OSU Navigation Bar

The Ohio State University

The Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity

The making of a third Palestinian uprising | Race-Talk | 236

The making of a third Palestinian uprising

Filed under: Government Protest |

It is no surprise that after the success of Egypt, Tunisia, and the major changes throughout the Arab world that the next step would be an internet-inspired Palestinian uprising.  This uprising, also referred to as ‘The Intifada,’ is now being endorsed by thousands of Palestinians and their supporters around the globe.  According to a Facebook countdown page, this revolution is scheduled to take place May 15, 2011 on what is referred to as the “Nakbah,” the Day of Catastrophe, the day that Israel celebrates the anniversary of its independence.

The “Third Palestinian Intifada” page on Facebook  garnered as much as 350,000 plus ‘Likes’ with new copycat pages popping up daily, some with more than 3 million followers.   The aim of these pages seems to carry one basic message: The end to both the occupation of Palestinian land and the extreme suppression of the Palestinian people.

Although many of these pages are advocating peaceful protests, many of its members are calling for the return of Palestine by any means, including violent measures, if necessary.  If history holds any indication, this uprising could be the bloodiest yet.  Approximately 1,100 Palestinians lost their lives in The First Intifada (1987-1993) and another 6,500 during The Second Intifada (2000s).  The third uprising is sure to bring even more casualties.

Several Pro-Israeli groups as well as the Anti-Defamation league have successfully mounted pressure on Facebook to remove the original Intifada page.  However, the removal of one page has had no significant effect.  The fierce resistance against this Third Intifada page has actually inspired followers to devote, in several languages, under several names, page after page of calls to free Palestine and its inhabitants.

We have all seen the power of social media in helping to organize and create a power network.   Without the inventive use of social media tools both Mubarak and Ben Ali might still have been in power.  Millions of people turned to Facebook for updates, news, guidance, and instruction throughout the recent revolutions.  In fact, during the Egyptian uprising even basic calls for first aid were communicated through friend pages.  Warnings were sent to let protesters know where and when to meet, what to bring, and even what to wear to prepare for attacks.

Instructions for gathering support on various internet sites clearly outline the method for disseminating information and calls followers to print instructions to be posted at cafes, mosques, bus stations and gathering spots.  Key people are assigned to update information and others to quickly make this information available to those with no access to the internet.  Without a doubt, unlike the first two Intifadas, this uprising is both planned and organized.

The YouTube Channel for the Third Intifada outlines 3 day world-wide plans for the march which is slated to begin on Friday, May 13.  Friday is being called the “Day of Gathering” in which people will meet in designated areas such as mosques and squares to rally the masses.

Saturday May 14 is being called the “Day of the Roar” when exact instructions for the march are issued and governments will be asked to “protect and not attack” the people. One of the biggest hurdles for these organizers is going to be garnishing support from their own governments to continue the protests, could potentially lead to a full blown war between Arab nations and Israel.  This war, which Arab governments have been hoping and working to try and prevent for decades, may be thwarted if this uprising takes place.  However, the new generations of Arabs no longer fear the government entities as they have in the past and this is apparent with recent changes.  They have forced every Arab government to concede to many of their demands.  Arab governments now fear the people.  They cannot afford to show support for Israel, when their reaction to this march might be a deciding factor on the direction their own protestors take against them.

“Freedom” Sunday, the first official day of the Third Intifada, will be the day that millions will march toward the borders of Israel to end the occupation.  The Palestinians living under occupation will rise from within.  With the current instability, this may actually end up being one of the bloodiest days in Arab- Israeli history.

Unlike the first and second Intifada this one is not just internal or limited to occupied lands.  This Intifada is both external and internal.  In fact, the videos posted on many of the Intifada pages state that people from Arab nations such as Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Tunisia, as well as Palestinian refugees will all march together from every direction.  Palestinian refugees alone number over 4.6 Million, many of whom live in refugee camps in and around these Arab nations.  The call even goes out to supporters in Europe and the United States to hold their own protests at local embassies.

The Middle East is so ripe for change that the timing of this third uprising makes it unique.  The Palestinians are fed up with their so-called leaders from both Hamas and Fatah.  Wikileaks proved the apparent corruption of the current Palestinian Authority.  Mediation efforts, over the past three years, by numerous Arab nations have failed to unite the Hamas and Fatah parties.   Israeli – Palestinian peace talks are at a complete standstill.  Even promises for more talks by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the United Nations recent call to recognize a Palestinian State are being called meaningless by Palestinians and Arabs alike.   The increased violence, the siege on Gaza, settlement building, the apartheid wall, the Al-Aqsa Mosque construction project, and a new citizenship oath are all compounding reasons after another why the appeal for a Third Intifada will only thrive.

Palestine is not just a Palestinian issue.  To Arabs, Palestine is an emotional, spiritual, and political issue that must be resolved.  Social media has provided a gateway for changes never thought possible, for organization and unity never before seen.  The tide of change is becoming the tsunami of change because people no longer fear the regimes that have for so long suppressed them.  Efforts to extinguish or contain this movement will only ignite more revolt.  This revolt is not going to be peaceful, even if the protestors come as promised, unarmed.  The idea of ending an occupation has rarely been peaceful and with the pressure in the Middle East brewing for so long, May 15 definitely will not be an exception.  Although many of the posts on these sites can easily be misinterpreted, the calls for change, “at any cost” are both clear and concise.  This Third Intifada is a wake-up call that if not quickly and diplomatically resolved, the Palestinian-Israeli issue could end up changing the landscape of the Middle East, if not the world.  In other words, the Palestinians and Israelis either learn to live together, or die together.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>