An Irish politician has caused outrage by urging Arabs to “rise up” against Israel in another “Intifada.”
European Union parliamentarian Paul Murphy said he does not believe that Israel is serious about the newly renewed diplomatic talks with the PA, and that what the PA needs is “a mass struggle from below.”
“There are many positive examples from the first intifada of mass protests, strikes and marches and checkpoints that I think would be ideal tactics to redevelop now,” he explained in an interview with Russia Today.
In the days since his comments, a number of MEPs (Members of European Parliament) have come out strongly against his comments.
Fellow Irish MEP Sean Kelly said, "In a region already beset by conflict, it is abhorrent to call for violence as a tool to achieve collective goals."
The first “Intifada” wave of attacks on Israel included stone-throwing attacks, firebombings and other murderous attacks targeting Israeli Jewish civilians. However, the primary victims of Arab violence were Arabs, nearly 1,000 of whom were murdered as terrorist groups fought for power.
The Zionist Federation condemned Murphy’s remarks. Chairman Paul Charney said, ““Mr Murphy’s remarks glorifying the Intifada and justifying it as an alternative to peace talks is disgraceful and highly irresponsible.
“It dangerously incites the masses to violence, at a time in the Middle East where war and terror is all too common. I call on the Irish Socialist Party to deal swiftly with this issue by publicly confirming that they support peace and further condemn Mr Murphy by stating that his comments are unacceptable”.
However, Murphy defended his call for an “Intifada” against claims that he was promoting violence – and accused his critics of ignorance.
“The MEPs who have condemned my call for a mass movement along the lines of the first intifada as a call for violence and terror are either deliberately misconstruing my words or are entirely ignorant about the history of the Palestinian struggle," he said in a press statement. "Intifada is simply the Arabic word for 'uprising', something that is entirely justified and clearly necessary when you look at the ongoing oppression."
The PA should not use terrorism, he said – because it does not work. “I have a history of opposing the futile and counter-productive tactics of terror,” he explained.
At the same time, Murphy clarified that the Intifada he proposes would involve armed fighting. He told Al Jazeera that he thinks PA Arabs have the right to “armed defense against soldiers” to counter what he termed Israeli state violence.