Gandhi model worked because British and Indian elites shared common values. (Not so in I/P)

A friend of Indian extraction writes:
Wow how appalling. The British Raj is comparable to the IDF, according to the Weekly Standard? Then by this definition Israel is imperialist and must leave. Is that what the Weekly Standard wants?

A Gandhi (the Rx of the Weekly Standard piece) requires an interluctor who undertands and responds
favorably to non-violence. The Brits also needed Indian troops to fight
the Nazis and told Indian elites they could expect self determination,
provided they support them. The Israelis do not understand pacifism and have other pathologies in their society, some deeply
rooted: the belief that the world is conspiring against them, the
belief that the Arabs are equivalent to the Nazis, and that they are
not culpable for the pathologies of the Palestinians, even while their
jackboot is on their necks.  I await that Weekly Standard piece.

elites and Indian (Hindu and Muslim) elites shared common values and
aspirations and were drawn from a common culture- Jinnah for the Muslims and Nehru for the Indians. The British elites, leftist in outlook,
shared two common ideals: an anti-imperialist and anti-fascist stance. 
IDF/Israeli elites have nothing in common with the Palestinians. Indeed, the Israeli elites have contempt and loathing for the Palestinians that meets or
exceeds the white apartheid loathing for African blacks and is coupled with a
belief that the Israelis are the victims.

Should we ask the Abba Eban question in reverse: Do the Israelis ever miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity?

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of
Posted in Beyondoweiss, Israel/Palestine, US Politics

{ 50 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. Mark Elf says:

    Completely off topic but see this article in the UK's Observer Newspaper:
    link to

    Jewish writer raises a storm in America with his report from a 'tolerant' Iran

    * Paul Harris in New York
    * The Observer, Sunday 29 March 2009

    A row has broken out over allegations of antisemitism at the New York Times, America's most vaunted name in journalism and a newspaper with a large Jewish readership.

    The storm centres on a column about Jews in Iran written by New York Times journalist Roger Cohen and a cartoon attacking the recent war in Gaza.

    The newspaper, and Cohen in particular, has been accused of being too critical of Israel and an apologist for Iran and its leader, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Cohen's column was written from Iran about the country's small Jewish minority. His piece acknowledged the difficulties the group experienced and portrayed them as part of an Iranian society that he said was more tolerant, democratic and sophisticated than many American critics allowed.

    Such sentiments might seem uncontroversial, but in America no one touching on issues around Israel or antisemitism escapes close scrutiny. Cohen was attacked by Jewish writers and bloggers. The Jerusalem Post dubbed him "misled", while the Atlantic Monthly called him "credulous". Others went much further. "The Nazis had Theresienstadt, their 'model' concentration camp used to 'persuade' the gullible that Jews and others who aroused the ire of the Nazis were being treated well. Would Roger Cohen have had no problem portraying that favourably as well?" fumed writer Ed Lasky on the American Thinker website.

    Cohen said he was stunned by the vehemence of the response, an impression exacerbated when he visited exiled Iranian Jews in California and was abusively heckled. "I was surprised at the anger and intensity of the reaction … I expected a reaction but did not expect it to blow up into a whole furore," Cohen said.

    Perhaps part of the reason for the intensity of the attack is the fact that he is Jewish himself. "I think it's partly my name. The 'self-hating Jew' things can come to the surface in some of the responses," he said. Another reason is that the column appeared in the Times, which many media experts hardly see as a fierce critic of Israel, given its home audience. "As soon as I read the column I thought a lot of people would be unhappy," said Jack Lule, a journalism professor at Lehigh University.

    The debate over Cohen's piece came as the Times published Pat Oliphant's cartoon, which shows a headless figure goose-stepping and pushing a snarling Star of David in front of it. The figure is herding a woman carrying a child labelled Gaza to the edge of a cliff. The cartoon also appeared in the Washington Post, Slate and other publications. It caused instant outrage among Jewish groups. "It is cartoons like this that inspired millions of people to hate in the 1930s and help set the stage for the Nazi genocide," said a statement from the Simon Wiesenthal Centre.

  2. wadosy says:

    your friend says…

    "British elites and Indian (Hindu and Muslim) elites shared common values and aspirations and were drawn from a common culture- Jinnah for the Muslims and Nehru for the Indians."

    …which begs the question: how come the present indian elites seem to have signed on to this neocon project?

    what do the present indian elite have in common have in common with the values and aspirations of israel?

