INDEPENDENT MEDIA | Incomplete Intifadas: Why Palestinian People’s Struggle Failed to Bear Fruit? by Mohammad Mehdi Mazaheri

INDEPENDENT MEDIA | Incomplete Intifadas: Why Palestinian People’s Struggle Failed to Bear Fruit? by Mohammad Mehdi Mazaheri

By Mohammad Mehdi Mazaheri 
Faculty Member, University of Tehran



During recent weeks and subsequent to the desecration of al-Aqsa Mosque and other sacred Islamic sites in various parts of the occupied Palestine by Israelis, Palestinian people from various walks of life have poured into the streets and sacred sites to voice their protest at the Israelis’ approach. As a result, since the beginning of the current month up to the present time, a total of over 50 Palestinians have been killed in clashes with Israeli forces and hundreds more have been injured. On the other hand, retaliatory attacks by Palestinians have so far claimed the lives of seven Israelis while leaving a number of them injured.

Some experts as well as Palestinian leaders have described this new uprising of the Palestinian people as the “third intifada.” The second Palestinian intifada started in 2000 when the then conservative Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon, entered the compound of al-Aqsa Mosque and al-Khadra (the Green) Mosque, both of which belong to Muslims. Following this development Palestinian Muslims clashed with Israeli police in protest at Sharon’s visit and subsequent unrest engulfed the entire West Bank and the Gaza Strip, which came to be known as the second intifada.

The point, however, is that despite the fact that Palestinian people have been fighting against Israel for many years, why this crisis has not reached a desirable result yet and why Palestinians have not yet be able to achieve any of their rightful goals such as putting an end to occupation of their land or stopping construction of Israeli settlements? Why violent and fruitless clashes break out between the two sides once in a while?

It seems that any movement, revolution or rightful struggle needs a number of basic elements to be successful, which unfortunately are not present in the case of the struggle of the Palestinian nation. The first factor for the victory of any struggle is having consolidated leadership chosen by people, whose absence is seriously felt in the Palestinian movement. Throughout the history of the Palestinian nation’s struggles, two streaks of Islamist and nationalistic thinking have accompanied this nation side by side. Even the establishment of a coalition government has not been able to totally do away with the basic differences that exist between these two groups. As a result, none of the internal forces in Palestine have been able to come on top of the political power structure through unification of their parties, or forming an alliance and coalition with other political forces in order to gain complete legitimacy and acceptance of their people.

Absence of a stable and powerful leadership has led to the second factor, that is, inability to mobilize the Palestinian people, which has caused prolongation of the Palestinian crisis. This means that there are no powerful and legitimate centers in Palestine around which mobilization and broad-based gathering of people could take place. Of course, this is very surprising that at a time, which social networks have led to the emergence and spread of revolutions and popular protest in many countries, why the Palestinian nation has not been able to take much advantage of such tools? Therefore, occasional and sporadic clashes between Palestinians and Israelis have a very long way to go before leading to extensive and effective gatherings of people. This is why we have been witnessing that all protests and movements launched by people in the occupied Palestinian territories have mostly ended in sporadic and uncoordinated moves. Therefore, although such moves have dealt a blow to security, credit and prestige of the Israeli government, the casualties on the Palestinian side have been always higher while such moves have consistently failed to bear tangible results.

Lack of territorial continuity and geographical distance between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank is another factor, which has proven to be a major impediment on the way of the unity and close cooperation among Palestinian nation and has barred them from making effective moves. Of course, an important transregional factor has been also playing a role in prolongation of the Palestinian crisis, which is unbridled aid and support provided to Israel by the Western countries, especially the United States. On the other hand, economic sanctions and arms embargo has been imposed on the Palestinian forces, which have disturbed the balance of power among various forces involved in this crisis while encouraging Israel to take bold measures by relying on international support that it receives.

Although US President Barack Obama’s administration has been criticizing certain measures taken by Israel, including construction of Zionist settlements, in the hope that it would be able to put peaceful resolution of the Middle East crisis on its track records, continuation of financial and military aid to this occupying and expansionist regime has bolstered its standing. Therefore, as long as Palestinians are not able to provide requisites and pillars of a broad-based and widespread movement both at the level of leaders and people, and as long as they fail to win international aid and support for their struggle, the crisis in Palestine along with the massacre of innocent women and children and Israel’s expansionism will continue unabated.

Key Words: Palestinian People, Israelis, Incomplete Intifadas, Struggle, al-Aqsa Mosque, Third Intifada, Ariel Sharon, Al-Khadra (the Green) Mosque, Islamist and Nationalistic Thinking, Gaza Strip, West Bank, Zionist Settlements, Mazaheri

Translated By: Iran Review.Org
More By Mohammad Mehdi Mazaheri:

This article has been originally published at IranReview.org  on October 23, 2015. All rights are reserved by the Original Publisher.

Image Attribute: Intifada Stencil Art, Pictured in Rome, Italy / Source : Wikimedia Commons [Link]

AIDN: 001-10-2015-0359
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