30.05.2011 26.Ijar, 5771 Tag 41 des Omer
On Nakba Day this year, Israel should have followed the advice of a young Fatah activist, as it did in 1990; Jerusalem Day, on Wednesday, presents another opportunity for restraint, or violence.
When Ami Popper murdered seven Palestinian workers and injured 11 more on May 20, 1990, GOC Southern Command Matan Vilnai wanted to prevent an escalation. He summoned a young revolutionary, Fatah activist Sami Abu Samhadana, from the Rafah refugee camp and consulted with him on how to head off further bloodshed.
His attorney, Tamar Peleg, told me at the time that Abu Samhadana happened to be at home, between one administrative detention and the next and before the issue of a deportation order against the vanguard of the popular uprising. He told Peleg that he advised Vilnai to do the obvious: Keep your soldiers and their weapons in barracks, far from the mourners. Vilnai, it is said, took his advice….