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October 20, 2015 11:29 am

‘If There is a Third Intifada, We Want to Be the Ones Who Started It’

avatar by Edward Alexander

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Speculation, bordering on hopeful anticipation, about the arrival of  Intifada Three, has been rife for years in the Obama administration and among its journalist acolytes. Photo: wiki commons.

Speculation, bordering on hopeful anticipation, about the arrival of Intifada Three, has been rife for years in the Obama administration and among its journalist acolytes. Photo: wiki commons.

“If There is a Third Intifada, We Want to Be the Ones Who Started It”

New York Times Magazine Cover Story (Illustrated), March 17, 2013

“The most ghastly incident was at Hebron. There was a Jewish population there of over 700 people, an ancient community centred on a Talmudical college. Armed bands intent on slaughter reached Hebron on the 24th [August 1929]. The police were Arab and they stood passively by while their fellow Moslems moved into the town and to deeds which would have been revolting among animals. There was an inn…where  some Jews had fled for safety. The Arabs killed and dismembered 23 of them with daggers and axes in an upper room, so that, according to a witness, blood ran down the stairs and soaked through the ceiling… This was not half of the crime…” (Christopher Sykes, Cross Roads to Israel: Palestine from Balfour to Bevin [Collins, 1965], pp. 118-19.)

Since one explanation of the recent “knifing  intifada” is that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has encouraged (if not actually started) the killing — in order to extract from Secretary of State John Kerry and President Barack Obama every concession imaginable from an administration that believes “settlements” are not only “Illegal” but also the sole and always justifying cause of Arab and Muslim violence against Jews — in Israel and also across Europe, it is time for a history lesson.  

In 1929, there were no “occupied territories” or “illegal settlements.” Indeed, there was no Jewish (or Arab) state in British Mandatory Palestine at all, and the Jewish population of Hebron was largely a non-Zionist one. Nevertheless, Arab hysteria about “the Wailing Wall” — as the British authorities called the Temple Mount area, Judaism’s holiest site — had ignited Muslim fury against the Jews.

The antecedents to Arab rioting had been two-fold. First, the British had granted a small group of Jews permission to pray on the occasion of  Tisha b’Av, the holiday commemorating the destruction of the Temple. Second, a Jewish boy had accidentally kicked a football into an Arab garden: seeing this as the hand of Zionism, the Arabs proceeded to murder the boy — with knives. Shortly thereafter, the Mufti and the Supreme Muslim Council brought to the city a mob of Arab peasants “armed with clubs and knives. A few of them had firearms. The mob rushed out into the streets of Jerusalem and attacked every Jew they could see.”

The British authorities refused the request of Zionist groups to arm Jewish men or to deploy Jewish police. In the days following, Jewish communities from Jerusalem to Haifa, as well as the south, were laid waste, with the savagery reaching its peak in the aforementioned massacre in Hebron. Since Obama and Kerry and their circle of advisers and sycophants are so ignorant of history that they hear no warning echoes when they celebrate the “deal” with Iran for having brought “peace in our time,” a history lesson is never superfluous with this bunch.

Speculation, bordering on hopeful anticipation, about the arrival of  Intifada Three, has been rife for years in the Obama administration and among its journalist acolytes. For a very long time they alleged that “illegal settlements” are actually the cause of all the disturbances in the Middle East. As recently as October 2014, Kerry blamed Israeli “intransigence” for the emergence of ISIS. But such allegations have become embarrassing now that the entire Middle East, in large part due to the collapse of American policy there, is in flames and millions of its citizens are overrunning Europe. Rare is the person who can any longer sort out the varieties of fanaticism that have set Sunnis against Shiites, “moderate” rebels against Syria, Arabs against Persians and every man’s hand against his brother’s. So the Obama administration has been forced to reduce, somewhat, the enormity of its accusations against Israel, but hardly to abandon them: now the Jews are to blame not for all of the world’s evil, only for the fact that even its own Arab citizens and most of their cousins harbor a deep-seated desire to murder their Jewish neighbors.

In November of 2013, Kerry specifically threatened, in an interview with England’s Channel 2 television, “chaos” and a “third intifada” if Israel’s “peace talks” with the Palestinian Authority (PA) fail. “Failure of the talks will increase Israel’s isolation in the world,” Kerry warned. “The alternative to getting back to the talks is a potential of chaos. I mean, does Israel want a third intifada?

“I believe that if we do not resolve the issues between Palestinians and Israelis; if we do not find a way to find peace, there will be an increasing isolation of Israel. There will be an increasing campaign of delegitimization of Israel that’s taking place on an international basis. That if we do not resolve the question of the settlements and who lives where and how and what rights they have; if we don’t end the presence of Israeli soldiers perpetually within the West Bank…”

Such remarks, which offered license to attack Jews in any way possible, including, or rather especially, ways that count as war crimes — the more imaginative the better — could hardly have gone unnoticed by Abbas and Hamas.

