The First Intifada: A grassroots movement

The First Intifada, or uprising, differed greatly from the intense violence and bloodshed seen in the Second Intifada. Even without the same level of violence, the events from 1987-1993 completely altered Israeli history. Noam Weissman asks what caused the Intifada, how it shifted the Arab-Israeli relationship and why it changed Israel’s reputation on the global stage forever.

  • Review
  • Discussion
  • Activities
  • Reflection
  • Further Learning
  1. The First Intifada spanned which years?
    • 1983-1986
    • 1987-1993 
    • 1994-2000
    • 2001-2003
  2. Which Intifada was more violent, the first or the second?
  3. What did Israelis and Palestinians look like in the media?
  4. Who began the First Intifada? The PLO or a Grassroots movement?
  5. Name a few possible causes for the First Intifada.
  1. Many describe the footage of the Intifada with teenagers throwing rocks against soldiers with tanks to be the moment that Israel went from the “David” in world opinion to the “Goliath” on the world stage. Do you think this depiction of Israel is fair and accurate?
  2. How was the First Intifada a turning point in the Israeli-Palestinian relationship?
  3. What do you think the average Israeli experienced during this tense time? What about the average Palestinian?
  4. What effect does the media have in shaping people’s opinions? How do you see this today?
  5. If you had to explain the First Intifada to someone who knew nothing about Israel, what would you say?
  6. During the Intifada, and witnessing the violence, Israelis felt there could be only four possibilities for the Palestinian Arab population in the West Bank and Gaza:
    • Allow Palestinians to become full citizens of Israel with full democratic rights
    • Allow Palestinians to remains as residents but not citizens, and live as second class citizens
    • Encourage Palestinians to leave their homes and relocate to a neighboring Arab country
    • Return to the idea of separation of the two peoples which was examined in the 1930’s and 1940’s.
  1. Play our First Intifada Kahoot!
  2. Lead a podcast listening party. Download our PDF Guide.

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