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LA Times Op-Ed Gaslights Israelis & Jews on Intifada Violence

The aftermath of the suicide bombing at the Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem on Aug. 9, 2001, that killed 15 people, including two Americans, and wounded around 130 others. Photo: Flash90.

In a recent opinion piece for the Los Angeles Times, Palestinian journalist Daoud Kuttab takes umbrage with New York Congresswoman Elise Stefanik’s assertion that public calls for an intifada are akin to calls for the genocide of the Jewish people.

In making his case, Kuttab’s article is riddled with historical revisionism, factual inaccuracies, and misleading statements, all in an effort to whitewash the violent nature of the two Palestinian intifadas and to lay the onus for continuing violence between Israel and the Palestinians solely at the feet of the Jewish state.

“Civil Disobedience & Protest”: The First Intifada

In defending the use of the term “intifada” (literally “shaking off”), Kuttab asserts that the term is a Palestinian “demand for freedom from occupation,” and that its sole focus is on ending Israeli control over the post-1967 territories.

Following this favorable presentation of the term “intifada,” Kuttab then initiates his whitewashing of reality, beginning with the First Intifada.

For anyone unfamiliar with Israeli and Palestinian history, the First Intifada would appear from Daoud Kuttab’s description to have been a righteous struggle for civil rights, similar to those that took place in the southern United States or South Africa.

This is not mere hyperbole, as he actually writes, “Initially, the intifada included the methods of resistance practiced by Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela.”

This complimentary portrayal of the First Intifada is further reinforced by a later description of it as “six years of civil disobedience and protest.”

While it is true that the First Intifada included acts of non-violence, it is disingenuous for Kuttab to present those six years as an idealistic struggle for peace and freedom.

From the start, the First Intifada was also defined by Palestinian violence against Israeli soldiers and civilians.

It is estimated that during the first four years, there were “more than 3,600 Molotov cocktail attacks, 100 hand grenade attacks and 600 assaults with guns or explosives” directed against Israelis.

In fact, for an “uprising” supposedly directed against “the occupation, not Israel,” more Israeli civilians were killed during the First Intifada than members of the Israeli security forces. Of these Israeli civilians, more were killed within pre-1967 Israel than were killed in the West Bank, Gaza, and eastern Jerusalem.

Between the Two Intifadas: The Oslo Years

Following his rosy assessment of the First Intifada, Daoud Kuttab then turns his attention to the Oslo era, the seven years between the signing of the Oslo Accords by Yitzhak Rabin’s Israeli government and Yasser Arafat’s PLO, and the eruption of the Second Intifada.

To hear Kuttab tell it, Israel and the Palestinians were on a clear course for rapprochement and friendly relations between two states until a right-wing Israeli extremist assassinated Rabin in 1995, leading to Benjamin Netanyahu’s first government, which “multiplied illegal settlements” in the West Bank.

Ultimately, all blame is laid at Israel’s feet for the demise of the Oslo Accords.

However, this brief history of the Oslo era is overly simplistic and misleading in several ways.

First, it does not take into account the ongoing campaign of Palestinian terrorism, including suicide bombings, shootings, firebombs, and stabbings, which was aimed at derailing the Oslo peace process and inflicting severe damage against both Israeli security forces and civilians.

Second, contrary to Kuttab’s assertion, there was no mass proliferation of settlements in the West Bank and Gaza under the first Netanyahu government. In fact, as part of the Oslo process, there was a freeze on the establishment of new Israeli communities in these areas. This led to the development of outposts, small communities that are established without government approval.

Third, during his first tenure as prime minister, Netanyahu continued to engage in negotiations with the Palestinian Authority (PA), culminating in the signing of the Wye River Memorandum. Under this agreement, Israel ceded more territory to the control of the PA and agreed to release a large number of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for counter-terrorism efforts on the part of the PA.

Lastly, no mention is made of the 2000 Camp David summit, where Arafat walked away from negotiations with then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, and ultimately began planning the Second Intifada.

Shootings, Suicide Bombings & Stabbings: The Second Intifada

Unlike his portrayal of the First Intifada, Kuttab does not go into great detail about the Second Intifada.

However, what he does write about the Second Intifada is just as deceptive and misleading.

