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Has the third Palestinian Intifada begun? According to Foreign Policy, "On this matter, there is rare agreement between Ismail Haniyeh, the Gaza-based leader of Hamas, and Isaac Herzog, the Israeli opposition leader: Both say that we are witnessing the beginning of the Third Intifada." ("Intifada" is the Arabic word for "insurrection" or "shaking off.")

Hamas recently called for a "Day of Rage" against Israel's continual oppression of the Palestinian people. "We call on the Palestinian people to regard Tuesday [October 13, 2015] as a day of rage against the [Israeli] occupation's procedures in Jerusalem against al-Aqsa mosque," Hamas said in a public statement.

How would you feel, if all the women and children in your family had been denied basic human rights, freedom and justice for generations, causing them to live in abject poverty, misery and despair? Christians may want to consider the ethical questions What does the Bible say? What would Jesus do?

IMG_6011.jpg picture by eshaameena

If the third Palestinian Intifada has begun, could the third time be the charm for equal rights, justice and self-determination for Palestinians? Or will a new Day of Rage lead to further tragedies? Yom Ha'atzmaut commemorates Israel's declaration of independence on May 15, 1948. This is a day of celebration for Israeli Jews. But for Palestinians who became victims of ethnic cleansing in 1948 during the Nakba ("Catastrophe"), it is a day of rage, lamentation and mourning. To better understand the grief of the Palestinian father below, please click here: Omar Masharawi was an 11-month-old baby who was incinerated by Israel's military operation Amud Annan (Hebrew for "Pillar of Fire"). Please click here to read about Israel’s Transfer Committee and its goal of ethnic cleansing. You may also want to read and consider Israeli Prime Ministers who were Terrorists and Does Israel Really Want Peace?

If this is the third Intifada, it feels different from the first two. Many Palestinians have lost faith in the Palestinian Authority and its leader, Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president. "The first intifada gave us the [Palestinian] Authority," one young man in Jabal al-Mukaber said on Tuesday, dragging on a cigarette and glaring at the hastily erected Israeli checkpoint down the road. "The Third Intifada, maybe we’ll give it back." But what will replace the PA?

"Whatever we’re calling it, it’s different than what we experienced in the past," said Michael Herzog, a retired head of the Israeli army’s strategic division. "It’s carried by young people … it’s protracted, it’s not really organized, and it’s difficult to stop."

Making things more potentially lethal, Israeli Jews on the whole seem to be increasingly racist and more prone to violence. A poll broadcast by Israel's Channel 2 found 73% of Jewish Israelis dissatisfied with Prime Minister Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu. Asked to name the most capable Israeli leader, 22% picked Avigdor Lieberman, the hawkish former foreign minister whose election slogan was "death penalty for terrorists." According to Haaretz, Lieberman "won’t hesitate to exploit these days of tension and fear to score political points among the extreme right wing. To achieve this Lieberman is prepared to inflame passions, set citizens against one another, and trample the basic values of a democratic regime."

According to respected British journalist Robert Fisk, Avigdor Lieberman "out-Sharons even Ariel Sharon." Fisk went on to say, "I covered the bloodbath of Bosnia in the early Nineties and I can identify Lieberman's language – of executions, of drownings, of hell and loyalty oaths – with the language of Messrs Mladic and Karadzic and Milosevic."

Americans should be able to understand and commiserate with the Palestinians if they consider how Sitting Bull must have felt as he watched white soldiers celebrating "Independence Day" on the fourth of July, while Sioux women and children suffered and died inside squalid concentration camps euphemistically called "reservations." In reality, white men had "reserved" all the best land for themselves, taking it by force, coercion and outright robbery. We can easily understand the rage against injustice that drove Sitting Bull to war, even thought he was a man of peace who was famously slow to anger. In the same way, we should be able to understand how Palestinian men feel when they see their mothers, sisters and daughters suffering and dying so unjustly. Many Palestinians see Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the way Native Americans saw President Andrew Jackson, who forced them to walk the Trail of Tears.

