There is a number of responses to these accusations. The most obvious is that
In his article in The Socialist Register 2008: Global Flashpoints: Reactions to imperialism and neoliberalism, that appeared on Znet last week, Bashir Abu-Manneh, citing Cheryl Rubenberg, makes a point that frankly hadn't occurred to me.
The nature of the second Intifada was very different than the first, however. One of
Save for massive candlelight marches and funeral processions within the cities, the population at large has been left with virtually no active role in the uprising. This is clearly not by choice, but as a consequence of the fact that the kinds of political structures that made grass-roots organizing the main thrust of the first intifada, at least in the early years, no longer exist. Popular and neighborhood committees as well as mass organizations (and most of the political movements that sustained them) began to collapse at the end of the first intifada under the cumulative weight of Israeli anti-insurgency methods. Their recovery was preempted by the Gulf War and, even more profoundly, by Oslo and the state formation process it set in motion. The demobilization of the population and their deepening alienation from political action (until the current uprising) has been one of the most salient outcomes of PA rule.