Kuttab states that in 2000:

Israeli prime minister candidate Ariel Sharon staged a deliberately provocative campaign visit to Al Aqsa Mosque. The Palestinian protests that followed were violently and fatally put down, and so began the second intifada, a recognition that negotiation and nonviolence had failed to end the occupation and create an independent Palestinian state.

In just one paragraph, Kuttab misleads his readers into believing several factual inaccuracies, including:

That Ariel Sharon visited the Al Aqsa Mosque. In fact, he never entered the mosque but walked around the Temple Mount complex, the holiest site in Judaism.
That the Palestinian response to Sharon’s visit was “protests” that were “violently and fatally put down.” In fact, the immediate response to the visit included the stoning of Jewish worshippers at the Western Wall and gun battles between Israeli forces and Palestinian gunmen.
That the Second Intifada was a grassroots response to the Sharon visit and subsequent Israeli violence. In fact, even Palestinian sources agree that it was planned ahead of time by the Palestinian leadership. Sharon’s visit to the Temple Mount was just a convenient justification for the Palestinian leadership to put its plan into effect.

The reason why Kuttab’s description of the Second Intifada might be so sparse is that for many people, it is defined by a spate of suicide bombings, shootings, stabbings, stonings, and other attacks against both Israeli civilians and security forces.

Furthermore, many of these attacks were directed against restaurants, nightclubs, and Jewish religious gatherings in cities in pre-1967 Israel, including Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Netanya.

Thus, the Second Intifada belies Kuttab’s rosy image of an intifada as a righteous venture whose “target is not Jews but Israel’s illegal occupation.”

Daoud Kuttab is not the only person to recently gaslight Jews and Israelis about what an “intifada” is.

Both MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan and talking head Peter Beinart have recently claimed that calls for an intifada are not inherently violent and that an intifada is a legitimate form of “uprising” against Israel.

Imagine being a professor and not understanding the definition of the word ‘explicitly’.

You can believe that ‘intifada’ chants are calls for violence – they aren’t btw! – but what you can’t do is claim they are ‘explicit’ calls for violence when, *by definition*, they are not.

— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) December 12, 2023

While there can be a discussion about whether a call to “globalize the intifada” is a call for the genocide of Jews (as was recently claimed in the US Congress) or whether the term “intifada” has other linguistic connotations, it is the height of gaslighting to try to argue that when calling for an “intifada” in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the word connotes anything other than the indiscriminate violence against Israeli civilians which plagued the First and Second Intifadas.

The author is a contributor to HonestReporting, a Jerusalem-based media watchdog with a focus on antisemitism and anti-Israel bias — where a version of this article first appeared.

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Israeli Official: ‘Important Operation’ in Yemen Sends Strong Message to Shiite Axis

Drones are seen at a site at an undisclosed location in Iran, in this handout image obtained on April 20, 2023. Photo: Iranian Army/WANA (West Asia News Agency)/Handout via REUTERS

i24 NewsA senior Israeli security official spoke to i24NEWS on Saturday on condition of the retaliatory strike carried out by the Israel Air Force against the Houthi jihadists in Yemen.

“This is an important operation which signals that there’s room for further escalation, and sends a very strong message to the entire Shiite axis.”

“We understood there is a high probability of counter attacks, but if we do not respond, the meaning is even worse. Israel has updated the US prior to the operation.”

The strike on Hodeida came after long-range Iranian-made drone hit a building in central Tel Aviv, killing one man and wounded several others.

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IDF Confirms Striking ‘Terrorist Houthi Regime’ in Yemen’s Hodeida

Houthi leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi addresses followers via a video link at the al-Shaab Mosque, formerly al-Saleh Mosque, in Sanaa, Yemen, Feb. 6, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

i24 NewsThe Israeli military on Saturday confirmed striking a port in Yemen controlled by the Houthi jihadists, a day after the Iranian proxy group perpetrated a deadly drone attack on Tel Aviv.

“A short while ago, IDF fighter jets struck military targets of the Houthi terrorist regime in the area of the Al Hudaydah Port in Yemen in response to the hundreds of attacks carried out against the State of Israel in recent months.”

