The opinions expressed by students do not represent the views of Ramallah Friends School (FBS) and Friends United Meeting.
Current Issues

Is the Internet widely available? Is it restricted or controlled by the government in any way?

The internet isn’t available to all social classes! Not because poor people are not allowed to use it but because they don’t have enough money to get a PC and internet access. Even poor people can use internet by going to an “internet café.” Internet isn’t restricted or controlled by the government. We can chat, voice chat, and visit porn web sites.
By Saji

Yes, the internet is available in Palestine and there are no restrictions on it from the government as the government is concerned with building itself and governing the internet is not a priority.
By Omar

For sure it’s available, but it's available only for some people. I think it’s available for all the students at F.B.S, but maybe it's unavailable for other people outside our school. People outside maybe don’t have enough money to get a computer and have internet, or they can't or don’t know how to use the internet, etc. So, people in Palestine don't have all the rights that they should have, but generally the internet is available in Palestine.
The internet is controlled by the government, and we can't use or get the internet without permission from the government, but we can use the internet as we want, and search for anything we want, so it's kind of not controlled.
By Fahmi

Internet is available in some cities in Palestine such as Ramallah. Not all people in Palestine have computers or internet. This first thing that makes it hard for many people to have computers or internet is the bad economic situation in my country that so many families are suffering from. Most of the people can't afford having a computer in their house or internet. The second problem is that so many villages and cities are hard to reach for the internet company, and also it's not easy for people to move on and that’s what makes it hard to bring the internet to some houses in Palestine. The internet is not controlled by the government in any way and that, for me, is a good thing because some countries are not allowed to participate in many websites because of their government.
By Yasmeen

Internet is widely available, and it isn’t controlled or restricted by the government. Everybody these days uses the internet, especially for chatting and downloading stuff. There are some poor villages that don’t have internet or even computers, but most of the people have computers and internet, and it has never been controlled by the government or restricted. It’s easy to get.
By Ahd.

Internet in our country is widely available and everything depends on internet in our life. Some people use books to find what they want. The internet is easier to find the subject you want in a short time. Internet in our country is not controlled by the government. That gives you the ability to open the website that you want in the time you want. It also gives you the information that you want to know without any problems or control from the government.
By Rami

Dial up internet and high-speed DSL internet are widely available in Palestine. Palestine’s local internet companies provide DSL broadband connection up to 1MB/sec speed. Since many companies are providing internet connections, many people are getting internet access because of the competing prices. The internet in Palestine is not restricted at all. I surf the internet freely and face no restrictions. I use messengers and have access to all websites. However, one thing I realized. I don’t know of it’s just in Palestine or in the whole world, but when I use Google Earth (which is an interactive virtual view of the world and its location) I don’t see the Israeli locations as clear as the rest of the world.
By Christopher

Yes, the internet is available to any body who wants to use it. It is available in many homes in Palestine, and there are also a lot of internet cafes. The government does not interfere in our use of the internet.
By Zeina

The internet in Palestine is widely available and it can be used by any person. He can use it in anyway, even hacking. There are many internet cafés in Palestine and they are spreading. They can be use for any reason. The internet in Palestine is not controlled by the government at all because internet users in Palestine cannot produce a very dangerous virus, or a program that can affect people badly without being caught by other experts through the internet. Another reason for no internet restriction is that the occupation makes the Palestinian technology very late compared to other countries so the Palestinian government can’t afford to establish an internet security system.
By Ahmad

In Palestine almost 85% of teenagers use the internet. More than half of that percent have internet in their homes. Everyone here has the right to go on the web with no restriction. The government doesn't control the internet. They have no right to do that.
By Yazan

For me the internet is available in my home and school. In only some parts of our country is there no internet. It’s not that they don’t have internet, but they work as farmers or in a small business. For that they don’t have the technology and, actually, they don’t need it. All who I know have internet and use it for many things, like for studies in school. I guess Palestine has, I can’t say, widely available internet, but internet with a good speed that is not controlled by the government.
By Faris

Internet became the most common tool for communication in Palestine. In every home, office, school, and public place there is internet. The internet became common to all people of all ages. New ADSL services became available in Palestine. The problem is that there is only one company, so there are no companies to challenge each other. That put the internet, in a way, into the hands of the government.
By Najeeb

The internet is widely available in Palestine. There are many companies that sell ADSL which you can use to open the internet. The internet in our country helps students to research and learn. The government in Palestine does not control or restrict the internet. There is a free internet available. I can't live without a computer or the internet.
By Naser

Though the internet in our day is considered to be a very important educational source, it is not widely available in Palestine due to many reasons. One reason is because it’s expensive. Most of the families in Palestine have a very low income due to the current situation. Another reason is that in some areas they still can’t be connected to any network, even to phone lines, due to the lack of governmental services. Since we have no real government to control its own issues, how will it control a simple issue such as the internet?
By Pillar

Will peace ever be achieved between Hezbollah and Israel? Will Hezbollah continue to be in Lebanon long-term? What’s your opinion of Hezbollah? (Ontario, Canada)

Peace will NEVER be achieved between Hezbollah and the Israelis, because when the Hezbollah organization gets their friends out of the Israeli prisons, they will stand with us if we start our revolution against the Israelis to make them leave our lands—because when they were under occupation, we stood with them in stopping the Israeli attack and in getting them out of Lebanon.