They also knew that “Intifada Three” could be sure of powerful support and nimble apologetics at The New York Times. Jodi Rudoren, Jerusalem bureau chief for the Times, jumped the gun slightly when she suggested in 2014 that the third intifada might already have arrived as “the car intifada,” in which Arab drivers expressed their innumerable grievances by running over Jewish pedestrians with their cars or larger vehicles. Rudoren’s specialty, as everybody knows, is the licentious equation between Muslim murder and Jewish misbehavior. Best-known examples include her likening the Arab murder of four Jews in a Jerusalem synagogue to Jewish graffiti on a mosque; or Iranian to Israeli treatment of dissident journalists. Recently she also weighed in, on October 17, with a tawdry piece of agitprop entitled “East Jerusalem Bubbling over with Despair” that linked  the knifing murders to inadequate municipal services in East Jerusalem. But will her relentless apologetics for Israel’s adversaries  insure her own safety now that the “real” third intifada seems to be underway, with indiscriminate stabbing at its core? Or will she find herself in the predicament of Shakespeare’s Cinna in Julius Caesar?  (Cinna is the unlucky poet who is mistaken by the “firebrands” who come to mourn their murdered emperor for another Cinna. He insists, but to no avail,  that he is not “Cinna the conspirator,” but Cinna the poet. Will Rudoren be saved from the knife-wielder by insisting  that “I am Rudoren, the anti-Israel Jew; I am not Rudoren the Zionist”? Good luck to her.)

Difficult as Rudoren’s detractors may find this to credit, she has actually been less passionate in her predictive yearning for Intifada Three than have her editors at the Times, who must at this moment be ululating with glee, perhaps handing out candy. On March 17, 2013, they published in their Sunday magazine section a lavishly illustrated cover story entitled: “If There Is a Third Intifada, We Want to Be the Ones Who Started It,” by Ben Ehrenreich. He qualified himself to offer this modest proposal for politicide four years earlier, by publishing an article in the Los Angeles Times entitled “Zionism Is the Problem.” Not only, he alleged there, did it prevent harmonious relations between Jews and Arabs — it introduced into a region well-known for its rich ethnic and religious diversity a monolithic Jewish state, which must, by definition, be “exclusive” or else practice “ethnic cleansing.”

Ehrenreich’s obsession with the potentiality for Jewish ethnic cleansing, Jewish religious fanaticism and Jewish “apartheid” contrasted sharply with his entire indifference to the actuality of what the surrounding Arab and Muslim nations had already achieved at a cost of hundreds of thousands of lives, in all those lines of endeavor. He set forth the compelling urgency of politicide (dissolution would be too weak a word) for the ill-conceived and uniquely evil country called Israel. Surely the Jews were not “entitled” to a homeland just because they had had a rather rough time of it during World War II and earlier.

The New York Times Magazine spread portrays with love, sympathy and even adoration the villagers (without exception charming “people like you and me”) of Nabi Saleh in the disputed territories who, so Ehrenreich hoped, could provide manpower for the next intifada. The Second Intifada, lest we forget, killed over a thousand Israelis and maimed ten times that number in acts which, to borrow Sykes’ words about Hebron in 1929, “would be revolting among animals.” The photos on the Times’s cover (itself called “depraved” by Seth Mandel in Commentary) included at least two children among the budding heroes and heroines of the hoped for “Third Intifada.” One of them, 11-year-old Ahed Tamimi, had already been honored by Turkey’s frenzied, Jew-hating Prime Minister Erdogan (Barack Obama’s “favorite European leader”) for her much-photographed provocations of Israeli soldiers. Another member of the Tamimi family, Ahlan, remains “much loved in Nabi Saleh.” And why? The parents of another child, Arnold and Frimet Roth, explain:

That’s all he [Ehrenreich] writes about Ahlan Tamimi but we can tell you more. She is a Jordanian who was 21 years old and the news-reader on official Palestinian Authority television when she signed on with Hamas to become a terrorist. She engineered, planned and helped execute a massacre in the center of Jerusalem on a hot summer afternoon in 2001. She chose the target, a restaurant filled with Jewish children. And she brought the bomb. The outcome (15 killed, a sixteenth still in a vegetative state today, 130 injured) was so uplifting to her that she has gone on camera again and again to say, smiling into the camera lens, how proud she is of what she did. She is entirely free of regret.

This little detail about “much loved” Ahlan is missing from Ehrenreich’s saints’ tale. Also missing is a quotation of the raison d’être of Hamas: to kill Jews, wherever they may be found.

The question that entered my mind when reading Ehenreich’s adoring portrait of these trainees in “resistance” to the “occupation” was the following: “Couldn’t something like this celebration of past and potential murderers of Jews have been published in the Dearborn Independent?” My first reply was “of course.” This hateful paper, which was financed by Henry Ford from 1919 to 1927 and reached a circulation of 900,000 in 1925, has long been considered the most antisemitic of American newspapers. But my second reply was “no, not really — the Dearborn Independent stopped short of explicitly inciting murder of, or violence against, Jews.” Moreover, publisher Henry Ford apologized in 1927 in an open letter to Louis Marshall of the American Jewish Committee for “the wrong done to the Jews as fellow-men and brothers” by his paper. He asked “their forgiveness for the harm that I have unintentionally committed.”  