  3. wadosy says:

    operation enduring turmoil

    neocons' map of the new middle east/SW asia.

    ralph peters neocon

    israel proposes to ship oil and gas thousands of extra miles, through turkmenistan, across the caspian, through azerbaijan, georgia and turkey, piped to israel, then piped through israel, and finally loaded on tankers for shipment to india and points east.

    looks like india's gonna be on israel's side in the big final shootout.

    good luck.

  4. David F. says:

    You friend's points are very good.

    I really wish commentators would arm themselves with more than a high-school level knowlege of history before making these sweeping and incredibly reductive analogies.

    I do not think that the traditional left model of imperialism applies very well in Palestine. The Israelis are not attempting to form an empire but rather annex land for single nation-state.

    They certainly don't have a sense of a "white man's burden," whereby they set up schools for the native inhabitants, missionize among them, and try to uplift them with European social values!

    In defense of the Raj, I would also like to point out that by teaching English to the subjects of its empire, Britain made people like Ghandi possible, as well as the growth of tech and outsourcing in India. The Israelis simply want the Palestinians out of the land they covet.

  5. David F. says:

    On the other hand, the Neocons in the US could be described as part of an imperial movement. They see Israel as an outpost to spread American influence (aka "freedom and democracy") throughout the Middle East.

  6. wadosy says:

    funny you should mention "the white man's burden"…

    "In the course of the past year, a new belief has emerged in the town: the belief in war against Iraq. That ardent faith was disseminated by a small group of 25 or 30 neoconservatives, almost all of them Jewish, almost all of them intellectuals (a partial list: Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, William Kristol, Eliot Abrams, Charles Krauthammer), people who are mutual friends and cultivate one another and are convinced that political ideas are a major driving force of history."

    White man’s burden haaretz

  7. wadosy says:

    do you spose the israelis have unburdened themselves to the point they no longer see any obligation to educate people they'd just as soon exterminate?

  8. Father Ted says:

    Desmond Tutu made a similar point about the need for shared values if nonviolence is to work. He said that MLK's nonviolence made sense in the context of the U.S. civil right struggle, because no matter how wrought things got, everyone in the U.S. understood at some level the common humanity of both sides in the struggle, because they operated within a framework that said: "we hold these truths to be self-evident… that all men are created equal".

    He said MLK's example was not easily transferable to other places, like apartheid South Africa, because there you were dealing with an oppressor that really didn't believe that all men were created equal, which made it easier for them to resort to violence against the "lesser" peoples – even if they themselves would use non-violence – because the oppressor rationalized it was not like they were killing human beings.

    Afrikaners also had a strong sense of their own victimhood, and of being a people special to God whose voortrekking ancestors were on a divinely-mandated mission to colonize the land. All of which separated South Africa's situation from the US Civil Rights struggle, but has echoes with the I/P conflict.

  9. wadosy says:

    education is the enemy of people who believe they can create their own reality by applying massive doses of propaganda…

    well, okay.

    in the meantime, seeing as how israelis have shed the burden of morals, exterminating palestinians becomes not a moral problem, but a problem of public relations.

    it's a wonderful world

  10. wadosy says:

    apologies to randy newman and his kids

  11. delia says:

    Add to that list of pathologies in Israeli culture the illness of projection. For example, continually insisting that the Arabs only understand force. Israelis cannot afford to understand anything but, as they're pathologically invested in hegemonic masculinity. To exercise anything less than military force would be to backslide into that passivity which ostensibly caused Jews to go to the gas chambers like lambs to the slaughter.

    Israelis are terrified by the idea of the emergence of a Ghandi among the Palestinians because the presence of a Ghandi would preclude the Israeli use of force. That is why capturing and jailing every Palestinian leader they can is so profoundly important. Not only does it allow Israeli politicians to claim that there is no partner for peace, it also ensures that no man of peace will emerge among the Palestinian leadership.

    As long as the US is willing to supply Israel with every kind of weapon, every kind of bomb, every fighter jet, every helicopter, every battleship, the Israelis can continue to provoke the Palestinians into violence and thus keep the status quo going indefinitely.

  12. Joshua says:

    The Palestinian cause does not lend itself well to a Ghandi because the Palestinian cause, currently constituted, is rejectionist and eliminationist. If Palestinians had actually focused on building a state rather than focusing on destroying the Israeli state, the occupation would have ended a long time ago.

    In current circumstances, a "Palestinian Ghandi" would be little more than a demagogue who preached non-violence and played upon sympathies of the international community while providing cover for the violent hate groups that dominate Palestinian society.

    If a "Palestinian Ghandi" actually came to represent the Palestinians, then the occupation would indeed end quickly, because Israel would have no reason to occupy the West Bank and place a siege on Gaza. The final issues, such as settlements, water rights, etc, would be relatively simple to resolve.

