'Is this a third intifada?' posit the analysts.The question to me seems unimportant: what is certain, however, is that we are witness to the end of a long period of relative calm in the occupied West Bank, especially in Jerusalem and its environs.
This relative calm existed pending diplomatic initiatives by Mahmoud Abbas, under the “guidance” of the United States and EU countries. Everything seems to indicate that the extended quiet givento the Palestinian president by his own population has ended. Abu Mazen got nothing, not even on the symbolic level. Instead, he received humiliating slaps from an Israeli government that refuses to even pretend to play the tragic-comic-grotesque “peace process”.
The latest Israeli provocations in Jerusalem's al Aqsa mosque compound, the most sensitive site for the Palestinians (and for 1.6 billion Muslims around the world) included violent parades by right-wing ministers and leading politicians, as well as desecration of the al Aqsa mosque by Israeli police.
If we persist in calling the current events an 'intifada', it is probable this will be the knife intifada, i.e. a long series of individual initiatives, primarily by young men and women who use knives, cutters and even screwdrivers against soldiers or Israeli civilians. They know they risk their life, especially as Netanyahu and his minions have called upon Israelis to arm themselves and shoot (Palestinians) to kill. As Gideon Levi writes in Haaretz today,a spree of extra-judicial killings is taking place in Israel today, cheered on by the masses. This spree renders any Palestinian action an act of suicide.
It is important to note that these suicide acts are not those of organised militants, nor are they individual acts supported and sponsored by national movements. This is what explains the inability of intelligence services to prevent these attacks: a young woman rises one morning, takes a screwdriver and attacks an Israeli, knowing this will almost certainly cost her life. This is the state of despair of a Palestinian population that has lost all illusionsconcerning the "peace process".
This also means a growing isolation from his own people of Mahmoud Abbas, who continued his fruitless diplomatic gesticulations when there was no partner, or more precisely there was a partner whose intransigence and provocative behaviour made such games ridiculous.
The so-called international community has scandalously called for an “end to violence on both sides” and is careful not to use the means at its disposal to impose adoption of international resolutions taken against the Israeli colonial state. The international community continues to treat Israel as a reliable ally, a partner with whom it's good to do business.