AUJS Political Update (For the non-politically minded!) 22-MAY-2012
Written by Ricky Lebenholc
Scroll down for the descriptions of all underlined words :)
Nine people (Palestinians (Fig 1)) from the disputed territory neighbouring Israel called ‘The West Bank (Fig 2)’ have been charged with attempted kidnapping of Israelis (Fig 3). A series of failed attempted were carried out over 4 days in mid march this year.
The terrorists who attempted these kidnappings where headed by a 22 year old, Mouhmad Ramdan, and used weapons such as electric shockers, tear gas and blunt weapons to smash windscreens and try to pull the Israelis from their cars.
Had the victims not been able to escape, the terrorists planned to hide them as hostages in safe houses, film them, and post the footage online. Those terrorists affiliated with the Popular Front of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PFLP)(Fig 4) are being held in Israel, while the rest are held by the Palestinian Authority(Fig 5).The terrorists planned to use the Israelis as bargaining chips in prisoner exchanges, much like Gilad Shalit (See Below).
This attempted kidnapping from march this year, is an unsettling reminder of the capture Gilad Shalit, an Israeli Soldier. Shalit, at the age of 20, was captured by Palestinian militants from an organisation called Hamas in 2006, and was held captive in isolation contrary to international law. This kidnapping caused great tension in Israel, and his release, 5 years later in 2011, was one of the most important events in moden israeli history. Shalit was returned to Israel as part of a prisoner exchange for 1027 Palestinian prisoners, who were released from Israeli prisons.
Read more (article from just after he was released, 2011):
Gilad Shalit, seen famously making his first call after being freed from capture.
Descriptions of Underlined words:
Palestinians (Fig. 1):
Palestinians are largely; culturally and linguistically Arabs. There are various definitions of ‘Palestinians’ from different people and points in history (see two examples below)
(1) During the British Mandate of Palestine (1923 -1948): “Palestinian" was used to refer to all people residing there, regardless of religion or ethnicity.
(2) The PLO (1964 – Current): PLO's Palestine National Council in July 1968, defined "Palestinians" as "those Arab nationals who, until 1947, normally resided in Palestine regardless of whether they were evicted from it or stayed there. Anyone born, after that date, of a Palestinian father, is also a Palestinian.
Fig 1. Palestinians holding Palestinian flags
The West Bank (Fig 2):
The West Bank (also known as Judea and Samaria) is a disputed territory between Israel and Jordan.
Fig 2. West Bank (in grey between Israel and Jordan)
Israelis (Fig 3):
Israelis are citizens of the State of Israel. Although Israel is a Jewish state, it has a multiethnic society, home to people of different ethnic and national backgrounds. It is also the only democratic state in the Middle East.
Fig 3. Israelis celebrating Israeli Independence
Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) (Fig 4):
The Palestine Liberation Organisation is a political organisation created in 1964. The PLO was considered by the United States and Israel to be a terrorist organization until the Madrid Conference in 1991. In 1993, PLO recognized Israel's right to exist in peace and rejected violence and terrorism; in response, Israel officially recognized the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people.
Fig 4. PLO Emblem
Popular Front of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PFLP)(Fig 5):
PFLP is a Palestinian Organisation which is the second biggest member of the PLO (see above). PFLP is one of the more extreme/radical Palestinian organisations, opposing negotiations with the Israeli Government, and calling for the end of Israel. “We will continue the struggle and resistance to liberate every part of the land of Palestine.”
Fig 5. PFLP Rally
Palestinian Authority (PA):
The administrative organisation of the West Bank. Limited to civil matters and internal security and do not include external security or foreign affairs Hamas Hamas is a Palestinian political party that governs the Gaza Strip. They were founded after Israel’s creation, with the intention to establish an Islamic state in the area that is now Israel.
Fig 6. Mahmoud Abbas, President of the PA and Chairman of the PLO, addressing the UN.
The author is the AUJS Victoria Political Officer. The above piece reflects the view of its author and does not necessarily represent that of the organisation.