Dr. Nasser Al-Laham, editor-in-chief of the Palestinian Authority's Maan News Agency, criticized both Hamas and Fatah in the wake of the Hamas crackdown on protesters in Gaza, saying: "the governments have gone berserk." Al-Laham asked: "What have we adopted from the Arab countries? Prison cells? Torture? Burn marks?" and said: "In some things, we are worse than the occupation." In the TV interview, which was posted on the Maan News YouTube channel on March 16, he asked: "Is this the kind of homeland we want?" and called upon Palestinians to "take [to the streets] and chant: No to the homeland!" Al-Laham, who is Mayadeen TV's reporter in the West Bank, is a critic of the Palestinian Authority.
Following are excerpts:
Nasser Al-Laham: The attacks on civilians, breaking their arms, and beating them, constitute humiliation, disgrace, and injustice. It is a disgrace for the [Fatah and Hamas] governments. The governments have gone berserk. The factions have gone berserk.
How mentally insane have we become? Is this Palestine? Is this the same Palestine for which tens of thousands from all the factions that have been martyred? Is this the same Palestine for which young men, aged 14, 15, and 16, have died? They came from Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, and the Sinai in order to liberate Palestine. Are we liberating Palestine merely in order to create a new generation of masters and slaves? To hell with us! To hell with our slogans!
What have we adopted from the Arab countries? Prison cells? Torture? Burn marks? What have we adopted from the Arab countries apart from their garbage?
Is this the kind of homeland we want – a homeland in which I can no longer trust my neighbor? A homeland in which my fellow citizen comes and, in front of my wife, drags me by my feet or by my hair and tramples me underfoot? All this in the name of the homeland? The homeland is mine, not yours. I say to officials of all ranks: To hell with you. You're doing this under the pretext of fighting Israel? You're lying! All the Palestinians fought Israel.
All the Palestinian newspapers, the communiqués, and the political parties talk about the occupation… The occupation? Have you left any evil for the occupation? In some things, we are worse than the occupation. The occupation, when [a Palestinian] is wounded… Let the Arab public hear this. Even if it only does this for all to see, out of shame or hypocrisy, the occupation treats that wounded person. Have we left any evil for the occupation? Every government we form tramples us underfoot. We should be trampling those governments underfoot. Let me tell you, we started our lives in prison – let us spend them in prison. Enough. Let's walk away. We don't want this kind of homeland. If they claim to care about this homeland more than we do… If whenever we appoint an interior minister, he wants to humiliate use before our children, we don't want this homeland. Let the people take [to the streets] and chant: No to the homeland!