intifada washing



deliberately attempt to conceal unpleasant or incriminating facts about (someone or something). (Oxford Dictionary)



an expression or statement that has a secondary meaning intended to be understood only by a particular group of people. (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)



anything illegal or unethical that can be explained away under an innocent and probable guise [whether] true or otherwise. (Law Dictionary)

These calls for an intifada are not metaphorical. This is an explicit call to violence. The red upside down triangle emoji is what Hamas uses in livestreams before they hit their (human) target. 




The word intifada comes from an Arabic word meaning “to shake off,” but it’s a term used for violent uprisings or rebellions. It was first used in the 1950s to describe the Iraqi Intifada, a series of violent protests to overthrow the Hashemite dynasty. 

In the Israeli-Palestinian context, there have been two intifadas, which were campaigns of bombings, suicide bombings, stabbings, car-ramming, lynchings, and stone-throwing, primarily directed at civilians. It’s worth noting that the stones in question here weren’t small pebbles, but rather, large stones that killed people. 

Some apologists claim that an intifada doesn’t necessarily describe a violent campaign because the word simply comes from the term for “shake off.” But this is a completely disingenuous argument, like claiming “Mein Kampf” simply means “my struggle” or “sieg hiel” simply means “hail victory.” 

Objectively, the intifadas deteriorated the living conditions of Palestinians. It was in response to the intifadas that Israel enacted checkpoints and constructed the West Bank wall. Thousands of Palestinians were killed in the intifadas, both in retaliatory IDF attacks and by fellow Palestinians on the charge of being collaborators. If history teaches us anything, there is no strategic reason to call for an intifada. An intifada won’t destroy Israel or free Palestine; it will provoke Israel to tighten restrictions. The only reason to call for an intifada is if one wishes for Israelis to be murdered. The only reason to call for a global intifada is if one wishes for Jews to be murdered. 



Unequivocally, yes. While every person in attendance surely doesn’t understand what they are calling for, the organizers of the protests — those leading the chants and encouraging people to follow — very much know. In fact, they themselves have ties to groups that slaughtered innocents in the last intifadas.

Virtually all “pro-Palestine” protests in the United States are organized by groups such as Within Our Lifetime, Students for Justice in Palestine, and Samidoun. 

Samidoun has ties to the internationally-recognized terrorist group the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, has an office in Tehran, and is banned as a terrorist organization in Germany. The PFLP participated in both intifadas, killing scores of innocents, such as Dror Forer and Aran Bachar in 1993 (First Intifada) and three teenagers in the Karnei Shomron Mall suicide bombing in 2002 (Second Intifada). 

Within Our Lifetime and Students for Justice in Palestine both openly support Hamas, other Islamic Republic proxies, and the October 7 massacre. SJP’s founder, Hatem Bazian, is also the co-founder of American Muslims for Palestine, an organization formed by former members of the HolyLand Foundation, KindHearts, and the Islamic Association of Palestine, all of which were disbanded after its members were convicted of transferring material support to Hamas. 

Hamas took responsibility for two suicide bombings during the First Intifada and at least 54 suicide bombings during the Second Intifada. 

To them — to the people leading these protests — the intifadas have always been synonymous with violence against civilians. In deed and in action, they are showing us that another intifada would be no different. 



In this context, yes. Firstly, you have to understand that just about half of the world’s Jews live in Israel. In all Palestinian intifadas, all Israeli civilians were not only considered fair targets, but were in fact the preferred targets. If you believe every single Israeli is a fair target, then what you believe is that half of the world’s Jews are a fair target. That is no less genocidal than believing all of the world’s Jews are a fair target. Not even Hitler killed half of the world’s Jews; a third of the world’s Jews were murdered in the Holocaust.

It’s simply disingenuous to divorce calls for a Palestinian intifada from antisemitism. While Israelis of all backgrounds were killed at the hands of Palestinian terrorists in the intifadas, the terrorists sought Jewish areas, not, say, Druze villages. 

