Commodore, Royal Saudi Navy (Retired)
Is Palestine undergoing another Intifada? If so, then what could be the origin of this Intifada-III? Who’s responsible, and why now? And does the area have a choice of when to start a new cycle of violence? The region is already reeling under a spate of violence that has claimed hundreds of thousands of innocent lives, injured even more, and not to speak of the millions who are being displaced. Another Intifada will prompt more bloodshed and casualties on both sides, laving at the end hardly anything except some statistics in terms of deaths and wounded. Unless the flare up is checked the new Intifada will be more violent than the previous ones. And if brutality of behavior is any indication of things to come, Israel says it will shoot and not even ask. So are the Palestinians, ready to respond with rhetoric and speeches to send young Palestinians to face the Israeli war machine. As a matter of fact, we have started to hear the beautiful resistance vocabulary from people around the Arab world. But, Intifada is a serious cycle of violence which the Palestinians have gained nothing from in the past. Arab or Palestinian nationals who are living in a cosy atmosphere in London or Dubai have no right to be cheer leaders for violence that they call uprising or Intifada while the other parts of the world call it a televised child and women abuse. It is simply a very unbalanced match between the two. Now, many ask, do the Palestinians need more abuse? Are the Palestinians united on the current state of affairs? The Palestinians have been under the most agonizing pressure from all sides and without any mercy, not only from the Israeli side, but also from the Arab side in countries that were hosting them as refugees. The Palestinians therefore must understand that they stand alone. It’s a different time. The Palestinians may receive moral support, financial aid and several round table talks, but this will not solve the issue and will not bring a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Until a few months ago, there were many efforts for peaceful negotiations for a possible one or two states solution. And just few days ago, for the first time, the Palestinian flag was flying at the United Nations. It’s an important development. Israelis can also press ahead with more serious plans for peace negotiations that can end all kinds of violence. As for the Palestinians, talks about Israeli atrocities or mistreatment of the Palestinians will not change the Israeli policy toward the recent clashes. And it is the Palestinians who will be facing the bullets who should weigh and calculate the consequences and risk to themselves and to the other Palestinians in the immediate area of clashes. Now, what role the Israelis should have for now and the future? Unfortunately, while there are many Israelis who want peaceful solutions and who will not object to one- or two-state solutions, there are Israeli extremists who are pushing higher the bar of demands from the Palestinians and the Palestinian Authority. Several times in the past Palestinians have given in to more Israeli demands, but the Israeli government would continue create more obstacles that is putting more pressure on the Palestinian Authority and thus it always makes the ordinary Palestinians more agitated. What is the likely outcome of the recent violence? The Israelis are vowing for harsher offensive on the Palestinians. But again, at the end of the day, the whole area and not only the Palestinian territories will become a theatre for open violence. Perpetual violence has stalled the progress several countries. It is causing total destruction that will require many years to rebuild. The international community must make efforts to stop this new round of violence between the Palestinians and the Israelis because if this is a third Intifada, then its outcome will be very different from the two previous Intifadas, which began in 1987 and 2000. If frenzies are not stopped soon, we will see more deaths and destruction. Besides the greater casualty will be any possible chances of both the countries coming together for peaceful and a meaningful dialogue to make build the future any secure. With an Arab Spring in the hindsight, another Intifada will add salt to an open Arab wound. Violence has never solved any conflict. And it is shame that we are seeing more killings at a time when there is more need to look after our future generations. No, we don’t need another Intifada. Written by Abdulateef Al-Mulhim. No New Intifada, Please reprinted with permission of Arab News and Abdulateef Al-Mulhim.