A new pop song by two Ramallah-based singers calls for the use of an unconventional weapon in the escalating tension between Israelis and Palestinians — a car. The song, has been viewed 93,000 times since it was posted to YouTube a week ago. It was released after a series of call assaults in Jerusalem left three Israeli pedestrians dead and 20 injured. Along with a series of cartoons that show a car morphed into an automatic weapon above the words, “Revolt and resist, even by your car,” the song is a part of what some are calling a “run-over Intifada.”
— Luay Khoury (@LuayNK) November 6, 2014
“They ran over our child,” part of the song says, in reference to an attack on 19 October in which an Israeli settler ran over two Palestinian five year olds on their way home from kindergarten, killing one of them. The song continued, “So now we reply back.”
Just days after that attack on the young girls, a Palestinian man drove into a tram station and killed a three month old Israeli baby along with an Ecuadorian women. The Israeli military then killed a teenager near Ramallah who was just leaving Friday prayer according to his family, but was about to throw a Molotov-cocktail according to Israeli forces.
Then in on November 5, a Palestinian with ties to Hamas crashed a van into pedestrians in Jerusalem, killing an Israeli police officer and injuring at least a dozen other. On that same day, a car with Palestinian license plates ran over three Israeli soldiers in what the military believes to have been a deliberate attack.
The attacks occurred as demonstrations over the control of the holy site known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary turned violent. They reached a fever pitch on November 9, when a 22-year-old Palestinian was shot and killed by Israeli police in Nazareth, a city that’s called the “Arab capital of Israel.”
The protests began amid agitation from right-wing Jews, including some members of Parliament, to withdraw a longstanding ban on prayers at the holy site by non-Muslims.
“There will be no change in the status quo on the Temple Mount and that whoever expresses a different opinion is presenting a personal view and not the policy of the government,” Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s spokesman, Mark Regev said in an effort to soothe tensions late last week.
But, a day earlier, Israeli authorities gave preliminary approval for nearly 200 homes to be built for settlers in east Jerusalem — a move that only further inflamed Palestinian protesters.
The heightened tension around the holy sites has further raised fears of a third Palestinian Intifada, or uprising, especially since the second one was triggered by a September 2000 visit by the Israeli general-turned-politician Ariel Sharon.
The renewed conflict might be further primed by this summer’s outright war in Gaza.
Could all of this add up to a third Palestinian Intifada?
Ingrid Jaradat Gassner of the Civic Coalition for Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem doesn’t think so. “It’s more like an outburst of frustration and anger than really an uprising that at the end has to have some coordination and some leadership, which we don’t have right now,” she told the New York Times.
But that doesn’t mean an Intifada, or as Khalil Shikaki refers to it, a “turning point,” is out of the realm of possibility.
“Could the current conditions escalate to become a ‘turning point?’ I do not see it yet taking that route,” he said in an email to the Times. “[But] is the ground fertile for a ‘turning point?’ The answer is yes.”