- 15 July 2012
- Bikya Masr
- By Patrick O. Strickland
RAMALLAH: “Why has the Arab Spring not reached Palestine?” Such has become a common question among analysts, pundits, and polemicists. Over the last two years, innumerable articles have regularly seeped into corporate media outlets, attempting to explain Palestinian political stagnancy, on the one hand, or the supposedly inevitable Third Intifada, on the other.
Last month, a New York Times editorial ran under the title “The Third Intifada is inevitable,” where Nathan Thrall furthers the notion that Palestinian violence is unavoidable, stating that “a number [of Palestinians] would welcome the prospect of an escalation, especially among supporters of Hamas, who argue that violence has been the most effective tactic in forcing Israel and the international community to act.”
By adopting this line of thought, Thrall squarely places the entirety of the blame on Palestinians (whether by design or not), insinuating that Israel’s recent uptick in expulsions, settler violence, land theft, and restrictions on Palestinian movement, are tangential details. The Third Intifada, after all, is “inevitable.”
Arguments to this effect are founded on uninformed, indeed vacuous, assumptions that take for granted the unique specificities of the daily hardships of the Palestinian life under the systematic violence of the Israeli military occupation. Unfortunately, these positions characterize the dominant strain of thought published in corporate media, and lead to the belief that Palestinians are inherently violent and immune from the Arab Spring…
Meanwhile, a genuinely grassroots, nonviolent movement for self-determination has been developing in Palestinian society. Palestinian and international activists have adopted tactics such as peaceful marches, sit-ins, and hunger strikes.