(Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns) October 29, 2015 – Commentary: Some commentators are calling the present phase of the Israeli Palestinian conflict “the Jerusalem Intifada.” The perceived constant increase of Israeli encroachment on the compound of the Haram al Sharif has alarmed Muslims all over the world, and created an unorganized and violent response from Palestinian residents of Jerusalem. This response by individuals has had expressions among Palestinian citizens of Israel, and Palestinians on the West Bank and Gaza. These violent expressions have been met by walls in Jerusalem and intensified IDF presence.
Responses to this “Jerusalem Intifada,” the continued and expanding settlements and occupation of the West Bank, the isolation of Gaza, attempts to silence criticism within and outside of Israel, and refusal to respond creatively to the growing BDS movements in Europe and the U.S., are now being seen by many friends and foes of Israel as indications that the inner core of Israeli values of justice, compassion and wisdom is being challenged and is perhaps in a process of decay. If there is such a weakened core, it seems Israel will be seen and responded to by most nations of the world as an apartheid country, and have to depend more and more on its military strength and political support from the U.S. to grow and even survive.
This week’s featured articles and links to other articles (see below) refer to the current spontaneous strife, particularly in Jerusalem and the Temple Mount/al-Aqsa compound, and efforts to calm this strife, as well as the oppressive policies of the present right wing government of Israel, the reality of a permanent occupation, and the de-facto existence of One State for all Israelis and Palestinians between the Mediterranean Sea and Jordan River. Please note: Opinions expressed in the following articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns.
- Barak Ravid in Haaretz quotes Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying that although he doesn’t want a binational state, “at this time we need to control all of the territory for the foreseeable future” and if I’m asked if we will forever live by the sword – yes.”
- Omar Barghouti states in Salon that the present Palestinian resistance is a spontaneous reaction to the most racist, far-right government in Israel’s history.
- Warren Clark writes in a CMEP newsletter that the spark that set off the present conflagration was the sense among Palestinians of a change to the status quo on the Temple Mount/al-Aqsa compound.
- Ron Ben-Yishai in an analysis in YNET News, states that the understandings reached between U.S. Secretary of State Kerry, Prime Minister Netanyahu and King Abdullah in Jordan could definitely contribute to a change in atmosphere, but their actual impact on the wave of terror will only be seen later this week.
- Gideon Levy in Haaretz expresses his opinion that now, of all times, out of the fire and despair, we must start talking about the last way out: one Israeli state with equal rights for both Jews and Arabs; for Jews and Arabs, one state is already here, and has been for a long time.
- Benny Cohn in a Ynetnews op-ed notes that, in the current situation, citizens of the State of Israel are going out to kill fellow citizens; the fact that both the murderers and the victims have an Israeli identity card turns a battle between states into a civil war, which is harder to solve.
- Links to other articles of interest