By Zahra Samimi

We are already in the beginning stages of an Intifada: analyst

April 20, 2022 - 18:19
“The Palestinian national movement has to be revived and led by the younger generations”

TEHRAN – A British political analyst, Robert Inlakesh, believes that the recent developments in Palestine are signs of a new Intifada.

“I believe we are already in the beginning stages of an Intifada, the only thing in the way of making the revolution manifest itself in the ways of the past is the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank, but even the PA isn't enough to hold this Intifada down,” Inlakesh tells the Tehran Times.

 “The (Israeli) attacks are clearly in of themselves barbarism, there can be no excuses for such repeated Islamaphobic attacks during Ramadan and it is clear that the intention is to assert Israeli supremacy over the Holy Site, as seen through the attacks perpetrated by Israel's occupation forces and also the storming of Masjid Al-Aqsa by illegal Israeli settler extremists,” the British analyst points out.

Following is the text of the interview:

Q: How do you describe developments in Quds and al-Aqsa Mosque in the fasting month of Ramadan? Is it a new Intifada?

A: The attacks are clearly in themselves barbarism, there can be no excuses for such repeated Islamaphobic attacks during Ramadan and it is clear that the intention is to assert Israeli supremacy over the Holy Site, as seen through the attacks perpetrated by Israel's occupation forces and also the storming of Masjid Al-Aqsa by illegal Israeli settler extremists. As for the rise of a new Intifada, I believe we are already in the beginning stages of an Intifada, the only thing in the way of making the revolution manifest itself in the ways of the past is the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank, but even the PA isn't enough to hold this Intifada down. 

Q: What are the main reasons for the uprising of Palestinians, especially those who live inside occupied territories in the West Bank?

A: The context to this assertion that I make, that the Intifada has already started, is key. The Palestinian population, inside the occupied territories [those occupied in 1967- West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza] are largely children (18 or under) and/or young adults. Take the example of an average 22-year-old, let's call them Khaled, they were born in the year that the Second Intifada [Palestinian Uprising] began.

“Bedouins have been a driver of Palestinian nationalism. Palestinians today are becoming more united than ever before.”The Second Intifada was a response to the failure of the Oslo Process, which had ended the first Intifada in 1993 and which ushered in a short era of relative calm. Israel did not live up to its commitments under the Oslo Accords and additionally continued its settlement expansion in both the West Bank and Gaza. So think about that 22-year-old, what have they seen in their lifetime in terms of Israel or the international community helping them to secure a brighter future? Nothing. All they have seen is war, executions, arbitrary arrests, home demolitions, settlement expansion and the list goes on.

Israel's past two Prime Ministers won't even consider the idea of a Palestinian State, Premier Naftali Bennett won't even meet with PA President Mahmoud Abbas. What hope do you have of securing peace when Israel's official rhetoric on a so-called two-State solution has returned to its pre-Oslo days, or when the positions of the Israeli regime regarding Palestinian self-governance has returned to that which they maintained during the 1970s? You saw what happened when Gazan's protest non-violently for their rights to just end the illegal siege on Gaza alone, the 'Great Return March' of 2018 resulted in the slaughter of 310+ Palestinians, the injury of 30,000+ and complete international silence. So Palestinians have made the active decision to pursue resistance by any means necessary. Israel is only speeding up the process by attacking the third Holy Site in Islam.

Jenin camp is now a no go zone for Israeli occupation forces, Gaza's resistance has evolved through new leadership and strategies into an unbreakable force, Israel is trapped and has enraged everyone from the Palestinian citizens of Israel and the Bedouin Palestinians of al-Naqab, to those in the West Bank and beyond. Once the PA either takes a step back or is forced out of power in the West Bank, the Israeli regime will be under enormous stress and the situation is starting to head in that direction, the Palestinians are fed up and most of the Arab regimes have betrayed them. The last real prospects for the so-called two-state solution came through the Arab Peace Initiative, since then we have had nothing and that has pretty much faded away by around 2010 anyway. 

Q: How do you see the solidarity between Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank with the recent developments?

