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December 24, 2014 4:01 pm

The Truth About Palestinian Violence and the Second Intifada

avatar by Moshe Phillips and Benyamin Korn

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Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal (L) and PA President Mahmoud Abbas. Photo: Jewish Policy Center.

For years, Palestinian leaders and their media allies have claimed that the “Second Intifada” – the mass violence of 2000-2001 – was a “spontaneous” uprising against Israeli “oppression.”

But occasionally they tell the truth: it wasn’t spontaneous at all. It was organized by the Palestinian Authority leadership itself.

Last week Mahmoud al-Zahar, co-founder of Hamas and its former foreign minister, let the cat out of the bag in an interview with the Hamas television station, Al Aqsa TV. He revealed that PA chairman Yasser Arafat personally approved of Hamas’ terrorist attacks as part of the Second Intifada. Not only that, but Arafat provided Hamas with weapons to carry out the attacks.

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Al-Zahar revealed that the PA and Fatah – the political party also chaired by Arafat – set up a terrorist front group in Gaza called “Omar Al-Mukhtar.” It carried out attacks against Israelis and transferred weapons, including RPG grenade launchers, to Hamas. A senior official of Arafat’s Preventive Security Forces personally coordinated the relationships with Hamas leader Salah Shehadeh.

Al-Zahar’s televised remarks came just days after confirmation from another source about the PA’s role in the Second Intifada. When PA cabinet minister Ziad Abu Eain suffered a fatal heart attack after an altercation with Israeli soldiers on December 11, Eain’s brother, Ala’a, boasted to the Washington Post that Eain was “one of the leaders of the Second Intifada.”

Obviously a cabinet minister could not have been a “leader” of mass violence without the knowledge and approval of his colleagues in the PA leadership.

The Second Intifada that the PA in fact organized included a wave of notorious suicide attacks – at Tel Aviv’s Dolphinarium night club, murdering 21 Israelis; at the Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem, killing 15; on a Haifa bus, murdering 16; on Ben Yehuda Street in Jerusalem, killing 11; on a Jerusalem bus, killing 23; and in the Maxim restaurant in Haifa, leaving 21 Israelis dead – among many others.

There were many other unforgettable atrocities, such as:

  • The murder and mutilation of two Israelis who accidentally drove into the PA’s capital city, Ramallah, in October 2000. The image of the killers proudly waving their blood-drenched hands for the cheering mob to see became a symbol of terrorist savagery.
  • The murder of Israeli teens Yosef Ishran and Koby Mandell (the latter a U.S. citizen), beaten to death with rocks in a cave near Tekoa.
  • The murder of ten month-old Shalhevet Pass, shot in the head by a Palestinian sniper in Hebron.
  • The murder of Rabbi Hillel Lieberman, a relative of U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman, near the Tomb of Joseph in Shechem (Nablus).

Apologists for the Palestinian cause will no doubt argue that Arafat was indeed to blame, but since he died long ago (in November 2004), there’s nothing to worry about now. But who was Arafat’s number-two man during all that time? Mahmoud Abbas, the current PA and Fatah chairman. Abbas had to have known, and approved, of the PA’s sponsorship of the violence. And it was Abbas who later promoted Abu Eain – whose brother has identified him as a Second Intifada leader – from comptroller to a cabinet-level position.

Moreover, the Palestinian leadership carried out this unabashed slaughter of innocent Jewish civilians a full seven years after they signed the Oslo Accords, in which they supposedly renounced violence. Yet here we are, a decade later, and all the Martin Indyks and Thomas Friedmans are still claiming that Abbas is a “moderate” and a “partner for peace.”

In recent weeks, there has been much speculation in the international news media about whether or not the most recent Arab violence against Israelis constitutes a “Third Intifada.” Perhaps the pundits should pause to think anew about the Second Intifada – for truth about that experience is still being learned.

Moshe Phillips is president and  Benyamin Korn is chairman of the Religious Zionists of America, Philadelphia.

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  • Sadly, Europe and the US seems to have lost the appetite, the foresight and the moral fortitude to defend the rights of Israel due to decades of horrendous acts of violence by Islamic terrorists from the PLO and its many offshoots such as Black September, to Fatah and Hamas, economic pressure from oil-rich Arabs and to a spectacularly, and now widely accepted , re-written history and invention of a “Palestinian people” allegedly suppressed by the wicked colonial West and Israeli “occupation”. Until we in the West wake up to what is truly happening in the Middle East and fully understand how we got to this position today, I have a great fear that Islamic extremists such as Hamas and Fatah may succeed in their quest. Yet, I make a promise that I will spend the rest of my life fighting for justice and for the right of Israel – who is the only legitimate heir to the Holy Land – to exist as a Jewish State, and live in peace, in the post-1967 borders, and for her right to worship freely at the Temple Mount. This recent revelation of the real players behind the Second Intifada comes as no surprise to many but is something that needs emphasising in the corridors of power within the EU which meets tomorrow and which seeks to abandon Israel to a terrible fate.

  • No Jew has the right to yield the rights of the Jewish People in Israel – David Ben Gurion
    “No Jew has the right to yield the rights of the Jewish People in
    Israel. No Jew has the authority to do so. No Jewish body has the authority to do so. Not even the entire Jewish People alive today has the right to yield any part of Israel. It is the right of the Jewish People over the generations, a right that under no conditions can be cancelled. Even if Jews during a specific period proclaim they are relinquishing this right, they have neither the power nor the authority to deny it to future generations. No concession of this type is binding or obligates the Jewish People. Our right to the country – the entire
    country – exists as an eternal right, and we shall not yield this
    historic right until its full and complete redemption is
    realized.”
    (David Ben Gurion, Zionist Congress, Basel, Switzerland, 1937.)

    “No country in the world exists today by virtue of its ‘right’. All
    countries exist today by virtue of their ability to defend themselves
    against those who seek their destruction.”

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