Saturday, December 29, 2007

The First Intifada, 1987-1991 CE

Since the Israeli occupation of Palestine, the Palestinians had looked to a number of options for their freedom. First, they had turned towards their neighbouring Arabs. Secondly, to Yasser Arafat, especially after 1967. Thirdly, to the UN and international law. Fourthly, to the Americans. But nothing seemed to work.
Jobs offered to Palestinians were mainly in construction, where they had to build homes for illegal Jewish settlers on what was their land!
The Palestinians living in the land occupied by Israel in 1967 became stateless and were brutally treated by the Israelis on a daily basis, suffering discrimination and inequality. The Palestinian people were tired of the Israeli occupation and the constant humiliation they faced.
Intifada, which means "uprising" in Arabic, is the name of the struggle waged by a handful of Palestinians, armed only with stones, against one of the world's best-equipped armies.
The first Intifada, or uprising, was sparked on 9 December 1987 in Gaza when an Israeli truck crashed into a group of Palestinians, killing four of them. It spread like wild fire to all areas of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The uprising came as a complete surprise to both the Israelis and the PLO, at the time in exile in Tunisia.
Lasting until 1993, it met with a very severe Israeli response and, according to the principle that "violence begets violence," the Middle East again descended into chaos.
Throughout this period, the world's attention was drawn by cases of children whose skulls were cracked and arms were broken by Israeli soldiers. The Palestinian people, from the very youngest to the very oldest, opposed the Israeli military's violence and oppression with whatever stones they could find.
Zionist interest in Lebanon...
The Zionists had long had an interest in Lebanon. Ben-Gurion records in his diaries, 21st May 1948:
The Achilles' heel of the Arab coalition is the Lebanon. Muslim supremacy in this country is artificial and can easily be overthrown. A Christian state ought to be set up there, with its southern frontier on the river Litani. We would sign a treaty of alliance with this state. Then, when we have broken the strength of the Arab Legion and bombed Amman , we would wipe out Transjordan; after that, Syria would fall. And if Egypt still dared to make war on us, we would bomb Port Said , Alexandria and Cairo . We should thus end the war, and would have put paid to Egypt , Assyria and Chaldea on behalf of our ancestors. [Michael Bar-Zohar, Ben-Gurion–The Armed Prophet, 1967, p.133]
Israel had to occupy Lebanon for security reasons due to threats by the PLO to attack the Galilee region.
In reality, its “Operation Peace for Galilee ” flowed inexorably from the logic of Zionist expansionism. Israel had planned the occupation of Lebanon before the PLO even existed, or any threat of occupation or any conflict between Muslims and Christians in Lebanon.

Dayan's plan for Lebanon in 1954, as revealed by the diary of Moshe Sharrett, formerly Israel 's Prime Minister was clear:
According to him [Dayan] the only thing that's necessary is to find an officer, even just a major. We should either win his heart or buy him with money, to make him agree to declare himself the Saviour of the Maronite population. Then the Israeli Army will enter Lebanon , will occupy the necessary territory, and will create a Christian regime, which will ally itself with Israel. The territory from the Litani southward will be totally annexed to Israel. [R. Garaudy, The Case of Israel, 1983, p. 131]
On 16th May 1955, Ben-Gurion stated:
Israel should provoke Lebanon's Muslims to attack Lebanon's Christians in the hope of igniting a Civil War in Lebanon. [Diaries of Sharrett, 1976]
Israel also aimed to undermine support for the Palestinians, by sowing divisions between the Palestinians and Lebanese, and forcing the Lebanese government to suppress the PLO, whose leadership was now in Lebanon after expulsion from Jordan in 1970.

No comments: