Long live the intifada?

As part of the April 20-22 weekend of protest activities in D.C., a few thousand people gathered to protest Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. I watched the event on C-SPAN and it spoked me out.

For much of the time, it went along without too many surprises and not a little cleverness. Chants like “Fund education, not occupation!” and “Stop the killing, stop the crime, Israel out of Palestine!” were the order of the day, as were the boilerplate speeches decrying Israeli occupation and treatment of Palestinians.

There were plenty of Palestinian flags and mock Israeli flags with swastikas in place of the star of David. {Shudder} But what spooked me most was when, later in the program, a couple of speakers actually cried out, “Long live the intifada!” And the crowd joined in on the chant!

From the long shots C-SPAN occasionally had of the audience, it looked like it was comprised mostly of Palestinians, but there was more than a fair share of non-Palestinians there too. Certainly, most of the people who went to Washington to protest that weekend were well-to-do, middle-class, white college kids. Why are they supporting the intifada?

These are folks so committed to peace that they oppose any force to wipe out anti-U.S. terrorist groups, and yet are vocally supporting the intifada, which is a campaign of terror on innocent Israeli civilians. Pundits talk about the Bush doctrine being shredded by his even-handedness in dealing with the Mideast situation, but this is hypocrisy if anything is.

I don’t take sides on the Israeli-Palestinian question, but no one should support the murder of innocent civilians, for any reason. Pro-Palestinian folks will just say it’s their response to Israel’s “state terrorism.” That may be. Perhaps Israel isn’t as discriminating in prosecuting its war on terror as it could be. I don’t know. But that does not justify the unquestionably evil murder of civilians whose only crime was to try and eat in a restaurant or shop at a mall.

Peace activists, of all people, should know better. Before they were just naïve — now they are hypocrites.