Aluf Benn writes in Haaretz that Israeli PM Netanyahu is getting ready for the “Third Intifada,” signaled by the Palestinan demonstrations on Nakba Day (Catastrophe Day: May 15, the day after Israeli Independence Day) that saw Palestinian demonstrators trying to cross the borders of Israel. According to Benn, Netanyahu believes that Israel has no partner in negotiations because of the recent unity agreement signed between Hamas and Fatah and that Israel faces an existential threat from Iran. So he has sought to unify Israeli opinion and offer flexibility on the Palestinian issue which he does not believe will be returned before going to meet with President Obama. The whole analysis not long and worth reading if you are interested in Palestinian-Israeli relations.
One of the more striking passages in Benn’s analysis was his description of the Nakba Day protests:
On Nakba Day this week, the Palestinians outflanked Israel in the public consciousness front. Instead of violent demonstrations in the territories, they emerged from refugee camps in Syria, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip and headed for Israel’s northern and southern border fences. They want to inculcate their narrative in Western public opinion: They are unarmed demonstrators who have come to demand justice and realize their right of return. No terror, no suicide bombers, only nonviolent protest against oppression and humiliation, like Mahatma Gandhi and the protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.
The self-evident analogy to Zionist history are the illegal immigrants’ ships that broke the British regime in Palestine. On the operational level, the British could deal with the illegal immigration: They intercepted most of the ships on the high seas and brought their passengers to prison camps in Cyprus. But they could not cope with the superiority of consciousness of a beaten people, a third of whose number had been murdered in the Holocaust and whose survivors sought to return to their historical homeland. The Palestinians now want to do the same thing to Israel: They are marching toward the land of their fathers with flags and patriotic songs, and the Zionist enemy is driving them out with guns toward the horror of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Hat tip: Jeff Goldberg