Is a Third Palestinian Uprising on its Way?

(By Ruthie Blum)

On December 25, Ali Jarbawi published his blockbuster Op-Ed “The Coming Intifada” with The New York Times. ”We Palestinians are living through the worst situation in years,” he wrote. Meanwhile, Kerry & Co. attempt to strike an historic peace agreement.

Has the Arab Spring, now in its troublesome aftermath, stirred enough confidence in Palestinians that they simply await the right moment to strike a pose?

So what will it be? Has the Arab Spring, now in its troublesome aftermath, stirred enough confidence in Palestinians that they simply await the right moment to strike a pose? Or perhaps ”The Coming Intifada” will be different? Perhaps it will not involve violence. Asef Bayat, the renowned sociologist, looks back in time for inspiration.

“The first Palestinian Intifada (1987 to 1993), one of the most grassroots-based mobilizations in the Middle East during the past century, combined demand for self-rule with democratic governance, and the reclaiming of individual and national dignity,” he wrote in 2011. “That Intifada remains a role model and inspiration to today’s protesters.”

Other thinkers and writers seem to believe force is inevitable should Palestine explode. Here’s a compilation of their words.

“The alternative to getting back to the talks is the potential of chaos… I mean, does Israel want a third intifada?”

- John Kerry, US Secretary of State

”John Kerry must think twice before he warns the Israeli government and citizens in public against a third intifada, if the negotiations with the Palestinians fail. The warning is in place and should be said, but not in public. When it is said openly it contributes to the legitimacy given to hot-blooded Palestinians.”

- Ron Ben-Yishai, Israeli journalist

“An intifada is mostly blood and fire, and if the Palestinian people and factions are not thoroughly prepared for it, it could have disastrous consequences.”

- Walid Suleiman, editor-in-chief Akbar al-Khalil

“The third intifada will be started by the soldier who kills another child, the military prosecutor who once again decides that the killing was by the book, the bureaucrat who signs the order to demolish a house, the brigade commander who continues to watch how settlers beat down shepherds, the judge who extends the remand of another protester, the settler who kicks a young woman.”

- Amira Hass, Israeli journalist and author

”If nothing is done to quell the growing anxiety and rising hopelessness among Palestinians, it will only be a matter of time until the Occupied Territories explode.”

- Ali Jarbawi, political scientist and a former minister of the Palestinian Authority

”Bassem Eid, a Palestinian human rights worker and an insightful analyst of Arab affairs… said he had ‘no shadow of a doubt’ that Hamas’s primary goal in calling for an intifada from the West Bank was, first, to weaken the Palestinian Authority and only second to hinder the negotiations.”

- Mitch Ginsburg, Times of Israel

”No matter what Kerry does or Livni says or Israel agrees to, a third intifada is on its way. Abbas says we can count on it.”

- Ruthie Blum, author of To Hell in a Handbasket: Carter, Obama, and the ‘Arab Spring.’

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Related video (added by Juan Cole)

PressTV reports on PLO charges that Israelis have been guilty of thousands of abuses of Palestinians under their occupation in 2013:

12 Responses

  1. Ultimately, a third intifada (literally “shaking off”) is not only reasonable, it is necessary.

    Unlike 1987 and 2000, when the prior intifadas occurred, was there a nascent anti-government mood within Israel itself as it is today with the J-14 movement. The J-14 movement has been fueled within Israel by rising rents and economic disparity between the wealthy and the middle classes – which largely has been caused by the Israeli government scavenging social programs to fund the continuing occupation of the West Bank.

    The First Intifada ended with the 1993 Oslo Accords (Oslo I)following the historic 1991 Madrid Conference and the election of a moderate Labor Party-controlled government led by Yitzhak Rabin.

    The Second Intifada ended with the internationally-praised Gaza disengagement in 2005 and the release of hundreds of West Bank prisoners by the Ariel Sharon government – which also gave rise to the moderate Kadima Party which swept to victory in the next parliamentary elections.

    In the event the current peace negotiations fail – and most expect this – the Third Intifada is likely to arise. This time the Israeli government is likely to have pressure from a peace movement internally that has recognized the damage the occupation is doing to the Israeli economy – especially with a growing international call for BDS.

  2. Since when has Israel ever been afraid of Arab uprisings? They have their own way of suppressing intifadas, much like other ME tyrannies put down dissent. The big example now is Assad. Very rough neighborhood.

  3. This time the Intifada should have a different focus. All Palestinians, indeed all Arabs, should march peacefully to the Dome of the Rock. They should march from the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt. They should ignore Israel. After 65 years we all know that there is nothing to be gained by talking to Israel. What would Israel do? What could Israel do?

    Such mass marches got the British out of India and helped end Segregation. It is probably the only way to end Israeli oppression.

      • Of course Israel would not permit a march. They won’t issue a building permit to a Palestinian. My point is that they should ignore what Israel will and will not permit. They need to just do it.

      • A mass march, headed by women and children, thousands approaching the checkpoints, could only be resisted by vioelnce from the IDF. Sharpeville was the first moment of realisation that the apartheidf state was unsustainable. The Zionist state would not dare to emulate the totalitatian states it abhors and alienate the democratic world to which it claims allegiance by bloody massacre. Palestine should find its Gandhi.

        • The IDF had fired on peaceful demonstrators in Gaza, killing some, during the Second Intifada and endured the international criticism.

          No different than MLK and the Selma to Montgomery marchers at Edmund Pettus Bridge.

  4. a fifty year drama .. in the newspaper every day of my entire life .. it’s not that i’m fed up, though i am, but by now i think it’s n energetic manipulation by deviant space beings … i mean, what the heck else can explain it??

    • Getting tired are we?? You might not know that your pocket is getting picked either. The US taxpayer is subsidizing that whole Zionist Colonial Enterprise.@$10 million per day that we know of. That is when Israel does not launch another war or fabricate intell. duping US into a Trillion plus disaster.
      Go back to sleep. Bunky!

      • Remember Americans feel they are helping a victim here, for that is what they have been told, and will be told. The truth will never be told in the US. Americans are duped into sending the most aid to an occupier, armed and protected by the US

  5. If it is madness then it is the madness of desperation. After 65 years there is no point in waiting for Israel to “do the right thing”. The argument that resisting will only make things worse is the standard one used to keep people down. It was used to justify segregation in America and it was used in Apartheid South Africa. There comes a time when you have to say: no more!

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