Will the Sulzberger family ever do the same? Probably not — for New York Times editors know no limits where the “Palestinian” issue is concerned. For them, the dividing line between moral and immoral, permitted and forbidden, is like the receding horizon; they keep moving toward it, but can never quite reach it. The knife-brandishing, blood-lusting Boanerges in their mosques, and the demagogic leaders of Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, can be as confident of apologias for Intifada Three in the editorial offices of the Times as in the State Department of John Kerry and the boardroom of “Team Obama” — three of the places where it was predicted and thus encouraged.

Edward Alexander’s most recent book is Jews Against Themselves (Transaction Publishers, 2015).

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  • I hope my pedantry will be forgiven for remarking that Prof. TP Wiseman (JK Rowling’s Latin teacher at Exeter, and reputedly her inspiration for the character Albus Dumbledore), in his essay “Cinna the Poet”, has argued convincingly, I think, that Cinna the poet and Cinna the Senator, whom the mob was angry at, were one and the same. The crowd’s mistake, Wiseman continues, was in believing that Cinna was one of the conspirators against Caesar, though he was not.

    If Wiseman is correct, Edward Alexander’s analogy is even more on point.

    • Edward Alexander

      I’m grateful for this elegant little note, in which I detect not a hint of pedantry.


  • I do not suppose that Messrs Obama & Kerry are Christians, aware that one day they’ll stand before G-d to be judged. Perhaps they think often of their 72 virgins each?

    • carole

      I do not believe that Obama and Kerry care one whit what will happen when they stand before God. They will, however, tremble in fear when they do.

  • ART

    Thank you. Obama, Kerry, and Hillary have opened the floodgates of the intifada. Obama declared the presence of Jews in Judea and Samaria as the Occupation, being great lawyers Obama and Hilary stated as a matter of law that the so called settlements were illegal. Obama/Kerry/Hillary appointed themselves to the zoning and planning boards of Jerusalem and ALL Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria. They gave the green light to the EU boycotts and separation of pre 67 and post 67. They effectively justified punishment for Jews and Israel for failing to surrender to Obamas’ demands. American Jews better wake up and get politically active

  • HamanSlayer

    A Jewish Agency official in Jerusalem had a secretary in the 70’s — a very capable redhead (who could remind you of Donna, Harvey Specter’s secretary in Suits, but a bit older) — who was born in Hebron.

    She had some very bitter memories, and did not like to talk about it, but one day she told a few of us why.

    Her mother was a nurse in Hebron. The Arab “mukhtar” (chief of a village or neighborhood)in her neighborhood had an infant who became ill, and none of the doctors seemed to be able to diagnose the problem or do anything for him. This was 1928, and Hebron was definitely not an advanced, modern city.

    The mother told the mukhtar: “let me take the baby to my house and care for him — I will do everything possible to make sure he will be OK.” She did exactly that, and after two weeks at her home, the baby was returned to his father in a healthy condition.

    The mukhtar could not thank her enough — he said she could ask for anything and he would turn the world upside down to get it for her. She told him she would accept no payment — she only did what she was trained to do.

    Some months later, in 1929, the Hebron Pogrom was taking place, and one of the Arab terrorist gangs broke into the nurse’s home, swords and knives and hatchets in hand. The gang was led by the same mukhtar. The nurse, shocked to see him in this role, asked: “what, you also are doing this?” He shrugged, and said: “What can I do — you are a Jew and I am an Arab!”

    At the end, those of us hearing the story did not have the nerve to ask, but we definitely got the impression that the nurse was murdered, along with some other members of the family, while some (including the secretary, a child at the time)survived.

    Perhaps we should be repeating this to all terrorists, as we destroy them: What can we do — we are Jews, and you are terrorists!

  • SHmuel HaLevi

    I ask… What will it take for us Jews to stop “running upstairs and hide”? How about making sure that the Islamic beasts run upstairs and hide from us?
    It is plain and clear what the monsters intend to do, prepare to do and in fact do.
    We must not heed the weak “leaders”.
    We must never “hide upstairs” or anywhere.
    We must change the Galut diskette.
    We must confront and destroy the branch of Islam infesting our Land.
    Jews must arm themselves, train to act in proactive self defense. Those not doing so WILL BE slaughtered by Islamic bestial entities. ISIS acts as Islam mandates.
    The knife entities slaughtering Jews are exactly the same as their clones in ISIS. That IS Islam…

    • carole

      Please make sure you are all armed well for the coming troubles. I feel sure Israel will need to have civilians armed for the protection of their families and friends.

  • David S

    There is a solution to this problem and it is that Chabad call all its shluchum and all its box grim home to Israel. Start the final Aliyah.