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December 15, 2011

A rebuttal to Mitch Paradise

http://www.jewishjournal.com/opinion/article/a_rebuttal_to_mitch_paradise_20111215

Ed. Note: This is a rebuttal to an opinion piece by Mitch Paradise: “Obama haters beware…The facts

Mitch Paradise accused me of misstating the date of the beginning of what would become known as the First Intifada. He ridiculed me for stating that the beginning of the Intifada was December 8, 1987.

Mr. Paradise claimed to provide three separate sources (Palestinefacts.org, MidEastWeb.org, and Wikipedia) to back up his assertion that the Intifada began on the 9th, not the 8th. In fact, all three of his “sources” repeat nearly identical text – text which had obviously been cut-and-pasted by the respective authors with only slight modifications:

From Palestinefacts.org: Rumors spread that the four had been killed by Israelis as a deliberate act of revenge. Mass rioting broke out in Jabalya on the morning of December 9, during which a 17-year-old threw a Molotov cocktail at an army patrol and was killed by an IDF soldier. His death became the trigger for large-scale riots that engulfed the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem.

From MidEastWeb.org: Rumors spread that the four had been killed by Israelis as a deliberate act of revenge. Mass rioting broke out in Jabalya on the morning of December 9.  A 17-year-old threw a Molotov cocktail at an army patrol and was killed by an IDF soldier. His death supposedly became the trigger for large-scale riots that engulfed the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem.

From Wikipedia: Rumors circulated that the accident was, in fact, a deliberate act of revenge for the stabbing of the Jewish businessman. Mass rioting broke out on December 9 after a Palestinian teen was shot dead by an Israeli soldier after having thrown a Molotov cocktail at an army patrol.

My primary source for the claim that the beginning of the Intifada was December 8 is an in-depth examination in The Jerusalem Post, which meticulously chronicled the beginning of the Intifada: “The accident that sparked an Intifada,” by Michael Omer-Man, December 4, 2011 (http://www.jpost.com/Features/InThespotlight/Article.aspx?id=248036). I believe this Jerusalem Post article carries as much if not more weight than Mr. Paradise’s uncredited cut-and-paste blurbs:

Coming at a time of increased tensions and resentment, many Palestinians believed the deadly collision was no accident, instead assuming it came as retaliation for the stabbing of an Israeli man in Gaza two days earlier. Twenty years after Israel conquered the West Bank and Gaza Strip, quick and constantly sprouting settlements in the territories, economic disparity and dependence, daily friction with the IDF and its military administration, and lingering hostility and resentment toward the establishment of the Jewish state all came together as a cacophony of justifications used by the Palestinians for their first post-1948 wide-spread uprising.

Almost immediately after the first riots broke out in the Jabalya refugee camp on

December 8

, angry popular protests spread through the coastal strip and to the West Bank, fueled in part by Israel’s iron-fisted response. Internationally broadcast images of IDF soldiers using live fire against Palestinian stone-throwers and over 15 resultant deaths in those first weeks also quickly led to world condemnation, and soon thereafter, a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning Israel.

I linked to the above article in the post on my site that Mr. Paradise attacked. Had he thoroughly read the post, he would have seen it. The riots that began the Intifada started on December 8, not 9.

Mr. Paradise is free to make good sport of my conclusions, my political beliefs, and my organization’s tongue-in-cheek name. But I do not believe he should be allowed to call me a liar (or ignorant), when the date he accuses me of misstating is, in fact, correct.

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