Israel's Fascists Are Pushing Palestinians Towards A Third Intifada
21 November 2015
By Eyad Abu Shakra
The Arab world is not a happy sight these days.
Iraqis are not relaxed in a fragmented country dominated by Tehran and
''cherished'' by Washington. The Libyans are not so sure about their future
in the midst of internal division and feverish grabbing of religious
extremism and regional and tribal loyalties despite the efforts of the UN
Envoy Bernardino Leon.
In Syria and Lebanon the requirements of new maps and apportionment of
influence are leading to population ''displacement'' and ''exchange'' as
hundreds of thousands are being killed and millions uprooted in Syria. While
in Lebanon the population fabric is being changed through systematic forced
emigration achieved through undermining civil society and government
institutions by a religious militia implementing foreign regional plans.
Then, let's not forget Yemen, the Arabia Felix no more, which has been saved
in the eleventh hour from being handed to those using sectarianism as a
''Trojan horse'' intended to destroy the Arabs from within.
However, with all this it is impossible to overlook the oldest Arab wound
The Palestinian wound is bleeding again as a result of the transformation of
Israel's political chemistry, marked by the collapse of the Left, the
disorientation of the liberals, and the takeover of extremists of the
leadership of the Right and religious Right.
For the Zionist pioneers Israel was a ''dream of redemption'' far from
discrimination and persecution in Europe. Some Zionist intellectuals strongly
believed the ''Promised Land'' had to accommodate all trends and strains
within the richly varied Jewish society as it was influenced in the different
environments in which the Jews lived across the world. Even the text of
''Balfour Declaration'' spelled out clearly in the future Jewish Homeland
''nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of
existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.''
Then, when the UN adopted its Partition plan of Palestine it recognised
several criteria pertaining to demographics, land-ownerships, etc. Examining
that map one can clearly see those demographic facts which allocated to ''The
Jewish State'' three areas connected at two intersection points shared with
the areas allocated to ''The Palestinian State'' as follows:
The First area, in the north, comprised Eastern Galilee which included Safed
and Tiberias, two of the four ''holy'' Jewish cities, linking with the Second
area west of the town of Afula. The Second, in the western centre, extended
from southwestern Galilee (including Jezreel Valley and the Carmel) where
intensive settlement activity during the British Mandate turned Haifa to a
city with a sizeable Jewish population, along the Coastal (Sharon) Plain
towards the second intersection point south of the town of Ramla, east of
Ashdod and west of Latrun.
Finally, the Third area, in the south, extends from the aforementioned point
and ends at the shore of the Gulf of Aqaba, covering most of the Negev
Likewise, ''The Palestinian State'' was made up of three areas linked to one
another at the two intersecting points, as follows: Western Galilee in the
north including the towns of Acre and Nazareth; a much larger West Bank than
pre-June 1967 in the centre including the towns of Ramla, Lydd (Lod),
Beersheba, and areas west of Jerusalem; and also a much larger Gaza Strip
extending from Ashdod and Majdal/Ashkelon in the north to a large sector in
western Negev along the Sinai borders. Even the city of Jaffa was kept as an
''Arab island'' surrounded by the lands of ''The Jewish State''; while
Jerusalem and its outlying suburbs were put under the UN's authority.
Sure enough, the Zionist political and military establishments were
well-prepared for the expected Arabs' rejection of the Partition Plan on the
eve of the ''birth of the State of Israel'' in 1948, and their declaration of
war against it. Consequently, Israel defeated the ill-prepared and badly led
Arab armies, and vastly increased its designated ''original'' territory thus
Making the 1947 map irrelevant.
More realities on the ground changed in the following years and decades
primarily due to accumulating Arab mistakes, the most noteworthy of which was
– and still is – their ignorance of what Israel really is, and what it means
to and in the West.
So, after annexing western Galilee plus large territories in both the West
Bank and Gaza Strip, Israel occupied all the West Bank and Gaza Strip in June
1967. However, today, in spite of the Oslo Accords which agreed the
establishment of a ''viable Palestinian State'' and for which Yitzhak Rabin,
Shimon Peres and Yasser Arafat won the Noble Peace Prize, one might surmise
that the facts on the ground allow for neither the creation of a
''Palestinian State'' nor reaching a political settlement to the Palestinian
problem and the Arab – Israeli conflict.
In the West there are still those who insist on blaming the Palestinians for
the collapse of the ''Peace process'', but the truth is that the Palestinians
– just like their Syrian brethren today – have been victims of two culprits:
the first a declared enemy who is fighting directly, and a concealed enemy
who claims to be an ally but keeps inciting them, pushing them towards
extremism and plays on their differences.
Indeed, as the declared enemy represented by the extreme Right takes over the
government of Israel and boasts – from the highest office – its rejection of
the principle of ''Land for Peace'', thus encouraging Jewish
ultra-fundamentalist terrorists to murder, burn and grab the lands and homes
of Palestinians; the concealed enemy has been busy destroying the
Palestinians' national unity and driving them to political suicide. It has
been sowing the seeds of friction and divisions among the Palestinians,
fomenting animosity, and outbid them even in their own cause. It has also
succeeded in convincing some that the only way to confront Jewish religious
fascism is by an Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)-style Islamist
fascism it is supporting in Palestine while claiming to be fighting in Syria
The Palestinians look as if they are now going through a third Intifada after
Benjamin Netanyahu and his folks have, through their illegal settlement and
displacement policies, effectively killed off any chance of a permanent and
just political solution.
To rise as a means of refusing capitulation now is not only the Palestinian's
right, but also their sole choice. But if they need to heed one important
truth then it must be sticking to reason and unity, and stop betting on those
regional players using them and exploiting their suffering in order to
enhance their negotiating position, noting that these players just approved
deals and treaties with powers that for a long time refused to recognize
their legitimate rights.
The destiny of Palestine must be the only priority, not any empty slogan
perfected by insincere out-bidders for decades.
Eyad Abu Shakra is the managing editor of Asharq Al-Awsat. He has been
with the newspaper since 1978.