Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Intifada Dada

Thomas L. Friedman writes:
RAMALLAH, West Bank —I've often wondered why Ahmed and Mohammed haven't gotten around to demanding their seat in the back of the Israeli bus by staging a Third Intifada. Indeed, I even announced they were doing it back in 2006 but they let me down, as Arabs will. But seriously, I mean, the first one, with the stones, got them Oslo, and the second one, with the rockets, lost it, so why wouldn't they be giving it another shot?* Palestinians here have been telling me that the problem is it didn't work before, but what the hell kind of logic is that?
Centerpiece by partypro.
 *Maybe they just can't affjord it, heh-heh.

Anyway, it turns out that the Third Intifada has in fact already started in earnest, apparently while I was off explaining Syria or pimping Arne Duncan's presidential campaign, and it's the most devastating kind of all, the one that will blow Israel up not with a six-gun but a fountain pen.
Only the trick is this time it's a post-average intifada, the kind that's going to define intifadas in the new information era, and the reason it's working is that the hapless Palestinians have nothing to do with it. It's the Belgians** and their Eurowimp colleagues who are spearheading a Boycott, Delegitimization and Sanctions movement that is casting the stones of denial at Israeli pockets.
Thus, Finance Minister Yair Lapid has told Israeli Army Radio that not making a two-state deal could cost Israel billions of dollars and millions of jobs, forcing the country to send all its Filipinos to their original homes, as Europeans stop buying Israeli agricultural and technological products, divest from Israeli investments, and close out Israeli bank accounts. The minister assured citizens that he has no intention of doing anything about this crisis but added that it would not be serious not to take it seriously.
Cassandra prophesies the fall of Troy (left) and dies (right), from an incunable print of Boccaccio's De Mulieribus Claris, Ulm ca. 1474, via Wikipedia.
Another way of putting it is to say that the Third Intifada is making Israel feel strategically secure but morally insecure. I like this line so much—I used it in April and November 2012—that I'll use it twice in the next paragraph, alongside the old favorite about how the first two intifadas failed because the stone-throwing or rocket-firing Palestinians failed to include a map of their proposed territorial boundaries for a two-state solution with their stones or rockets respectively, and if you think I don't mean that literally that's only because you have no concept of what it's like to live in a dream world in which an intifada and hundreds of suicide bombers can install the late Ariel Sharon as prime minister by acting backwards in time.
The Third Intifada also differs from the other two in that Nelson Mandela is dead and Ahmed Ahmadinejad is no longer president of Iran, making Israelis strategically secure but morally insecure. I don't remember Ahmadinejad being president during the other two intifadas either, come to think of it, but in the desert things often get a little confused. Without Mandela, hippies like those who control the pension funds of the Netherlands and the banks of Denmark will now need to find something new to do, and Israel's finance industry is just lying there ripe for the taking; and without Ahmadinejad nobody's afraid of Iran any more, or at least not afraid enough to destroy it: strategically secure, morally insecure, if you know what I mean. These people are all anti-Semites, of course, but that doesn't mean they couldn't have a point, at least financially speaking.
I'm like Cassandra, you know, it's not like I want to keep thinking this way, nothing could make me happier than to just slide through some more lazy generalizations about the benighted Muslims and hustle back to my MOOCs and flatnesses, but the fact is I'm impelled to keep telling you, every few months, to stop building more settlements. It's like something outside me.
The thing is, incredibly, that you in the Israeli government are even crazier than I am. I'm the sweet voice of reason here. I'm not saying you have to admit the settlements are illegal. I'm not saying you need to move one Jew out of the West Bank. Just stop building more settlements, please. And maybe give Kerry a call once in a while, it couldn't hurt.
** I guess you could say they're musseling in on the situation.

Thanks to @AliAbunimah! And to @rlyTomFriedman, wherever you are.

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