October 22, 2015 Special Dispatch No. 6194

Egyptian Journalist Ibrahim 'Issa: Stabbing Israeli Civilians 'Is Not Resistance, There Is No Nobility In It, And It Does Not Serve The Cause Of Liberation'

October 22, 2015
Egypt, Palestine | Special Dispatch No. 6194

Egyptian newspapers and media have been largely supportive of the recent wave of Palestinian attacks in Jerusalem and other cities in Israel. A dissenting voice, however, is that of Ibrahim 'Issa, editor of the Egyptian newspapers Al-Dustour Al-Asly and Al-Maqal. In an editorial in the latter journal, titled "Kitchen Knives Will Never Liberate Palestine," he expressed sympathy for the situation of the Palestinians and for their right to revolt, and harshly criticized Israel, but at the same time he decried both the previous intifadas and the current attacks on civilians as counterproductive and as undermining the moral legitimacy of the Palestinian cause.

Following are excerpts from the editorial:[1]

Ibrahim 'Issa (image source:, October 4, 2015) 

"It Appears To Be The Destiny Of The [Arab] Countries At The Present Time To Always Thwart Their [Own] Revolutions"

"No one contests the right of the Palestinian people to rise up. Its situation is such that it is natural for it to rise in revolt. It is true that the Palestinian people's two previous intifadas did not improve its situation, and it was not liberated from racist religious settlement colonialism, since groups and individuals who hitched a ride on them squandered the potential chances of the people's struggle with its cheaply spilt blood.

"But it appears to be the destiny of the [Arab] countries [in general] at the present time to always thwart their [own] revolutions. The revolutions that were falsely labeled the 'Arab Spring' have led in the end, as we see, to civil wars, the collapse of nation states, and [the spread of] terrorist groups...

"The circumstances in Palestine, or what is left of it, are growing more acute, walls are rising, and the Zionists are not leaving a single centimeter of their consciences [intact]....  For this reason, the intifada allows the Palestinians to release hot rage and to bellow at their oppressors - even if this is without results, without planning, without political structure, without tactical gradation, and without any clear strategy."

"If... [Our] Pitiable Pride In Our Heroic Deeds Is Over Our Killing Of Each Other - Then How Can [Arab] Countries Show Solidarity With Palestine?"

"[But] this is what makes the intifada of rage prone to failure once again, if an uprising of rage is all it is, especially given the surrounding Arab scene... We see one Arab country buying a billion dollars' worth of some of the most advanced weaponry in the world in order to bombard the Yemeni people and to blow up buildings in Sanaa and Aden, with the strongest means of destruction produced by Western civilization. Yes, it bombards, blows up, and kills in Yemen, and not in Israel.

"We are witnessing a great outpouring of national zeal in another Arab country, whose children don military fatigues in the schools in solidarity with its army and its war against Yemen! Yes, against Yemen, and not against Israel.

"If [our] national pride and squandering of Arab resources is for the sake of internecine wars among ourselves, and [our] pitiable pride in our heroic deeds is over our killing of each other - then how can these countries show solidarity with Palestine? It has become clear that the Arab countries reserve their planes, bullets, and artillery, and even the blood of their sons, for waging wars against their Arab neighbors.

"This [should] make the Palestinians reflect a bit on the intifada...

"We hear about the resolute, sincere desire - in reliance on Allah - to form joint Arab military forces with advanced rapid-response capabilities... but nothing in these [forces'] articles of operation or in the aims of their establishment specifies that they are for confronting Israel's occupation of Palestine. Rather, they are intended (despite the lengthy delay in establishing them) for rapid response in matters relating to our civil wars, and the idea that they would be directed against a common enemy that is occupying Arab land - well that is impossible...

"So, shouldn't the Palestinians slow down a bit in their intifada?

"Then there is an Islamist current, that uses Islam as a tool to rip and divide countries to pieces [and] to declare Allah's creatures apostates, as it traffics in the term 'jihad'  and calls on its youth and those it has misled to kill themselves as [a form of] jihad in the path of Allah. But this path never leads to Palestine. It is a one-way path against the Arabs and the Muslims. These mujahideen never fight in, or fight their way to, Palestine; they are prepared to die in the path of Allah - with eulogies sent for every brother mujahid - but only in Chechnya, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Sinai, Yemen, or Iraq.

"Kitchen Knives Will Never Liberate Palestine"

"What is saddening is that the Palestinians, when they decide on rage (if rage awaits a decision at all), only stab Israelis with knives. Allow me, amidst all the fever of rage, to dispute this action. I almost feel as though when you use knives to stab passersby or individuals going here or there, you are forsaking our noble cause.

"The resistance - if armed it must be - should be directed against occupying soldiers, and not civilians just passing by. When someone dashes off to stab an Israeli youth passing on the street, or a settler crossing at the traffic light - this is not resistance. There is no nobility in it, and it does not serve the cause of liberation. It is only an expression of a flood of rage that has overcome, blinded, and drowned reason.

"The bombing attacks on Israeli cafes, shops, and public transportation, although widespread in the previous intifada, failed to aid our cause; rather, they thwarted it. Each and every one of us who have zealously and furiously supported this cause must take care that it does not lose its moral justification and relinquish human values.

"It is not by killing civilians that the homeland will be liberated - and to state this more emphatically: Kitchen knives will never liberate Palestine."




[1] Al-Maqal (Egypt), October 12, 2015.

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