All This Intifada Business, and Britney Spears Too

Don't be fooled by the media. What's happening now in Jerusalem isn't an intifada. It's a civil war in a binational state.

Rogel Alpher
Rogel Alpher
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 A Palestinian holds a molotov cocktail before throwing it towards Israeli police during clashes on the outskirts of Jerusalem near Shuafat refugee camp, Wed., Nov. 5, 2014.
A Palestinian holds a molotov cocktail before throwing it towards Israeli police during clashes on the outskirts of Jerusalem near Shuafat refugee camp, Wed., Nov. 5, 2014.Credit: Reuters
Rogel Alpher
Rogel Alpher

It looks like an intifada. It acts like an intifada. And, true, the intifada rituals are here, with their endless television broadcasts: There is an improvement in his condition. Our reporter is at the scene of the attack. Tell us what just happened. Wait, there’s an update from the Magen David Adom spokesperson. I have an eyewitness with me. What did you see? First of all, I want to wish the wounded a speedy recovery. Thank you, Honorable Minister. The dead were the most wonderful people. Everybody loved them.

Then there’s the resourcefulness of the person who killed the terrorist. You’re too kind. Anyone would have done the same. What’s most important is that a united Jerusalem will remain forever the capital of Israel. Our reporter is at the scene. You can see Al-Aqsa behind me, and right beneath it is the Kotel. They are so close. It’s a very complex situation. We won’t solve it tonight.

Britney Spears, November 5, 2014.Credit: AP

And the taxi driver says, “Did you hear what happened? A terror attack. What a lousy country!”

And the intifada rhetoric is back. It’s so retro. You have to hit them with force! No, force won’t help. It’s precisely because of people like you. We are sitting on a powder keg. But we’re post-Holocaust. We have to calm the situation. It’s just like I said in Operation Protective Edge, and even then they didn’t listen to me. The prime minister asked. His father was killed in a terror attack, and now this. Don’t be right, be smart. I would say the same thing about a Jewish extremist, if it had been one. Sow restraint now? It’s a little hard on a night like this. Still, Britney Spears has a new boyfriend. Expanded evening broadcast. And the other news. Time permitting.

But this is not an intifada. It’s not a Palestinian war of independence. This time, too, they won’t establish a state. The Europeans can recognize it as much as they like, but it still won’t be established. It’s a civil war in a binational state. If this war succeeds, they won’t evacuate the Jewish settlements of the West Bank. They won’t drive Jews from their homes in Silwan [East Jerusalem].

It won’t stop the construction on the hills. The soldiers will keep knocking on doors at four in the morning. Knesset members Miri Regev and Tzipi Hotovely [both Likud] will keep observing from the mountain the flying stones and the burning torches. Palestinian residents won’t receive citizenship in the binational state, and certainly won’t have the choice. None of this will happen – the bus is for Jews only.

The only good thing to hope for is that, out of this chaos, something unexpected will emerge, some historic event that will totally change our reality. There will be some awakening, some sobriety. A popular movement will represent the majority of Israelis – Jews and Palestinians – who just want to go home in peace, who understand that there never will be peace between two states, but want to go home in peace. A million people will march in the streets together and declare that home (bayit) is more important than the Temple Mount (Har Habayit). Perhaps a leader will emerge who, instead of heading a cellular revolution, will revolutionize what people say. Perhaps; one can always hope.

But we also have to be realistic. Disaster is also liable to emerge out of the chaos. As easily, surprisingly and joyously as the Berlin Wall fell 25 years ago, the Western Wall could sorrowfully fall. The only thing certain is that it will happen sometime, this thing – the unplanned, the unexpected that changes everything.

In any event, the new boy keeping Britney warm at night is called Charlie. He’s a TV-film producer, and their love, she says, was an unexpected event. She’s stopped looking.

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