I think that Hezbollah is going to continue their leading in Lebanon. They will stay forever; even if Naserallah (the head of the Hezbollah organization) dies, we will all be Nasserallah, the most honest and brave leader I have ever seen.
By Seif

The conflict between Hezbollah and Israel will not reach an end. There is no solution to this conflict right now, but if Israel wanted to reach peace, I think they should recalculate the account to find that the only way is to trade prisoners. Hezbollah is a Lebanese political party and it has that right to be there. I think the way Hezbollah survived the battle against all the Israeli military technology was itself a victory, not just for Hezbollah and Lebanon but also to the entire world.
By Najeeb

I think peace is possible between Hezbollah and Israel, if Israel withdraws from Sheba’ farms (still occupied by Israel). Israel must stop killing Lebanese civilians and interfere in Lebanon’s internal politics. Peace is possible, if Israel stops its occupation of the Palestinian land and stops killing Palestinians as they do in Gaza.

Hezbollah will continue to be in Lebanon because they are part of the Lebanese people; they are a legal part of the parliament, and a legal part of the government. Hezbollah is a party that works hard to defend Lebanon and serve its people. Hezbollah provides social and health services to almost one third of Lebanese people and they have transparent, clean, descent leadership, and fight corruption of the Lebanese government.

Hezbollah gets support from Iran and Syria but they only serve the Lebanese agenda. They are an organized and honest party and they are supportive of the poor in Lebanon. They also support Palestinians and are willing to help us to liberate our land from the Israelis.
By Taleen

Hezbollah is a proud party. A proud party like Hezbollah will never achieve peace with a country that killed innocent people and took over lands that weren't theirs.
Hezbollah will continue to be in Lebanon as long as it possibly can. I think Hezbollah is the reason I keep my head held high. Because they are the ones that fought Israel, and weren't afraid of them. Parties like Hezbollah, and people like Hassan Nasrallah, are the ones that keep the pride of the Arabs alive.
By Chris

At this moment, peace between Hezbollah and Israel is almost impossible. Hezbollah can offer peace and achieve it, because the ball is in their court (they won the war). I believe that Hezbollah will continue in Lebanon long-term, because actually, it’s the strongest power right now in Lebanon. I think that Hezbollah are on the right side in this game, because they want their prisoners back, and because Israel is the cause of all problems in the Middle East.
By Ahmad N

In the past months, the conditions were unstable between Hezbollah and Israel. Hezbollah were the strongest to fight against Israel from all the other countries. They didn't give up at all. In the coming months peace will be hard to be achieved between them. After all that they did in Lebanon, they must not approve peace as a solution. I think Hezbollah will continue to be in Lebanon long-term, because they are brave, don't care about Israel, and they are the ones who are going to protect Lebanon.
By Ahlam

I think peace between Hezbollah and Israel will not be achieved after the damage that occurred in Israel following the war that made Israel lose economically and militarily.
I think that Hezbollah will continue in Lebanon.
By Rami

Peace will never be achieved between Hezbollah and Israel, and Hezbollah will continue to be in Lebanon long-term. Hezbollah is a very big part of Lebanon and it will fight its enemy until freedom. I support Hezbollah and hope they’ll win at last and free our country. Without them, Israel wouldn’t be weakened and shown to the world as a weak country that depends on guns to show strength.
By Ahd

How does your government go about punishing people who disobey the law? Do the punishments match the crimes? In other words, do they tend to be too easy or to harsh? – Marissa, Fraser, Octavia, and James (MALTA)

Many crimes and accidents happen in Palestine without taking any actions toward the people that are responsible for them. Our country is under occupation so there is more concern about fighting the Israeli soldiers, leaving problems inside Palestine rather than taking care of these interior problems. Sometimes Palestinian soldiers try to fight some common crimes such as drugs, stealing cars, and fights. The punishments of these crimes are mostly not harsh; that is by paying some money you can get out jail no matter what you did. In my opinion, people who disobey the law should be punished harshly to teach others not to make the same mistakes.
By Mona

