Facebook have brought hundreds of people onto streets of the West Bank, waving Palestinian flags and calling for change. Smaller gatherings have taken place in Gaza… Whether they can succeed is far from certain because of the unique situation of the Palestinians. In contrast to countries where crowds have rallied against a single, despised leader, the Palestinians face a series of intertwined problems, making it harder to rally around a common cause…
The Palestinian split has crippled efforts to negotiate an independent state from Israel. Repeated efforts to reconcile, including a Palestinian Authority proposal to hold new elections, have foundered.
Not surprising, the Palestinian activists’ postings on Facebook show division: Some want the two regions’ governments to become one; others want separate, brand new governments, while still others want to demonstrate against Israeli occupation of the West Bank. This contradicts the more unified agenda that other Middle Eastern nations have had in their calls for revolution.
Do you think the lack of a unified effort among Palestinians on Facebook will limit the effectiveness of any so-called revolutions planned for the area?