By Asaf Romirowsky, Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies—
It didn’t take long after the riots began across the US to hear expressions of solidarity from Palestinians in both the Middle East and the US connecting the horrific killing of George Floyd to the Palestinian tale. Palestinian artist Waleed Ayyoub illustrated the connection by painting and posting on the US Twitter feed of the Palestine Museum a picture of George Floyd dressed in a kaffiya in front of a banner of the Palestinian flag.
Palestinians claim that the killing of Floyd, as well as the subsequent violent exchanges between US military and police forces and protesters, show that Israel exports its “racism” to US police departments. The US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR) tweeted to its 51,000 followers, “The Israeli military trains US police in racist and repressive policing tactics, which systematically targets black and brown bodies.”
The red and green alliance between socialist and Islamist ideologies strengthened in parallel with the rise of the idea of intersectionality. Both ideologies are heavily laden with hatred of Israel, as became obvious during the latest rioting.
The best example of this phenomenon is the labeling of the current American reality as an intifada. The Arabic term, which literally means “uprising,” was first used during the 1987 popular revolt against Israel. It is translated by Arab-Palestinians as “awakening.” It is used in the Palestinian narrative in the sense of “waking up” Israel and the world at large to all the wrongs supposedly done to the Palestinians as a result of the so-called Israeli “occupation.” The late founder of the PLO, Yasser Arafat, used more colorful analogies, saying an intifada is the movement a dog makes when trying to get rid of a tick.
Rami Khouri, a journalism professor at the American University in Beirut, didn’t waste any time and declared the US riots an “American intifada.” He rationalized that “in the Arab world, there’s an inability to address the structural oppression of most citizens by an elite that has become very wealthy but is totally detached from their people. You’re seeing the same thing in the US. There’s an inability to address its structural racism.”
The adaptation of the term is not new, but it is revealing of the American political and cultural landscape in that it shows where the Palestinian cause sits in the intersectional pyramid. It appears to be the gold standard of (supposed) oppression, and is thus eagerly coopted by other causes rooted in identity politics. Continue Reading….