Facebook and the Third Intifada
Swept up by the momentum of the recent Facebook-powered revolutions in the Arab world, a newly formed, super-viral Palestinian group on Facebook openly advocates another Intifada (terror war) against the citizens of Israel.
The “Third Palestinian Intifada,” calls for a million supporters to join forces in a violent uprising against Israel on May 15, 2011, or Nakba Day, the date on which Arabs mourn the establishment of Israel. Previous intifadas (1987 and 2000) resulted in the murders of thousands of innocent victims through suicide bombings, rocket attacks, roadside shootings and numerous acts of terror.
The facebook page, entitled Third Palestinian Intifada, has more than 350,000 fans. Facebook has refused to remove the page. Will a Jewish young man, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, actually assist the bloodshed of his own people?
Supporters of Israel are deeply worried. On Friday night, March 12, a young Israeli family in Itamar was butchered to death. Last Wednesday, a bombing in Jerusalem killed a woman and wounded dozens. Rocket attacks from Gaza are increasing by the day. Are these barbaric acts heralding the launch of a third Intifada?
Over the last two years Israel has acquiesced to the incessant demands of the Palestinian Authority and the Obama administration that it freeze construction of Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, in order to promote peace. It also removed scores of roadblocks allowing Palestinians free entry into Israel cities and towns. The economy in the West Bank has been prospering. Why, then, the sudden fury against Israel?
The answer is painful. Without even a single exception, every time Israel ceded territory or made security compromises to its neighbors, that territory became an infrastructure of terror, from which Arabs were sent to murder innocent Israeli civilians.
In the summer of 2005, Israel withdrew completely from Gaza, which it obtained in the 1967 war. Not even on an inch of land remained under Israeli occupation. The then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon believed that with not a single Jew left in Gaza and with the Israeli occupation over, the Arabs living there would now be driven to create a functioning state, and security would increase for both sides.
Alas, the exact opposite occurred. Hamas swept into Gaza and turned it into a terrorist infrastructure, with a clear objective: to destroy Israel. The result was increased rocket attacks from unoccupied Gaza targeting Israeli civilians on a daily basis.
One decade earlier, the Oslo peace agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority persuaded Israel to cede territories in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank of Jordan), obtained from Jordan in the 1967 war, to the Palestinian Authority. What was the result? Those very territories have become bastions of terror from where young Arab men and women were sent to blow up and murder as many civilians as possible. Endless rivers of blood and tears began flowing in the buses, streets, café’s, and schools of Israel.
At Camp David, in 2000, Yasser Arafat was offered a Palestinian State with its capital in East Jerusalem, along with 100% of Gaza and 98% of the West Bank. Arafat’s response was a terror campaign that claimed the lives of thousands of his own people, in addition to thousands of dead and maimed Jews.
For years Israel said to its Arab neighbors, “Let us live together.” Their consistent reply was: “Rather than live together, we will die together.” In 1947, the UN in its famous partition plan, offered the Arabs a state alongside a Jewish one. Israel accepted the offer; the Arabs rejected it.
After the Six Day War, Israel offered the return of the territories in exchange for peace and the Arab league issued its three famous No’s: No to peace, no to negotiation, and no to recognition. Why did the Arabs not, for their own benefit, accept the path of coexistence?
The painful answer is that the Arab objective is not to establish the twenty-second Arab state, but to destroy the only Jewish state. Arab leaders have always craved a Palestinian state that, in their oft-repeated phrase, would “extend from the river to the sea,” i.e., from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea—all of Israel. It is not about Arab desire for more land that drives the continuous strife; it is the feeling that if Israel exists, their existence is somehow worthless.
The Arab war against Israel is no more a territorial conflict than was Al Qaeda’s strike against America, and it can no more be resolved by giving away territory than anti-Americanism could be appeased by yielding New Jersey to Osama bin Laden.
What has changed from 2005 to 2011 that should convince Israel that this time around it would be any different? Has the education curriculum in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza been altered to start teaching children about the importance of peace and co-existence? Have the Imams during their weekly sermons in the Mosques changed their jargon exclaiming that Israel is not the face of the devil? Have Arab communities stopped naming streets and quarters after suicide bombers who murdered Israeli civilians?
Sadly, nothing of this has occurred. No one in the international community even demands it as a prerequisite for peace negotiations. While Israeli schools teach that peace is our greatest ideal, in every single Arab school without exception Israel is portrayed as the enemy of G-d which must be obliterated. With these realities unaltered, giving away more territories, removing roadblocks, ceasing construction of Jewish homes, would bring more war not peace.
Two weeks ago, on March 13, the municipality in Ramallah, under the Palestinian Authority, named a new town square. It was named for the female leader of a 1978 bus hijacking in which 35 Israelis were murdered, including 13 children. Dalal al-Mughrabi, a member of the then-underground Fatah movement, led the hijacking of the bus on Israel’s Haifa-Tel Aviv highway.
“We stand here in praise of our martyrs and in loyalty to all of the martyrs of the national movement,” Fatah member Sabri Seidam said at the unveiling of a plaque showing Mughrabi cradling a rifle against a backdrop map of Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The square was festooned with Palestinian flags.
The naming ceremony was conducted two days after five Israelis were stabbed to death in their home in Itamar, the victims including an infant and a four year old. What does this teach Palestinian youth about murdering Jewish babies?
For decades, the Palestinian Authority has demonized Israelis and Jews as enemies to be destroyed, vermin to be loathed, and infidels to be terrorized. Children who grow up under Palestinian rule are inundated on all sides — in school, in the mosques, on radio and TV, even in summer camps and popular music — with messages that glorify bloodshed, promote hatred, and lionize “martyrdom.”
The toxic incitement that pervades Palestinian culture has been massively documented. What children are taught in Palestinian classrooms, Hillary Clinton said in 2007, is “to see martyrdom and armed struggle and the murder of innocent people as ideals to strive for…This propaganda is dangerous.”
Last year Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat called the Netanyahu position at the time against freezing the construction “very unfortunate” and said he hoped the U.S. “will be able to convince the Israeli government to give peace a chance by halting settlement construction in east Jerusalem and elsewhere.”
“Give peace a chance?” Israel has stretched out its neck time and time again in order to give peace a chance and it has received in return thousands of orphans.
If some day the Arabs are serious about creating a democratic Palestinian State with its capital in East Jerusalem, co-existing peacefully with Israel, why are Jews not allowed to live and build homes there? What type of free democracy would it be if Jews would be banned from there? Arabs are allowed to live in all parts of Israel, but Jews are forbidden to live in parts of Palestine?
How can leaders of free democracies advocate the creation of a new Palestinian State which does not allow a single Jew to live in its midst? Why can’t Jews build homes in a free Palestinian State? Unless, of course, this Palestinian State has at its core agenda the extermination of Israel.
At the end of World War II, Winston Churchill quipped, “You can always rely on America to do the right thing, once it has exhausted the alternatives.” Israel, which has far fewer alternatives than the U.S., has long ago exhausted them all. How much more innocent blood needs to be spilled before we abandon the failed maps of the past? How many more children have to be blown up by suicide bombers before we pursue the only real course for peace? How many more throats have to be slashed in order to sober us up?