Thursday, May 3, 2007
“You have to make a choice”: An interview with Sari Nusseibeh
By Jon Wiener
".......Nusseibeh: The first intifada was an explosion of frustration. The challenge at the time was, can we turn this explosion into something with a political objective? There were three elements that helped into making that explosion into a political act. One was the existence of leadership. We had that—it was called the Unified Leadership of the Uprising. Second, it had a vision—the vision was, we want to lead all of this movement toward negotiations with Israel to create a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. Third, that intifada also had a day-by-day, month-by-month strategy to bring us to that conclusion. That strategy was primarily civil disobedience, and that is primarily how I was involved in the intifada. We succeeded in the sense that we finally were able to bring the two peoples closer to realizing that two-state solution was the only feasible solution, and indeed we got negotiations between the two parties.
With this latter explosion of violence, which began in 2000, I refuse to call this an intifada, because it had neither a leadership, nor a vision, nor a plan. It was simply—in my opinion—a crazy expression of frustration and anger, totally useless, chaotic and certainly counterproductive, involving acts of violence and of terrorism that only brought ruin to the Palestinian people and to our achievements......"