And so every Nakba Day, Palestinians remember and mourn acts of Israeli terrorism practiced against 700,000 to 800,000 Palestinians, most of them defenseless, noncombatant farm families, who were ethnically cleansed from their native land in 1948.

Today "Palestinians reaffirm their adherence and commitment to their legitimate rights, including the right of return and self-determination in an independent state on the lands occupied in 1967," as Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said at a press conference in Ramallah.

For all Palestinians, May 15 is both a day of mourning and a day to demand freedom, equal rights and justice. But for many Palestinians, Nakba Day is also a day of rage, for completely understandable reasons, if only we are capable of empathy. My Cherokee ancestors suggested that we never judge other people before walking a moon (i.e., a month) in their moccasins.

To understand why many Palestinians are so angry, one has only to look at maps that show how much of their land has been taken by force and theft over the last 60+ years. The maps below parallel what happened to Native Americans and other victims of racism, colonialism, ethnic cleansing and apartheid around the globe.

Before the ethnic cleansing of Palestine began in 1948, Palestinians owned and/or occupied well over 90% of the combined land of modern-day Israel/Palestine. After the Nakba, Israeli Jews "owned" all the white areas in the second map "magically," without paying for the newly-acquired land. Anywhere else in the world this would be considered armed robbery, since the land was stolen with guns and bombs, primarily from noncombatant farm families. But because Israel has legions of propagandists who constantly play on the sympathies of Americans who want to believe that Israel is "only doing what is necessary," Israel has been able to "legally" steal Palestinian land that is worth hundreds of billions of dollars at today's prices.

If you are unfamiliar with the real history of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, or have been told that Israel is "only defending itself," please read Albert Einstein's 1948 letter to the New York Times, then click your browser's "back" button to return to this page. If you want to understand how the the theft of Palestinian land relates to Israel's new offensive against Gaza, known as Operation "Pillar of Defense" or "Pillar of Clouds," please click here Amud Annan "Pillar of Fire." If you want to hear the opinion of the former U.S. president and Nobel Peace Prize laureate who negotiated peace talks between Israel and Palestinians, please click here Jimmy Carter: "Israeli policy is to confiscate Palestinian territory."

As the Southern proverb goes, "The proof is in the pudding." In this case, it's easy to see what really happened. Israeli Jews acquired a huge amount of highly valuable land without paying for it. When farm families lose their land without compensation, they lose the ability to feed, clothe and house themselves. Thus they become homeless, destitute refugees dependent on the charity of strangers. And this remains the state of millions of Palestinian refugees who now languish in refugee camps in Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and other Middle Eastern nations. Ethnic cleansing is a terrible crime, a crime against peace and humanity.

As we can see from the third and fourth maps, Israel continues to "acquire" (i.e., steal) land from the Palestinians, to this day. This is done via a variety of methods. Sometimes military force is used. Sometimes Palestinian homes are demolished without due process of law. (Israel is the world's only "democracy" that regularly destroys the homes of people based on their ethnicity, then snaps up the underlying land.) Since Palestinians usually cannot obtain building permits from Israel, many suddenly homeless Palestinians have to vacate their land, which is then stolen by Israeli robber barons. But the main method of ethnically cleansing Palestinians today is to make their lives so miserable that they choose to leave voluntarily. I recently read the account of an Australian peace activist who was told by her Jewish tour bus guide that Israeli Jews "politely make it impossible for them [Palestinians] to live here [on their native soil in the West Bank]." But of course there is nothing "polite" about demolishing people's homes and punishing them collectively for having been "born wrong." What Israel is doing, in reality, is using a brutal, spirit-crushing system of government-sanctioned racism and apartheid to force Palestinians to vacate their native land. But most Palestinians either have nowhere else to go, or they refuse to be ethnically cleansed because they love their country, so Israel's "final solution" is only creating misery and violence for Jews and Palestinians alike, with Palestinians suffering the far greater misery and violence. The terrorism Israel practices against Palestinians on a large-scale, daily basis is far greater than the isolated acts of terrorism committed by Palestinian individuals. Yet all the while the Israeli Injustice Machine pours out tsunamis of propaganda blaming its victims for every sin under the sun ... exactly the way the white supremacist government of the United States and its white supremacist press once blamed Native Americans for every sin under the sun. We should never be so foolish as to believe what racists say about the victims they're robbing, defrauding, abusing and killing.

