It's extremely telling when a person responds to a political challenge with a threat of violence. Even more telling when a society responds to that same challenge with the threat of coordinated, mob style, sanctioned, violence.
In the Western world we are taught from a very young age that negotiations and dialogue are the tools to resolve conflict. And yet, in major parts of the world the primary choice for solving conflict, both large and small, is through the threat of violence and actual acts of violence.
This primal response is, in many ways, a pre-modern or pre-reformation style of problem solving.
And it is, in the year 2020, the "go to" response of both Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the Supreme Leader of Iran, the Ayatollah Khamanei.
These leaders have embraced violence as a tool through which to obtain their desired goals. They have proclaimed to the citizens of their countries, loudly and clearly, through old style conventional media and through social media, that violence toward other nations is an acceptable response.
That's because they have not gotten what they want in the international arena, they will unleash a wave of violence against their perceived enemy.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has issued a call-to-arms for a new Intifada against Israel. The president himself is on tour, drumming up support from Arab and Muslim nations around the world to support the Palestinians and their Intifada against Israel and the United States and Western countries around the world.
An Intifada against the countries that did not give the Palestinians what they want.
An Intifada in response to President Donald J. Trump’s Mideast Peace Plan, aka the Deal of the Century. Because, in his mind, an Intifada is the appropriate response for those not willing to accede to his demands.
If Abbas has his way, violence will erupt around the world. And like minded supporters of the Palestinian cause will join them in expressing their anger at the United States and Israel. His hope is that the entire Arab world will erupt in indignation and show their dissatisfaction through riots and Jihad.
And the Iranian leader followed suit. In place of an Intifada, however, the Supreme Leader has called called for jihad. A jihad is a struggle against the enemies of Islam.
An Intifada is a Palestinian uprising against Israel which Abbas is expecting to expand its boundaries to other parts of the world. There have already been several Intifadas.
And many in the West are quaking in fear. They are waiting for the violence to erupt.
But it will not happen.
People, even Palestinians, just don’t care that much. And very few people actually pay attention to either Abbas or Khamenei. They have called wolf too often. They have overplayed their respective hands. This is not the first time that hyperbolic threats have been made and little to nothing has happened.
In response to the unfurling of the Trump plan for peace in the Mideast Palestinian President Abbas literally told Israel that they will have to live with the consequences of Trump’s Deal of the Century.
The statement by Abbas was his way of blessing the Palestinians to start a new Intifada.
They were fighting words.
Abbas departed Ramallah and went to Cairo to meet with the Arab League, from there to much of the Middle East and then parts of Europe, culminating in an appearance at the U.N. Security Council. He has an agenda — rally friends to support his rejection of the Deal.
In many ways, Abbas is, diplomatically and militarily speaking, helpless. The only real tools that the Palestinians have are violence and the threat of violence. But calling for an Intifada and having one actually emerge are two different things.
No one disputes that the threat of violence and terror is a serious one.
The problem with these threats of violence and the call for Intifada is youth. Youth needs to be activated. For an Intifada to work, young people need to take to the streets. But at this stage it is very unlikely that West Bank youth or the youth of Gaza will come swarming out to the streets. The reason is simple — they are not very excitable.
For youth the world over, simulated electronic war games are more intriguing than the real thing — and much safer.
Micah Halpern is a political and foreign affairs commentator. He founded "The Micah Report" and hosts "Thinking Out Loud with Micah Halpern" a weekly TV program and "My Chopp" a daily radio spot. A dynamic speaker, he specializes in analyzing world events and evaluating their relevance and impact. Follow him on Twitter @MicahHalpern. To read more of this reports — Click Here Now.