Friday, May 27, 2011

The 1987 Intifada

                                                   The 1987 Intifada

Many think that the first intifada, in 1987, was a ‘spontaneous event’. (Indeed many think that about the following intifadas.) If it was spontaneous, then that spontaneity required a lot of organisation! And that organisation was primarily supplied by Hamas. And it is far being the case that Hamas has actually denied this. Hamas’s Ibrahim al-Quqa has said that it was the

‘decision of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), which set the precise zero-hour in the sanctuaries of the mosques.’

The leader of Hamas at that time (1987), Sheikh Yasin, also claimed that Hamas helped set off the intifada and that it was Hamas that led and controlled it thereafter. More specifically and Islamically, as it were, the intifada basically began in the mosques of the West Bank and Gaza. These mosques worked as a rallying point for militants and ordinary Muslims as well as the launch pads for demonstrations and other intifada activities. Hamas thus utterly transformed the mosques into centres for Islamic learning as well as the places for all political organisation.

The timing of the jihad, and therefore the first intifada, also proved to be a problem for Hamas and Yasin. They debated about whether or not it should begin after Palestinian society was fully Islamised or before that. Yasin decided that it should begin after the full Islamisation of Palestine. That explains the Muslim Brotherhood’s, and therefore Hamas’s, quiescence in the early days. That is also why the Israelis took Hamas to be a thoroughly religious group with no political aspirations and no interest in political violence. The Israelis were wrong in big way. Hamas was simply preparing the ground for jihad and therefore for the 1987 intifada.

Part of Hamas’s Islamisation project was the propagation of the position that those Muslims who were silent about the occupation of Palestine were actually committing an Islamic sin. That is because Islam requires that every Muslim must engage in ‘holy war’. (And for those who care to look, this Islamic imperative is indeed there in the Koran.) It followed that if certain Muslims failed to act, or to become jihadists, they would be committing ‘fatal treason’. And treason is, of course, punishable by death. Not only that, Hamas stated that if any ‘philosophy’ was seen to be justifying submission to the Israelis (or to any non-Muslims), or encouraging Muslims not to ‘sacrifice their souls’, then it would be seen as an ‘heretical’ philosophy to be immediately stamped out. And every such philosophy was indeed stamped out by Hamas.

More concretely and specifically, Hamas got to work on producing, as well as distributing, thousands of leaflets. All these leaflets began with passages from the Koran and included within them other such Koranic passages. They also contained accounts of various episodes in Islamic history. As for graffiti. The following is a small sample of the graffiti which could be seen before, during and after the 1987 intifada:

“Our land is Islamic, this is the identity.’
‘Islam is the way to return.’
‘Islam is the solution.’
‘Khaibar, Khaibar, O Jews, Muhammad’s army will return.’
‘The land of Palestine is an Islamic waqf, Islamic law forbids its abandonment or bargaining over it.’
‘The destruction of Israel is a Koranic imperative.’
‘There is no solution except by the Koran.’
‘The Koran is the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.’

So the 1987 intifada was a thoroughly Islamic event, as it were. At the very least, it certainly began in the mosques. As Hamas leader, Dr. ‘Abd-al-‘Aziz, put it. The intifada began

‘with one fixed outcry, allahu akbar [God is great], and took off from the mosques, where the Koran was being read, and the Islamic songs sung, and the people provided with guidance…’

Not only was the 1987 intifada utterly Islamic in nature, it was also only a small part of the larger jihad. That jihad had known many conflicts and battles over the centuries. The 1987 intifada was just another ‘phase’ in this ‘eternal jihad’. It was only one mechanism to mobilise the masses into the spirit of Islamic jihad. In effect, the fight against Israel was, and still is, only one part of the Islamic battle against all non-Muslims and all non-Muslim states. (Another part is the re-conquest of Andalusia – Spain.) In other words, the intifada was, and was seen as, only one form of jihad which was itself was a preparation for the later jihads which would then be fully armed.

Apart from the war against Israel, which is Islamic, and the various forms of jihad that war takes, what about the Islamic nature, as it were, of the Islamic soldiers themselves? They too were to be thoroughly Islamised by Hamas. As one commentator put it:

‘The fundamentalist groups offered a special kind of activism that combined patriotism with moral purity and social action with the promise of divine grace. Sheikh Yasin offered the young Palestinian something far beyond Arafat’s ken: not just the redemption of the homeland, but the salvation of his own troubled soul.

