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April 08, 1988 - Image 18

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-04-08

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Continued from Page 1

being urged to refuse to pay
taxes, there are calls on Arab
workers to stop going to work
in Israel, while a boycott of
Israeli banks has been
One leaflet instructs the
Palestinians to prepare for a
long, painful haul. They
should dig wells, raise poultry
and vegetables, stockpile
wood, candles, fuel, food,
dairy products and water in
preparation for an economic
Yet another leaflet calls for
demonstrative acts of de-
fiance against the Israeli
authorities—the mass viola-
tion of curfew orders and the
hoisting Palestinian flag,
which is illegal.
In addition, every town,
village and refugee camp has
been .instructed to organize
aid for the needy; for the
families of prisoners; for those
who have lost their incomes.
Each area has been told to
organize its own police force
to maintain internal order,
while Palestinian factories
have been urged to work "at
full speed" in order to provide
alternatives to Israeli
Now the Israeli authorities
have started to fight back.
Caught unprepared by the
extent and duration of the
uprising, they have finally
begun to react with non-
military weapons to this non-
military threat.
The army has been system-
atically working its way
through the territories, ar-
resting Palestinian rioters
and those it suspects of in-
citing unrest. Some one
thousand have been detained
so far, and the arrests are
In addition, the Defense
Ministry has outlawed the
Shabiba, the PLO youth
movement which has become
the engine of the uprising —
encouraging violent confron-
tations with Israeli troops, en-
forcing strikes and in-
timidating anyone else who
shows insufficient patriotic
The Shabiba, organized six
years ago by the PLO's Fatah
wing—the power base of
Yasser Arafat—was intended
to carry out community work.
It is, however, now regarded
as the PLO's principal
recruiting agent in the West
Bank and Gaza, although its
own members—college
students and school
children—are not formal
members of the PLO.
The Israeli authorities have
also begun to clamp down on
trade unions, which are re-
garded as hotbeds of Pales-
tinian radicalism, and they
continue to insist that

schools, colleges and univer-
sities will remain closed un-
til guarantees are provided
that the students will not use
their educational facilities to
plan further unrest.
In cooperation with Jordan,
they are acting to hamper the
operations of the Al-Quds
radio station, which beams its
message of revolt from
southern Syria.
The new-style Israeli offen-
sive involves cutting tele-

"We have to be
willing to starve
for our freedom,"
says a Palestinian
leader. "It is good
to suffer under

phone links from the West
Bank and Gaza, imposing
curfews, restricting travel and
halting fuel supplies—in
short, collective punishments,
a policy that was emphatical-
ly rejected before the start of
the uprising.
The goal of the offensive is
clearly designed to reach over
the heads of the activists and
strike_ at the Palestinian
masses; to convince them that
they are on a one-way, dead-
end street.
If the roots of the intifada
lay in Palestinian perceptions
of Israeli weakness and vul-
nerability, the aim now is to
prove that Israel is very much
in control.
Taking a leaf out of the in-
tifada's own book, the Israeli
Army last weekend distri-
buted its own handbills with
a potent message for the
Palestinian population: "You
are the ones who are paying
the price for the disturbances
and disorder," read the flier.
"Your means of livelihood
have been cut off. Your child-
ren's education has been
interrupted. The dead,
wounded and maimed are
"Don't forget, brothers, that
the events of 1936 and 1948
began in the same way, and
their heavy price has been
paid by generations of Palesti-
nians to this day.
"The deterioration must be
stopped immediately before it
is too late. You have been
warned." Will the tactic
work? Will the prospect of no
police, no schools, no income
and a host of irritating
restrictions, punishments and
curfews turn the Palestinians
away from violence? Or will
the new Israeli methods simp-
ly fuel Palestinian solidarity
and defiance? Mubarak
Awad, the Palestinian-
American apostle of civil

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