Every two or three years, major violent incidents involving the Palestinians lead the media to ask the question: “Is Israel experiencing a new intifada?” Writes Moshe Elad in Yediot Ahronoth.
Elad is a former head of the Israeli defense in Jenin and Bethlehem and led security cooperation with the Palestinians in connection with the Oslo Accords. He believes it is a lack of vocabulary that makes some refer to any series of sporadic incidents of violence as the start of a new intifada.
Intifada is an Arabic term for rebellion or resistance. The word became best known during the First Intifada, which was a widespread Palestinian uprising from 1987 to 1993. In 2000, a new uprising arose, known as the Second Intifada, which lasted until 2005. The Second Intifada was far more organized than the first. It was also far more bloody, with over 1,000 Israelis killed. It was more of a war of terror against Israel than a revolt.
That’s why Elad is not very enthusiastic about calling it the Second Intifada.
“It’s time to find a new name for the series of terrorist attacks that unfortunately seem to be approaching,” he writes.
For every crisis that has arisen in recent years – such as the eruption of metal detectors at the entrance to the Temple Mount, the relocation of the US Embassy to Jerusalem or the demolition of the terrorists’ homes – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has called on the Palestinians to ” walk on the street”. But every time, his calls are ignored by most people.
“Palestinians in the West Bank no longer flock to the streets. They have lost all energy and have no respect for the corrupt leadership of the Palestinian Authority “, writes Elad.
Every time Abbas is dissatisfied with some international decision, he goes out and threatens to end security cooperation with Israel.
”But since the co-operation started in 1995, it has only happened once that the co-operation has been suspended, after the uprisings in connection with the Vestmur tunnels in September 1996 – and that was on Israel’s initiative. Hundreds of threats later and the collaboration continues, “writes Elad and adds:
“Abbas and his people are well aware that the presence of the Israeli defense in the West Bank is mainly to protect roads and settlements, but at the same time they are also protecting the Palestinian Authority.”
All Palestinian security officers know that without the IDF, Abbas would have had to flee underground, just as his men had to do when Hamas seized power in a bloody coup in the Gaza Strip in June 2007.
Elad concludes his speech with a piece of advice to President Abbas:
“Stop making threats because Israel does not care.”