Police, leftists clash in east J'lem

YTNEWS-Some 150 left-wing activists from the Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity group on Friday protested across the new Jewish neighborhood of Ma'ale HaZeitim, built on the outskirts of Ras al-Amud in east Jerusalem.

During the demonstration, a violent clash erupted between police forces and the protesters, who blocked the entrance to the neighborhood. Police officers responded with use of force and stun guns.

Six protesters were arrested during the incident, and the organizers claimed several activists were injured, one needing medical treatment.

Watch clashes in Ras al-Amud

The police stated in response that its officers used reasonable force against the rioting protesters.

Meanwhile, at another location in the neighborhood, near the mosque, residents hurled stones at a police force. No injuries were reported.

Asaf Sharon from Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity claimed that the police used extremely violent force against the protesters, adding that police officers used stun guns for the first time, although there was no provocation on the part of the protesters.

"We held a protest rally against the settlement two days after the settlers themselves held a mass event, during which they blocked access roads without police intervention," he said.

Sharon noted that one of the injured protesters, who was also arrested by the police, is among the movement's leaders. "We have a total of 10 injured, two of which were wounded by the stun gun," he said, adding that "one of them needed medical treatment."

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Social Media's Sticky Role In Anti-Israel Uprisings

 BY Neal UngerleiderFri May 13, 2011
After a page calling for a mass march by Palestinians on the borders of Israel on May 15 was taken offline by Facebook, mirror sites with more than 3.5 million followers sprung up. Now Egyptians are preparing to march on Gaza and the Israeli military is threatening to crush protests. Will the so-called "Facebook Intifada" tip the Middle East into further turmoil?
Palestinian protesters
Anti-Israel demonstrations and riots have broken out across the Middle East, leading up to the May 14 anniversary of the creation of Israel. Massive demonstrations calling for the annulment of Egypt and Jordan's peace treaties with Israel took place in Amman and Cairo, while riots have already struck Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip at press time. A Facebook page calling for a third Palestinian intifada, or revolt against Israel, to take place on May 15, has gone viral. Several Palestinian politicians already granted tentative support to the idea of a new intifada. Will the next great Middle Eastern revolt, yet again, be driven by social media?
This past March, an Arabic-language Facebook page titled “Third Palestinian Intifada” began amassing hundreds of thousands of followers. The page called for a mass march by Palestinian refugees from the 1948 and 1967 wars and their descendants on the borders of Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank on May 15, with unspecified actions to take place afterwards. May 15 is Nakba Day, an annual day of commemoration for Palestinians who lost their homes in the ethnic warfare that followed the British withdrawal from Palestine. While the page's (anonymous) moderators initially deleted posts urging violence and bloodshed, the flood of posting to the page's wall eventually began to include a large number of messages and videos urging for the killing of both Israelis and Jews in general.
The march appears to be beginning to take place at press time--Egyptian authorities have started stockpiling emergency supplies in Sinai in preparation for a “Million Man March” that is expected to take place on May 15 from Cairo on the Egypt-Gaza border.

[Image: Pro-Palestinian Protest in Takhrir Square, Cairo on May 13 via Twitter user @hany2m]
On March 29, when the “Third Palestinian Intifada” page reached 340,000 followers, Facebook took the page offline following calls from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and a letter to Mark Zuckerberg from Israeli Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein. In the letter, Edelstein claimed “there are posted many remarks and movie clips which call for the killing of Israelis and Jews and the 'liberating' of Jerusalem and of Palestine through acts of violence.” Fast Company also reported on a $1 billion lawsuit filed against Zuckerberg by Larry Klayman, a Jewish-American lawyer who argued that his life was put at risk by Facebook not taking down the page quickly enough.
According to Abraham Foxman, National Director of the ADL, his organization “called on Facebook to remove the page calling for a Third Intifada out of a very real concern that this was a call to violent action against Israel and Jews. The Third Intifada Facebook page on Facebook explicitly called for followers to build on the previous Intifada. The Second Palestinian Intifada, from 2000 through 2008, was responsible for thousands of casualties and deaths through a campaign of terrorism against Israel that included suicide bombings of restaurants, buses, dance clubs and cafes.”
However, pro-Palestinian activists quickly began putting mirrors of the page online on Facebook and elsewhere. The largest of these is the pan-Muslim Rassoul Allah page on Facebook, which has a staggering 3.5 million followers. The latest Arabic-language poll posted to the site as of press time asks participants if they are “ready for martyrdom for the liberation of Palestine and the al-Aqsa Mosque.” Another prominent mirrior,, also started social media presences on Twitter and YouTube.