The Palestinian government has no real power in the Palestinian territories, but the percentage of murders and robberies is very small, because people can protect themselves and their families. The reason that we don’t have any real laws is because of the Israeli government is not allowing the Palestinians to build an army or a good police department.
By Samer

The punishments in Palestine used to follow justice before the second Intifada. Some people don’t follow the law at all, but they can never be disciplined because they are powerful. Others commit uncomplicated crimes, but they receive a huge punishment. Those people are usually the weakest in the society and they can't protect themselves. I think that this is a big problem that we are facing, and we need to try to find a solution to it. If I had power, I would give every person what he deserves, without considering his position in the government or his power.
By Amro

To tell the truth, as Palestinian people we are missing the meaning of law or law for many years due to many reasons such as Political, economical, unstable situation, and many other things that makes the law messy and confused for the people. I wish that we would have law and people who do the crimes take their correct punishment as they should.
By Atallah

What is the relationship between the government and the people in your country? – Kriton (Athens, Greece)

The relationship between the government and the people can be described as beneficial when the people communicate with the government to meet needs by intermediacy. The relationship is only to express needs, but the relationship is false because it doesn’t differentiate the real needs from the false ones.
By Omar

There is a big relationship between the government and the people in my country, in that the people are the ones who choose the government, while the government is the one who is going to give the people what they want. Maybe now the government is not giving us our rights while it has the excuse that the Israeli government is not helping the Palestinian government by preventing the money from arriving to Palestine. So, we can say that they did not get their chance to show us their ability to help us in our country.
On the other hand, there are more relations like the jobs that they are trying to create for us. So there are big relations between government and the people, which the people are nothing without the government, and the government is nothing without the people.
By Seif

The relationship between the government and the people in our country is based on the following. The Palestinian Legislative Council-PLC is elected by the people. The cabinet is usually formed from PLC members. The vote of confidence for the cabinet is usually earned from the PLC. The PLC, being elected by the people, is accountable in front of the people and the same applies to the cabinet. Therefore, the government/Cabinet is accountable in front of the PLC, which is the representative of the people. The relationship between the government and the people is weak nowadays, since the government is not paying the salaries of its staff; that makes more than half of the society, for the eighth month in a row. The problem is based on two main issues; the first one is that America and Europe stopped the financial aid, because they were unsatisfied by the latest democratic elections. The second issue or problem was that the Israelis are blocking any financial aids from any other Arab or non-Arab country.
By Tala

The new legislative government in Palestine which is ruled by “Hamas” faces much opposition from some Palestinian people and parties. The government of “Hamas” are doing all they can to help Palestinian people, however. Because many people in Palestine are not making any money, they are furious, so they blame the government. Hence, the relationship between the government and the people is unstable and always creates problems.
By Christopher

I feel that the relationship between the government and the people is good, but could be much better. We are not like most Arab countries in which the people don’t have a voice for who rules their country. In Palestine people vote and chose who they want to rule their country and government. But still, we are not as free as other countries, for I think there should be a voice for teenagers.
By Faris

The thing that is good about the relation between our government and the community is that we are all treated the same. All the people in our country are equal. The connection between us and the government is good. It is not hard to connect with them at all. In these days the conditions are very terrible because of the new government. Therefore, there are some problems and fights between the two sides because the people have no money so they can live. I think that all these problems made Israel separate us from each other. I hope everything is going to be well soon.
By Ahlam

I personally believe that if there was no occupation and if we were a free country we'd make a very great place to live. The fact that our government is in jail and we're still doing fine is amazing. I believe that as a group of people we have a great amount and level of self-discipline. Imagine what we'd be able to do if we actually were free to move, live, and just be our selves.
By Reem

The relationship between the government and the people is really bad, especially these days. The government is not paying the workers their money. This one problem is causing a big problem between the people and the government. Before this incident the people didn’t like the government because of the way it deals with stuff. The people believe that it’s not doing much for the Palestinian people, especially in the conflict with the Israelis.
By Salah

It was a good relationship before the last election but now it is not clear because of the problems between the Palestinian authority and the president. There is a strike among all public sector and all the people suffer because of the problems. All public staff has not received their salaries for 7 months. This also creates social, economic and security problems for the people. The political solution with the Israelis stopped, which means there is no future for our life issue. As Palestinians we see that our life has no good future for us to live in peace and security in our home, Palestine.
By Naser

The relationship between the government and the people in my country is very weak. After the elections of the new legislative council, Israel prevented the fundamental foreign aid from getting to the government, making people ask for money because they have nothing to live from. As a result, they are fighting the new government. However, they don't want the old government again for it was full of corruption.
By Abbas

Do you feel that American and European Palestinians support Palestine enough? – Erin Alley (Calvin College, USA)