A: The solidarity between Gaza and the West Bank is at an all-time high, but that isn't the most important thing because these two territories, along with Jerusalem have always been part of the picture to some extent. What is more shocking is the developments with Palestinian citizens of Israel and the Bedouins of al-Naqab, especially in the case of the Bedouins. Israel, despite having placed Palestinian citizens of Israel under military law up until 1966, the Palestinians there have never really been the most active towards their cause for national liberation in the ways that those in the West Bank and Gaza have been.

“Palestinians are fed up and most of the Arab regimes have betrayed them.”This is not to undermine them, as many of them have resisted and for instance, the national Palestinian holiday, Land Day, is celebrated yearly as a marker in Palestine's history of resistance, but as a whole, they tend to be less active as those under the direct military occupation in the 1967 occupied territories. This is rapidly changing and more are becoming active. As for the Bedouins, despite massive displacement during the Nakba, Bedouin communities in al-Naqab and elsewhere have been perhaps the friendliest of all Palestinians to Israel, due to a large portion of them not necessarily aligning themselves with a national identity, Israel is now turning this situation on its head. Israel seeks to move millions of Jewish Israeli settlers into their lands, demolish their villages and usurp the territory for Israeli settlements and projects, this has driven many Bedouins to align themselves with their natural allies up north and elsewhere and has been a driver of Palestinian nationalism in Bedouin communities. Palestinians today are becoming more united than ever before.

Q: Do you think the new moves by Palestinians are a kind of response or reaction to the normalization of ties between Israel and some Arab states?

A: The normalization deals were the last nails in the so-called two-State solution coffin. Jordan and Egypt had of course normalized back in the 80s and 90s, but these new deals followed by the recent 'Negev Conference' is a clear sign that the Palestinian national movement has to be revived and led by the younger generations. The biggest negotiating chip the Palestinian Authority had in possible talks with Israel was the backing of the Arab Regimes, this has faded and the PA is simply there to do Israel's dirty work in the West Bank now. Palestinians overwhelmingly want President Mahmoud Abbas to resign and the PA, which has now absorbed the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization), is in essence the new South Lebanon Army. The PA does not even possess the symbolic power of the Arab masses, as the PLO once did under its commander in chief Yasser Arafat. The people are turning to a new strategy and the Palestinian parties engaged in armed struggle - all considered terrorist groups to the West - are the ones to which Palestinians gravitate, they will all be part of the new Palestinian movement in the future. The launch of the Masar Badil - the Palestinian Alternative Revolutionary Path (PARP) Movement - is an expression of what is to come in the future. If the Palestinian revolution is successful and weakening Israel and scoring more symbolic victories against it, we will see that the Arab Regimes that were heading towards normalization will have to adapt to a new approach and those that normalized will eventually face problems.

Q: How do you evaluate Western countries' reaction to what is going on in Palestine, especially in comparison with their support for Ukraine? In Palestine, Western powers call on "both sides" to "step back from the brink".

A: The Western world, which is really controlled by the United States, is openly hypocritical. They will support whoever benefits their interests and there are no principles involved here. It will, however, be entertaining to watch these Western regimes and their propaganda machines answer questions when it comes to double standards. Why do they support Ukrainians fighting an invading force and using Molotov cocktails, cheering on the Ukrainian armed forces in the process, but when it comes to Palestinians they aren't allowed to or they are terrorists?  Well, it comes back to these regimes having no clearly definable principles. The Western world believes in Capitalist Liberal hegemony, whether the political parties in power are right or left, they reflect this view. The West views its own Liberal ideology as superior, this is why we hear news anchors call Ukraine a "relatively civilized country", as opposed to the Global South that they see as inferior. Now that Liberal Hegemony has failed, we are moving into a multipolar order, the Western populations are turning rapidly to far-Right Nationalism and with that, we will continue to see more manifestations of White Supremacy. At this point, the often racist Western perspective is not the main concern, Palestinians shouldn't have to wait for a white savior to save them, one who looks down on them as inferior, they will ultimately be the ones to determine their own fate.

 

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