As much as pundits such as Malcolm Gladwell argue that social media does not spur revolutionary movements in the Middle East or elsewhere, facts on the ground indicate otherwise. Journalist David Wolman wrote extensively for The Atavist on how social media spurred the Egyptian revolution and the widespread use of Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube across the Middle East has been extensively documented. Social media allows the individual revolutionary to efficiently smuggle out essential information, gain safety in numbers, to propagandize their cause, and gain access to a worldwide circle of sympathy--this is something that television and landline telephones simply cannot do. For activists, social media has been the most important technological innovation since the printing press for disseminating ideas.
But while the page was taken down, it acquired a new life both on- and offline. High-ranking officials in Fatah, the ruling faction of the West Bank, have implied some level of support for the “Facebook Intifada.”
In an interview with Israeli Army Radio, Fatah Central Committee member Ahmad Zaki claimed that the Palestinian Authority “could not silence the Palestinian street after it saw the achievements of other people” when asked directly if a new intifada could begin on May 15. Abu Ammar, Fatah's head in the Gaza Strip, also told Palestinian newspaper al-Hayat al-Jadida that unspecified “joint central activities” were being planned between Hamas and Fatah that included “all national and Islamic forces.” However, other prominent Fatah officials have gone on record as being opposed to the May 15 plans.

Meanwhile, Hamas has stayed suspiciously mum on the issue of the “Facebook Intifada” even through a mass march on Gaza from Egypt appears to be under way. However, Hamas' Iranian financial backers have enthusiastically supported the idea of resuming hostilities against Israel on May 15. Iranian-funded television news network Press TV has formally announced May 15 as the beginning of a new intifada and Iranian Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi has previously announced his country's plans to support a social media-generated intifada against Israel as far back as 2010. Moslehi was one of the key figures in the brutal persecution of Iranian demonstrators following the contested 2009 election.
But despite Iranian enthusiasm for the plan, all the evidence points to talk of a Third Intifada on social media being a genuinely grassroots project not controlled by either Fatah, Hamas, or foreign backers.
The participants in eager conversations on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube tend to be young diaspora Palestinians and fellow Arabs or Muslims who have adopted the Palestinian cause as their own. Large numbers of Egyptians, moved by the suffering of civilians in Gaza and enmity toward their Israeli arch enemies, are gearing up to march on the border. However, journalists currently working on the ground in the West Bank and Gaza argue that residents there are skeptical of a new intifada.
All said though, the Middle East is one of the most war- and strife-blessed regions this side of the Balkans. The tinderbox of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict could catch fire at any time; gossip of a third intifada this weekend and an Israeli decision to crush any potential upcoming protests .If the massive changes in Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain, Syria, Libya, and elsewhere have taught us anything this year, it is that the conventional wisdom cannot predict a single thing.

3rd intafada demonstartions Cairo Third Intifada demonstrations  - Noor Mosque in Cairo (5-13-2011) What they are saying is "Khaibar, Khaibar, O Jews.
The Army of Muhammad will return
Khaibar, Khaibar, O Jews.
The Army of Muhammad will return
Khaibar, Khaibar, O Jews.
The Army of Muhammad will return
Khaibar, Khaibar, O Jews.
The Army of Muhammad will return
Hey hey hey, hey hey hey.
Khaibar, Khaibar, O Jews.
The Army of Muhammad will return
Khaibar, Khaibar, O Jews.
The Army of Muhammad will return
Khaibar, Khaibar, O Jews.
The Army of Muhammad will return
Khaibar, Khaibar, O Jews.
The Army of Muhammad will return
We will crawl and fight.
With our blood, we will fight.
We will crawl and fight.
With our blood we will fight.

                                          Anti-Israel Demonstrations by Egytians

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Turn the Black Page of Division Forever?

                                   So does this mean there Charters will change?

Israel:Fact and Truth

The real face of Palestinians!

Is our motherland a Gift from UN or Britian

The Two-State Solution

The "Two State Solution" to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, today's front runner in the desperate search for a way out of a century of tension in the Holyland, is seen as the most viable way to put this conflict to rest, once and for all. Proposed by then-President Bill Clinton in December 2000, it is endorsed by the world's major powers and, incredibly, by Israel herself, in the hopes that somehow this time they've found the right formula. Somehow, this time the Palestinians will step out of character, accept Israel and make peace. Somehow, this time Israel will give away land and not get war in return. Somehow. Folks, it's time to get our heads out of the sand. Despite the hype and high hopes, this "solution" is really just another false promise. It's just a rehash of the many failed and unworkable past attempts to secure peace between the two parties. The 1947 U.N. Partition Plan did not bring peace. Nor did the 1993 Oslo Accords. Nor did the 1998 Wye River Memorandum. Nor did the 2000 Lebanon retreat. Nor did the ill-conceived 2005 Disengagement. Wishful thinking is not the answer. We need to go back to the drawing board. We must begin to think outside of the box.

