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October 06, 1989 - Image 32

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-10-06

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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Special to The Jewish News

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32

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 6, 1989

Are Israeli Prisons
Schools For Radicals?

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Red Cross

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p

alestinians' experi-
ence in Israel's
prisons since the 1967
Six Day War was the
primary force that gave
organization, spirit and in-
tellectual content to the in-
tifada in the West Bank and
Gaza, according to an article
in The Atlantic.
Written by Ehud Ya'ari,
head of the Middle Eastern
department of Israel Televi-
sion,"Israel's Prison
Academies" asserts that the
prison experience of the
40,000 Palestinians detain-
ed between 1967 and the
start of the intifada 22 mon-
ths ago transformed the
spontaneous "outburst of
rage" that occurred in
December, 1987, "into a sus-
tained, organized revolt."
Over the years, according
to Ya'ari, thousands of men
had used their time in prison
"to revitalize their thinking,
revamp their organization,
and continue their struggle
against Israel in more effec-
tive ways." They studied
Hebrew "to know the enemy
better;" studied the use of
arms and explosives; heard
college graduates lecture on
Marx, Mao [Tsetung] and
[radical philosopher] Fritz
Fanon; and developed "a

new lexicon of consensus
over ideological purity."
They became convinced that
non-violence could be more
effective against Israel than
the violence of the Palestine
Liberation Organization and
they left prison "more self-
assured and committed to
their cause than they had
been when they arrived."
Of the 20 leaders of the in-
tifada's United National
Command, writes Ya'ari,
only two or three lack a
prison record. Since the in-
tifada, about 50,000 Palesti-
nians have been in-
carcerated. Many of these,
jailed for their first time,
"are quickly integrated into
the autonomous framework
established by the veterans [
in the detention camps)...
They are treated to crash
courses in ideology and tac-
tics which transform them
from angry kids throwing
stones out of blind impulse,
or just for the fun of it, into
politically committed ac-
tivists for Hama (the Islamic
Resistance Movement) or
one of the factions of the
PLO."
"So deep was the mark of
the prison experience on the
Palestinian uprising," con-
cludes Ya'ari, "that had it
not been for Israel's prison
`academies,' the intifada
might well have come and
gone in a matter of weeks."

Israelis Disagree
On Mubarak Peace Plan

Current initiatives by
Egyptian president Hosni
Mubarak to jump-start the
stalled Middle East peace
process have been greeted
with unfettered enthusiasm
by the former Israeli foreign
minister, Abba Eban, and
with skepticism by the
editors of the Israeli news-
paper, Ha'aretz.
Writing on the op-ed page
of the New York Times,
Eban called Mubarak's offer
to bring Israelis and
Palestinians together for
peace talks on Egyptian soil
"rational, sober and respect-
ful of Israeli sensitivities." If
such initiatives failed,
predicted Eban, "there will
be little to expect beyond the
defeat of realism and
escalating violence in a
region packed with deadly
weaponry."
Eban asserted that it is the
responsibility of Israelis,
Egyptians, Palestinians and

the United States to ensure
"that the opening created by
Mr. Mubarak is not wasted.
The question of whether a ll
Palestinian delegation shall
not include a few Palesti-
nians who are now outside
the occupied territories is so
picayune and pettifogging
that if it obstructs a dia-
logue, the resultant tears
and blood will lie heavy on
whichever party obstructs
the prospect."
What is required of the
United States, said Eban, is
"not intervention or
pressure, but a willingness
to illuminate avenues of
compromise... American
passivity would be
equivalent in its conse-
quence to assertive support
of the explosive status quo."
But an editorial in
Ha'aretz called for a meeting
between Mubarak and
Israeli Prime Minister Yit-
zhak Shamir as a follow-up

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