During the intifadas, Palestinian leaders mobilized their population with explicitly antisemitic rhetoric, drawing from unfavorable Hadiths about Jews, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and even Mein Kampf. Both political and religious leaders delivered speeches and sermons rife with antisemitism. There is absolutely no reason to believe another intifada would be any different; the October 7 terrorists also mobilized with antisemitic rhetoric (“Mom, I killed ten Jews!” one of the October 7 terrorists said excitedly in a phone call to his mother). 

As far as the rhetoric prompting Palestinians to take up arms against Israel, nothing much has changed. In May 2021, for example, senior Hamas official Fathi Hammad went on the Hamas-run Al Aqsa TV channel and asked Palestinians in Jerusalem to “cut off the heads of the Jews.”

This is Izz al-Din Shuheil al-Masri of Hamas, who, in 2001, during the Second Intifada, carried out a suicide bombing at a Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem, killing 16. 

Al-Masri, like other Palestinian suicide bombers, recorded a video before his attack, where you see him holding a Quran, as he, like others like him, justified his attack by pointing to Muhammad’s struggle against the Jews in the seventh century. 

According to suicidologist Adam Czabański, Palestinian suicide bombers during the intifadas were predominantly motivated by the concept of an Islamic “holy war” against the Jewish state. In other words, they saw this as a matter of Muslims versus Jews. 



Maybe when you call for an intifada, you do not believe that you are calling for violence. Maybe you don’t believe that you are calling for the murder of Jews. Maybe your friends don’t either. But the thing is that it doesn’t matter. This is much bigger than you and your friends. You are getting swept up into a movement headed by groups with nefarious intentions. They are duping you, because they know you, like any decent person, want to stand on the side of justice.

No matter the state of antisemitism in the west eight months ago, you couldn’t just walk into a university quad and start openly screaming about killing Jews, because thousands of students wouldn’t join you that way. You start by desensitizing people to antisemitic rhetoric, through the use of dogwhistles and by relying on plausible deniability. This desensitization of antisemitic rhetoric leads to the eventual desensitization of antisemitic violence. This is how propaganda works, how dangerous people draw gullible people into their movements.

Consider that it took nearly six years from the Nazis’ rise to power for them to carry out their first antisemitic pogrom in 1938, euphemistically known as Kristallnacht, or “the night of the broken glass.” Despite the increasingly oppressive antisemitic policies in Nazi Germany, and the blatant antisemitic rhetoric and propaganda of its leaders, after Kristallnacht, the majority of the German public — and even some Nazi leaders! — expressed their disapproval of the violence, so much so that the regime ordered the press to downplay it. And yet, less than a decade later, by 1945, Nazi Germany had managed to exterminate six million Jews to little protest from the population. The desensitization happened incrementally. (I am not saying the Holocaust will happen again, so please don’t put words in my mouth. I am illustrating how people are desensitized to antisemitic violence). 



Over the past decade, our society has taken great care to clean up its language, more than ever before. There are so many terms we’ve stopped using because they come from problematic histories and have been deemed harmful for a marginalized population. We’ve discussed microaggressions and political dogwhistles. We’ve talked about impact over intent. 

Yet somehow we are meant to believe that when crowds of thousands led by groups with intimate ties to those with Jewish blood on their hands call for an intifada, something that, certainly in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has only ever been a bloodbath, fueled by antisemitic rhetoric and incitement, we are meant to just trust that these people are not calling for violence against Jews? Please. How gullible do you think we are? Why do you continue to gaslight us?

When calls for an intifada are coupled with images of the inverted red triangle, a Hamas marker of violence, are we meant to believe that this doesn’t really imply violence against Jews? When you chant “there is only one solution, intifada revolution,” are we meant to ignore that this alludes to the Final Solution? That the chant explicitly rejects a two or a one-state solution in favor of violence against Israeli civilians, the majority of whom are Jews? When you scream for a global intifada, are we simply meant to ignore that the Islamic Republic’s terror network slaughters Jews not only in Israel, but in the diaspora as well? Are we meant to ignore that this rhetoric has correlated with the skyrocketing of violent antisemitic incidents elsewhere around the globe, including murder, kidnapping, synagogue bombings, and rape?

You are asking us to put a whole lot of trust that your violent words don’t actually mean violence just eight months after the single deadliest day for Jews since the end of the Holocaust. 

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