The Two State Solution is based on the "land-for-peace" formula with the folowing built-in assumptions:

1. The Palestinians truly want peace, will share the land with the Jews and recognize Israel as the Jewish state.
2. The Palestinians can be trusted to encourage and nurture a warm peace with Israel for generations to come.
3. The newly-formed Palestinian state will dialogue freely and cooperate with Israel, as any friendly neighbor state might.
4. The newly-formed Palestinian state will be democratic, moderate, Western oriented and demilitarized.
5. The newly-formed Palestinian state will reflect Israel's right for secure and defensible borders, as per UN Resolution 242.
6. The newly-formed Palestinian state will resist any attempts to be drawn into the orbit of neighboring rogue states such as Syria and Iran and will shun Hamas and any other terrorist organization.

A tall order indeed! Can any expectation be more unrealistic than that? The above requirements would tax even the most wishful of thinkers. Given the past 63 years of Arab hatred, terror and intransigence, beginning with their rejection of the 1947 U.N. Partition Plan (the original Two State Solution) and subsequent attack in 1948, how can any objective and rational observer possibly conclude that such an arrangement is even remotely possible? Is there any indication that the Palestinians have turned over a new leaf?

After a string of failed land-for-peace deals, dashed hopes and bitter, bloody experiences on both sides, the wobbly peace process simply cannot afford yet another disappointment.

Any alternative to the Two State Solution will be imperfect, but must be seriously considered. There are better options! Here are a few:

1. The Israel Initiative ("Benny Elon Plan")

* Strives for a humanitarian solution to the Palestinian problem, instead of a political one.

* Bases peace on strategic cooperation with Jordan, instead of with the Palestinian Authority. A future Palestinian state will be in Jordan, which occupies 77% of the original Palestinian Mandate and whose population is mostly Palestinian.

* Extends Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria, as conceived in various post WW I international agreements, instead of handing over these areas for a Palestinian State.


 For more info:

2. One State Plan ("Wise Plan")

* Israel's democracy and law will be extended to all of Judea and Samaria.

* No forcible tranfer - Residents of Judea and Samaria will become permanent residents and elect local municipalities.

* Civil and religious rights for all inhabitants of Israel.

* Citizenship standards for non-Jews will recognize Israel as the Jewish national home and include national service.

* Israel political parties and elected and appointed officials must affirm Israel as the Jewish national home.

* Electoral reform will divide Israel into districts to insure local representation.

Simply put, it would end the "occupation", end the incitement, end the border dispute, end the need to compromise on Jerusalem, end the need for population transfers, solve the viability problem and allow Israel to get on with building a Jewish democratic state, from the Mediterranean to the Jordan.

For more info:

3. Compensation and Relocation Plan ("Sherman Plan")

* Offers individual Palestinian families generous relocation grants. A 2004 survey shows that this approach would be well received by the plan's beneficiaries and result in their emigration from Judea and Samaria.

* Will dramatically and immediately improve the lot of individual Palestinians and reduce their dependence on welfare institutions such as UNRWA.

* Will inject many billions of dollars into the economies of low income nations that host the emigrees.

* Eliminates the UNRWA, the UN body which perpetuates the "Palestinian Refugee Problem" at the expense of the truly needy around the globe (see this Youtube video).


For more info:

4. One State for Two Peoples ("Hotovely Plan")

* Calls for gradual Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria while taking into account the human rights of the local Arab population. 

* Proposes granting local Arab population "Residency" rights initially, followed by the gradual granting of Israeli citizenship, based on loyalty tests.

* Proposes the dismantling of refugee camps (thus breaking the cycle of poverty and reducing overcrowding) and eliminating the PA's hostile educational system.

* Obviates the need for any resident of Judea and Samaria, Jew or Arab, to relocate.

For more info:

5. Status Quo ("Do Nothing Plan")

Though certainly not the ideal solution, keeping the staus quo unchanged in the so-called "Occupied Territories", even indefinitely, is arguably preferable to a forced "Two State Solution", which can only end badly for all the parties involved.