As I write this article, reports of Palestinian deaths are arriving through the Internet. It seems Israeli soldiers are reacting very aggressively, using live ammunition on protestors. I am reminded of Kent State. This is the same strategy we have seen in Egypt, Tunisia, Iran, Bahrain, Yemen, Syria and Libya. How is Israel any different from other brutal, tyrannical, anti-democratic regimes that kill protestors when they demand freedom, equal rights and democracy?

I have no idea how many Palestinians will suffer and die in their latest attempt to free themselves from the racist tyrannies of Israel. I only wish my country, the United States, would stand firmly for equal rights, justice and democracy, rather than always supporting Israel "no matter what."

Everywhere else in the world that Arabs march for freedom and democracy, the U.S. will cheer them on, at least in public. But when they march for freedom and democracy in Palestine, the U.S. will side with Israel because Israel has a powerful lobby and can buy American silence and acquiescence. In effect, the tail wags the dog. The result of the tail wagging the dog has been 9-11 and two unnecessary, unwinnable wars. But as long as American politicians can garner Jewish votes and Jewish campaign contributions, it seems the suffering and deaths of innocents is a small price to pay. By manipulating American politicians into supporting Israel's racial injustices, American Jews have become Israel's worst enemies; they have become like pushers providing hard drugs to an addict. Israel demands sympathy, so like an indulgent mother, American Jews supply it. Then the addict gets high and starts beating up innocent women and children, while robbing them blind. A good mother would see what her son was becoming and stop supporting his habit. 

Israel's prime minister is one in a long line of power-addicted bullies. Rather than ending Israel's abuse of Palestinian women and children, like any addict he blames other people for his failures. "I regret that there are extremists among Israeli Arabs and in neighboring countries who have turned the day on which the State of Israel was established, the day on which the Israeli democracy was established, into a day of incitement, violence and rage," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said to the Israeli Cabinet in Jerusalem, according to a statement posted on his office's website.

What Netanyahu will not admit is that Israel has blatantly racist laws and courts that make racial violence on both sides inevitable. He reminds me of Andrew Jackson, the American President who lectured Native Americans about acts of violence, after having forced them to walk the Trail of Tears. Why should the victims of ethnic cleansing and genocide submit to their oppressors when they can clearly read the handwriting on the wall? The Palestinians know what happened to American Indians when they submitted to the not-so-tender mercies of a white supremacist government. They know what happened to black slaves who submitted to white slaveowners. They know what happened to Australian aborigines who submitted to the rule of white British imperialists. They know what happened to black South Africans who submitted to the racism and apartheid of white overseers. Why should Palestinians submit to ethnic cleansing and genocide, knowing what happens to "inferior" races who submit to their "superiors"?

Now as the "Arab Spring" sweeps the Middle East and Northern Africa, the Palestinian "Day of Rage" threatens to become a third Palestinian Intifada. Tens of thousands of Palestinians and their supporters plan to march from Egypt, the epicenter of the Arab world and the largest Arab country. Many will set out from Tahrir square at the heart of Cairo. At the same time or soon thereafter, other Arabs will begin to march toward Israel from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Gaza and Occupied Palestine (the West Bank).

The purpose? This mass protest will send a clear message to Israel and the rest of the world that liberating Palestinians from a brutally racist Israeli Occupation is the heartfelt cause of Arabs and Muslims in the Middle East and around the world. By marching together in large numbers they will be denouncing the ongoing occupation of Palestine and calling for an internationally recognized independent Palestinian state within its legitimate pre-1967 borders, with Eastern Jerusalem as its capital.

