The Tragedy and Shortsightedness of the Latest Uprising

As in the case of all previous Arab uprisings, this one will end tragically for the Palestinian people. As I’ve written before, I sympathize with the Palestinian cause and believe the Palestinians should have their own state. However, the wanton attacks against Jewish civilians is unjustifiable and will only bring horrific consequences to the entire Palestinian population and possibly to the Israeli Arab population.

The Second Intifada resulted in thousands killed and the building of the security fence, which cut off Arab workers from good jobs in Israel plus divided entire communities. The Second Intifada, however, was coordinated, in part, by the Palestinian Authority. So far, the current uprising seems spurred by social media. The Palestinian Authority publicly has denounced the current uprising. Because there seems to be no coordinated effort, stopping the uprising is proving to be more problematic. Who is to know when a random person will suddenly brandish a knife and go on a slashing spree. As a result, the response to the uprising will likely be extremely harsh and discriminatory.

Probably, the only effective means of quelling this uprising is to further segregate the Arab population from the mainstream society. That could mean profiling Arabs, prohibiting them from entering buses, malls, shops, even hospitals. It’s possible additional checkpoints will be established around the country, separating Arab areas from Jewish ones. Arab residency permits could be revoked. Whereas in the past, discrimination against Arab citizens existed but wasn’t legal, that could easily change. A truly divided society is in the offing, and the group to bear the brunt of the changes is sadly, once again, the Palestinian population. Abba Eban, the former Israeli Ambassador to the UN, poignantly said, “the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” Here, we go again.

The Palestinians have just cause to be fed up with both the Israeli government and their own Palestinian Authority. However, inciting wanton violence against the Israeli civilian population will badly backfire, just as in past uprisings. Each uprising leads to more restrictions, worse conditions and an increasingly hopeless future. This will end the same way unless it dies down quickly.