Talk Back



Shlomo Fleishmann

The peace process in Israel underwent a kind of rejuvenation. It took us back in time for about 8 years. The time of the original Intifada, the time, when Arafat and cohorts sat in exile in Tunis and where shunted as terrorist. Today - with Arafat, the Nobel Prize winner receiver for peace, as almost president - it's a different story.

What has not changed is his great invention - the "Intifada." This tactic was unjustly under-evaluated. As the Roman's Phalanx, The Egyptian Chariots, the German Blitzkrieg, so the Intifada became one of the most effective methods of warfare. It needs planning like any other military action. First a big variety of stones and rocks had to be collected. The huge amount of stone-ammunition can be illustrated by the fact, that the ruler of Oman donated the Palestinians 50 truck-loads of special hard stones. According to plan, the stones are distributed to the strategically important points. The stones are divided in three sizes. Medium size stones for close range attack on soldiers. Heavy rocks, for trucks and buses. And small stones for the sling shots, prepared in mass production for the "kids." These slingshots are lethal. I heard from eyewitnesses how frightful and dangerous these attacks are.
Behind the kids are the "Tanzim," - the El Fatah's special groups. And behind them in reserve are the Palestinian policemen, who open fire when necessary or possible.

The second leg of the Intifada are terrorist attacks, which occur out of the blue and keep the whole community in fear, not knowing when or where it may hit.

The third leg is propaganda. The Palestinians never attack, they just air their justified anger in a demonstration. Palestinians never, never start pelting stones,,, a violence "JUST" happened to happen. The emphasize is given, that Israeli forces opened fire. Who started the violence is usually kept a secret. The stone throwing "kids," are shown as little brave Davids. And when such a little kid is hit back, it serves as a PR-bonanza, circling by the Media around the world. Next step by the Arabs is of course to complaint about the Jews in the UN, where automatic condemnation is assured. The secret of the success of the Intifada is, to keep it going on and on. The strategy of the Intifada is not to conquer land but to run down the opponent through constant pressure. The Intifada creates fear, confusion and fatigue. It threatens even to destabilize the world and has an impact on morals and willingness to fight.

The Intifada gave the Palestinians the victory, as Israel signed the Oslo-pact, which had no terms for peace at all. Arafat had not the slightest intention to let the peace- process - end with peace. He just wanted to get peacefully - (sometimes with a bomb or two) - whatever he could get. Had he wanted peace, he would not have educated and inflamed his people for war.

At Camp David, Arafat noticed, that he could not get more. He did not accept Barak's yes as an answer. So he had to re-enact the old, proven Intifada. The Intifada has one possible pitfall, when the defendant reacts with strength. For some reason, Arafat, and many in the world and even some Jews expect to protect themselves very gently. "With gentle reaction", the success of the Intifada is guaranteed.

But the Palestinians got a shock. Barak did not react gently - he "over-reacted." He shot back. He derailed the genial idea of the Intifada.

If the Intifada will be stopped. If the Palestinians will have learned, that they will not be able to let the Jews drink the water of the Mediterranean as Arafat promised, - the idea may arise to make peace. It may be a long process, but the only way which would benefit both peoples.