Since diplomacy has utterly failed the Arabs of Palestine in the past, and because Israeli and U.S. politicians have granted them nothing but despair and Diaspora for 60+ years, these Freedom Marchers have decided to take their lives and fates into their own hands. Many Israeli Jews and Americans will immediately label them "terrorists" because they have the courage and temerity to oppose the terrorism of Israel and the U.S. against millions of completely innocent Palestinian women and children. But what if Israeli Jews and Americans are wrong, and these Freedom Walkers simply refuse to see an Arab Spring that excludes millions of Palestinians? How can they be wrong to long for this blossoming of freedom and justice to include Palestine?

There have been two Palestinian Intifadas before: the first in 1987, the second (the Aq’sa Intifada) in 2000. During both uprisings Israel was forced to endure years of domestic unrest and worldwide condemnation of its apartheid and oppressive racist policies toward the Palestinians. But of course to date nothing has ever caused Israel to "see the light" and abandon its Jim Crow laws, racist courts, home demolitions and public lynchings. While the rest of the free world has called racism, colonialism and feudalism abominations, Israel remains a Dark Age feudal kingdom where people of one race are the "chosen few" and everyone else is out of luck. If any of the serfs object, they are immediately labeled "terrorists" and are either beaten, imprisoned or annihilated. Israel treats non-Jews the same way Saddam Hussein once treated Kurds. But because Israel has friends in high places, and a huge global propaganda machine, it continues to get away with racial injustices that would be instantly condemned anywhere else in the world.

Recently, a Facebook cause page called "The Third Palestinian Intifada" attracted almost 300,000 fans and a rapidly growing number of visitors in just few days. Tel Aviv was well aware that all the Arab uprisings so far have been sparked by Facebook pages. So “the only democracy in the Middle East” decided to squelch free speech. In late March Yuli Edelstein, Israel’s Minister of Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs, wrote Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's co-founder, and told him: “The social network site has great potential to rally the masses around good causes, and we are all thankful for that. However, such potential comes hand in hand with the ability to cause great harm, such as in the case of the wild incitement displayed on the Third Palestinian Intifada page.”

In other words, pro-freedom Facebook pages are beneficial, as long as no one proposes that Israel should free the Palestinians from its bigoted overlordship. Did the American Revolution start with polite talk over cups of tea? Of course not. The American Revolution began with the talk of the consequences for the feudal British monarchy if it continued to treat Americans as feudal serfs. In effect, the American Declaration of Independence declared open season on Englishmen if they persisted in denying Americans equal rights, justice and representative government. So according to the American Declaration of Independence, Israel has only two options: (1) make Palestinians fully equal citizens of a single democratic state, or (2) grant the Palestinians independence as a separate state. As long as Israel refuses to do one or the other, according to Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, John Adams, Ben Franklin and the rest of the American Founding Fathers, the Palestinians have every right to resist their feudal overlords.

Related pages: Christians may want to consider the ethical question What would Jesus do? If you are unfamiliar with the real history of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, or have been told that Israel is "only defending itself," please read Albert Einstein's 1948 letter to the New York Times and Einstein on Palestine: the Prophet of Peace. If you want to understand how the maps below relate to Israel's new offensive against Gaza, known as Operation "Pillar of Defense" or the biblical "Pillar of Clouds," please click here Amud Annan "Pillar of Fire." If you want to hear the opinion of the former U.S. president and Nobel Peace Prize laureate who negotiated peace talks between Israel and Palestinians, please click here Jimmy Carter: "Israeli policy is to confiscate Palestinian territory." You may also want to read and consider Israeli Prime Ministers who were Terrorists; they include Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Shamir, Yitzhak Rabin, Ariel Sharon and David Ben-Gurion.

Map 1 of 1946 Palestine shows more than 90% of the land belonging to Palestinians; at this point Jewish settlers had paid for most of the land they occupied
Map 2 of 1947 U.N. partition plan of Israel and Palestine; the land in the white areas was not "given" to Israel; Israeli Jews took the additional land
Map 3 of 1967 borders of Israel and Palestine; these are the "1967 lines" aka as the "1949 armistice lines"; once again Israeli Jews took the additional land
Map 4 of 2000 borders shows how Israel keeps taking land outside its legal borders, creating discontiguous Palestinian bantustans

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