After Houthi drone attack on Tel Aviv, reports and footage out of Yemen of air strikes hitting Hodeida

— Video used in accordance with clause 27A of Israeli copyright law

— i24NEWS English (@i24NEWS_EN) July 20, 2024

Yoav Gallant, the defense minister, issued a statement saying “The fire that is currently burning in Hodeidah, is seen across the Middle East and the significance is clear. The Houthis attacked us over 200 times. The first time that they harmed an Israeli citizen, we struck them. And we will do this in any place where it may be required.”

“The blood of Israeli citizens has a price,” Gallant added. “This has been made clear in Lebanon, in Gaza, in Yemen, and in other places – if they will dare to attack us, the result will be identical.”

Gallant: ‘The fire currently burning in Hodeida is seen across the region and the significance is clear… The blood of Israeli citizens has a price, as has been made clear in Lebanon, in Gaza, in Yemen and in other places – if they dare attack us, the result will be identical.’

— i24NEWS English (@i24NEWS_EN) July 20, 2024

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One Part of Cyprus Mourns, the Other Rejoices 50 Years After Split

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan leaves after attending a military parade to mark the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus in response to a short-lived Greek-inspired coup, in the Turkish-controlled northern Cyprus, in the divided city of Nicosia, Cyprus July 20, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Yiannis Kourtoglou

Greek Cypriots mourned and Turkish Cypriots rejoiced on Saturday, the 50th anniversary of Turkey’s invasion of part of the island after a brief Greek inspired coup, with the chances of reconciliation as elusive as ever.

The ethnically split island is a persistent source of tension between Greece and Turkey, which are both partners in NATO but are at odds over numerous issues.

Their differences were laid bare on Saturday, with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attending a celebratory military parade in north Nicosia to mark the day in 1974 when Turkish forces launched an offensive that they call a “peace operation.”

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis was due later on Saturday to attend an event in the south of the Nicosia to commemorate what Greeks commonly refer to as the “barbaric Turkish invasion.” Air raid sirens sounded across the area at dawn.

Mitsotakis posted an image of a blood-stained map of Cyprus on his LinkedIn page with the words “Half a century since the national tragedy of Cyprus.”

There was jubilation in the north.

“The Cyprus Peace Operation saved Turkish Cypriots from cruelty and brought them to freedom,” Erdogan told crowds who gathered to watch the parade despite stifling midday heat, criticizing the south for having a “spoiled mentality” and seeing itself as the sole ruler of Cyprus.

Peace talks are stalled at two seemingly irreconcilable concepts – Greek Cypriots want reunification as a federation. Turkish Cypriots want a two-state settlement.

Erdogan left open a window to dialogue although he said a federal solution, advocated by Greek Cypriots and backed by most in the international community, was “not possible.”

“We are ready for negotiations, to meet, and to establish long-term peace and resolution in Cyprus,” he said.

Cyprus gained independence from Britain in 1960, but a shared administration between Greek and Turkish Cypriots quickly fell apart in violence that saw Turkish Cypriots withdraw into enclaves and led to the dispatch of a U.N. peacekeeping force.

The crisis left Greek Cypriots running the internationally recognized Republic of Cyprus, a member of the European Union since 2004 with the potential to derail Turkey’s own decades-long aspirations of joining the bloc.

It also complicates any attempts to unlock energy potential in the eastern Mediterranean because of overlapping claims. The region has seen major discoveries of hydrocarbons in recent years.


Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides, whose office represents the Greek Cypriot community in the reunification dialogue, said the anniversary was a somber occasion for reflection and for remembering the dead.

“Our mission is liberation, reunification and solving the Cyprus problem,” he said. “If we really want to send a message on this tragic anniversary … it is to do anything possible to reunite Cyprus.”

Turkey, he said, continued to be responsible for violating human rights and international law over Cyprus.

Across the south, church services were held to remember the more than 3,000 people who died in the Turkish invasion.

“It was a betrayal of Cyprus and so many kids were lost. It wasn’t just my son, it was many,” said Loukas Alexandrou, 90, as he tended the grave of his son at a military cemetery.

In Turkey, state television focused on violence against Turkish Cypriots prior to the invasion, particularly on bloodshed in 1963-64 and in 1967.

Turkey’s invasion took more than a third of the island and expelled more than 160,000 Greek Cypriots to the south.

Reunification talks collapsed in 2017 and have been at a stalemate since. Northern Cyprus is a breakaway state recognized only by Turkey, and its Turkish Cypriot leadership wants international recognition.

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