Saturday October 10, 2015
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Prof. Ron Breiman

Who's encouraging a 'third intifada'?

Even if there's no certainty that the U.S. will enlist all its power to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's most impressive achievement has been to ring the alarm and put this danger on U.S. President Barack Obama's agenda. To a lesser extent, Netanyahu has done the same with the naive, hypocritical leaders in Europe. Despite this achievement, Netanyahu's rivals have used the media to present his efforts as fear mongering.

These days, Israel is being exposed to a different type of scare tactic: The media herd and one-sided analysts are threatening Israel that if it doesn't cede to the dictates of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his supporters from home (Tzipi Livni) and abroad (Obama), it could find itself facing a third intifada. In other words: capitulating to thuggish blackmail, or the two-state "solution," or an intifada.

This behavior on the part of the news media is wrong in the terminology being used and dangerous because of the impractical nature of the suggestions. There is no reason for the Hebrew press to adopt the Arabic term "intifada" to threaten the Jews. More and more Israeli citizens are using the term "Oslo War" to more accurately define the "Second Intifada" by associating it with its cause — the Oslo "peace" — which predictably led to the bloodshed.

For the sake of full disclosure: This writer coined the aforementioned phrase, which was first used in two opinion pieces I wrote for the national-religious newspaper Makor Rishon ("Prepare for the Oslo war," July 17, 1998, and "A war named Oslo," Sept. 3, 1999) before the war actually began. The use of the Arabic term is intended to conceal the connection between the result and the cause and protect those who instigated the foolish endeavor in 1993.

This media behavior is also wrong as far as its practicality and could potentially prove to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. If there is actual concern about renewed violence by the Palestinian Authority, the Israeli response should be one of a deterrence rather than conciliation; aggressive as opposed to soft.

Appointing Livni to lead the negotiating team with the PA send the wrong message and could arouse demands to provide "goodwill gestures" to the aggressor from Ramallah.

Obama's visit at such an early stage of his second term and the pressures he can be expected to bring, before Israel's new government will have been able to stabilize itself and before the American president has yet learned the lessons from the failures of his first trip to the region, could also serve to harden the demands of the "weak" Holocaust denier Abbas. His weakness is his strength.

The fact that every day for the past week a representative of the enemy has been interviewed by the various Israeli news channels, including the state-funded one, is strange to say the least. Can anyone imagine the BBC during World War II interviewing representatives of the Nazi regime and allowing them to go over the prime minister's head in London to address the British people directly and threaten them with an "intifada"?!

It's necessary to mention yet another aspect of the media herd's behavior: its disappointment that the anti-Israeli documentary films didn't win the Oscar. The Israeli media purports to represent public opinion, but it deserves some doubt in that regard. We can assume that a great many Israelis were relieved at being spared the media festival that surely would have followed had one of the "Israeli" films won the prize.

Professor Ron Breiman is the former chairman of Professors for a Strong Israel.

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