Upon watching Naila and the Uprising, the scenes of the first intifada really took me back. It does not seem like so long ago that Palestinians united to reject Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. The first intifada was difficult for many Palestinians, who had long been treated so brutally by the Israeli occupiers. It was so glorious to see Palestinians come together and stand against tyranny. I was there along with my family, although I was a much younger man of 57 then. What people mostly remember from that time was the violence between the protesters and the IDF. Indeed there was violence, two of my grandsons died during the clashes. Families were being torn apart all around us. The IDF thought arresting and deporting our people while beating and shooting us in the streets would deter us from our cause, but it only strengthened our resolve. Naila’s story is a heartbreaking reminder of what so many people and their families had to endure. While the times of the first intifada were difficult, they were also full of hope. The world was seeing the unjustness of our situation, and we were all very hopeful the occupation would end. When my generation tried to expel the Israelis from Palestine, our armed conflicts got us nowhere. It seemed the more peaceful and economic approach of the first intifada which opened the doorway to diplomacy had a real chance of at least ending the occupation in Gaza and the West Bank, but in hindsight, it was just a naive dream. Of course, that international diplomacy only served to undermine our cause and bring about the end of the first intifada before our goal was accomplished. It is sad and disappointing to remember the first intifada, not only for the loss of my grandchildren and the pain which so many families endured but because the results were fruitless for us. Yet hope remains within me because as long as strong Palestinians such as Naila carry on in pursuit of our independence, one day our people will be free. However, the questions of future intifadas remain. When will the next intifada be? Will it be a peaceful one? And most importantly, will it change anything?

will post a 250-word response to a classmate (pick any classmate; hopefully students will spread themselves around…). Responses should draw on your knowledge from the course material. I also encourage you to indicate how we would go about finding the answer to the question(s) posed. What further info would we need? What kind of study might we design?

Testimonials

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