No, I see no effort from American or European Palestinians to help their people. If I was living in Europe, I would try to show European people the truth about what happens in Palestine and to Palestinian people. Palestinians in America and Europe should do their best to help their country from outside, especially in the west.
By Bakr

Answer: - No, because they support the government and they forget the people who live in poverty and have no shelter. I can't say that all of these supports are not good, but I mean the support that comes from outside. For example, Ramallah; not all the people in Ramallah need support. I think Gaza and its surrounding area need it more than we do. I think we first should support ourself; then we will take support from outside Palestine. And here I mean that the government should stop taking the people’s money, the people’s rights, because if every person takes his rights I’m sure he will give some money to the people in Gaza.
By Hanin

American and European Palestinians are a minority in their countries.
The most affective support they could offer is to increase the knowledge of their community about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. This is helpful because the media is biased most of the times. It also does not show all the facts about the daily bitter life of Palestinians. Because they are a minority, their affect on elections is very slight, but it could be fatal sometimes.
By Juman

There are some Palestinians from outside Palestine who support Palestine and the Palestinians. But I think that the American and European Palestinians don’t support Palestine enough. In my opinion most of them only want to have more money to buy a new car while many people here in Palestine do not have food to eat. But of course there are people who support Palestine. We need more support, but we are also able to work for our freedom without the support of the people who don’t care about us.
By Saja

Not all the Palestinians are helping us. I think that the Palestinians outside Palestine are living their life in good way, not like us. They are free to go anywhere they want. Sometimes they make posters for stopping our conflict, but that is not enough. So I wish that the Palestinians from all over the world would do more for us.
By Nihad

I don’t feel American & European Palestinians support Palestine& Palestinians enough. Of course they might support us in money, or in marches, and organization. But that lasts only for a short while, and then they start, bit by bit, forgetting about their people back in Palestine. And that’s true. This happened to my uncle, he immigrated to America, and then he started working for the Palestinian case, but then he just got bored, and just stopped working for it!
By Danah

Palestine is ignored by the world. People outside Palestine don’t know and don’t see what happens in Palestine. They view Palestinians as terrorists, which is wrong. That’s why American and European Palestinians don’t really know what Palestinians are going through. There are some programs that help Palestinians and they’re sponsored by Americans or Europeans or both. But generally I don’t think Palestine is getting enough support from anyone, Palestinian or not.
By Monica

I think that American and European Palestinians support Palestine as much as they can. Some families are adopted by people who live in the U.S. or in Europe. Sometimes I feel as if they are helping Palestine more than we do. No one can blame them, or say that they aren’t good for their country. In my opinion, anyone who says that is the one who isn’t helping his country. Not all of them support Palestine, but the people who are capable of sending any possible support, they do send.
By Amro

It depends on our understanding of the word “support.” If you mean mentally, then I guess they do support us, as has been shown in their reactions to every Israeli crime. However, if we understand that phrase as an economical support, then I guess this is a thing that I don’t know!
By Salman

I think that the Europeans support the Palestinians; some of them come to Palestine to support Palestinians against the wall. But I think that the Americans are living in their own world; they don't know about us and the American government pretends that it cares about us. They don't care.
By Yazeed

Palestine needs the people who can help its development, like the ones who study outside it. These people can help Palestine to move forward. Some of the American and European Palestinians support Palestine with money, and these people we appreciate a lot, but others says that we are not Palestinians, and I hate this kind of people.
By Ahmad M<

What the difference between Hamas and Hezbollah?

Hamas and Hezbollah share the value of defending their rights and country from Israel in the name of God. Hamas, short for "Islamic jihad Party", defends Palestine against the Israeli invasion. Hezbollah, "the party of God," defends Lebanon against Israeli invasion too. The difference between them is that Hezbollah is far more powerful than Hamas. Hezbollah has military capabilities that can withstand Israeli attacks. Unfortunately, due to the situation, Hamas cannot fight as strong as Hezbollah. But, regardless everything else, Hamas and Hezbollah fight with all their heart: to death.
By Chris

Hamas and Hezbollah were established on Islamic rule (as they say). Both defend their land and both fight for the right; Hamas wants freedom for Palestine, and Hezbollah wants to get back their Lebanese prisoners. I do not think that there are big differences between Hamas and Hezbollah, but it’s clear that Hezbollah is stronger, because they defeated Israel.
By Ahmad N

In my personal opinion, I don’t think Hamas and Hezbollah are alike in any ways. The only thing they have in common is that they have the same enemy. The way they are different is by the methods they use to attack Israel. For example, Hamas attacks Israel by sending a suicide bomber and killing Israeli civilians. On the other hand, Hezbollah attack the Israeli army, not the civilians.
By Salah


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