  13. wadosy says:

    so the israelis would give stolen land back to the palestinians?

  14. Slaney Black says:


    I know you don't read comments that closely, but for God's sake read this:

    link to

    "In reply Attlee cited several reasons, the most important of which were the INA activities of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, which weakened the very foundation of the British Empire in India, and the RIN Mutiny which made the British realise that the Indian armed forces could no longer be trusted to prop up the British. When asked about the extent to which the British decision to quit India was influenced by Mahatma Gandhi’s 1942 movement, Attlee’s lips widened in smile of disdain and he uttered, slowly, ‘Minimal’."

    link to
    link to

    Gandhi was a friendly, Hindu-communal face for Westerners to put on Indian independence, rather than filthy cross-communal strikers and Axis-collaborating guerillas.

    Don't believe the hype. The Gandhi model did not work. A massive general strike did.

  15. Ed says:

    @ wadosy: "education is the enemy of people who believe they can create their own reality by applying massive doses of propaganda…"

    I might add, massive doses of "scientific" Marxist social engineering.

    Marxists, Zionists, liberals and Neocons, Jew and gentile alike, fancy themselves scientific, objective, modern. Those are the cloaks of their totalitarianism.

    But science, objectivism, modernism, as they understand the meaning, were made possible by the good will of Christian civilization, which encourages inquiry, rebellion against stagnant corruption, and an environment of cultivation, but only within the framework of morality. But because they are not Christians, they can only approximate and mimic counterfeit versions of those disciplines as they evolved and were cultivated in Western civilization.

    They think they can reduce Western civilization to a formula, and duplicate its success by imposing the formula upon others. This was never the Christian design, nor intent.

    These people are frauds and robots attempting to duplicate Christian humanism without an iota of reverence for the Christian ethos.

  16. Saleema says:

    Settlements, water rights, Jews-only roads, etc, are not simple issues. Certainly, not when the Palestinians are dealing with blood thirsty killers.

    You are a sick Zionist Joshua. You are demonizing an entire group of people and you and your ilk deserves the same kind of demonization except in your case it would actually make sense.

    The so-called peace-process never got off the ground because of racist people like you.

    Why would Israel listen to a "Palestinian Ghandi" when it hasn't listened to the UN resolutions and the requests of the world? The British Raj was nothing like the demon that Israel is. And that's exactly what it is, a demonic state!

    The British Raj did not think they had a God given right to rule over the world. Their colonialism stemmed from power and racism, but not because they thought they were the Chosen Ones. There's a huge difference in that.

    You can't convince someone that they are wrong when they think God Himself has given them Eretz Israel. Israelis are operating outside the bounds of our moral universe and circumambulating around their elitist, racist, rejectionist idea of choseness and special privilege, and have become a cult that believes that the sanctity of earth is greater than the sanctity of gentile human life.

  17. MRW. says:

    Israelis are operating outside the bounds of our moral universe and circumambulating around their elitist, racist, rejectionist idea of choseness and special privilege, and have become a cult that believes that the sanctity of earth is greater than the sanctity of gentile human life.


  18. MRW. says:

    Which of course is the reason why Israel could not create a Dubai out of their much larger patch of land.

    They didn't have the imagination and they clung to that agrarian thing.

  19. wadosy says:

    "…the sanctity of earth is greater than the sanctity of gentile human life…"

    i dont have much problem with that idea.

    if you're a believer in some creation myth or other, i can see how you'd be tempted to believe that god will create us a new planet when we use this one up.

    seems like a long shot to me, because i believe that we were created by the earth: we happened onto an ecological niche that encouraged us to become what we are, and we became what we are by trial and error.

    it still seems possible that what we've become will not be successful in the long run.

    whatever happened in the beginning, it seems that our screwing up the planet's capacity to support life is akin to an astronaut ignoring that big red light flashing, the one that shows a failure of the air purification machinery.

    i dont see anyone out there that has the slightest inclination to save us from ourselves, and then there's the problem of deciding whose god is in charge of things, if it comes to that.

    just in case, maybe we ought to act as if this is it… this is our first, last and only chance.

  20. Rowan says:

    your friend says… "British elites and Indian (Hindu and Muslim) elites shared common values and aspirations and were drawn from a common culture- Jinnah for the Muslims and Nehru for the Indians." …which begs the question: how come the present indian elites seem to have signed on to this neocon project? what do the present indian elite have in common have in common with the values and aspirations of israel? Posted by: wadosy | March 28, 2009 at 10:01 PM

    Wadosy, the Indian political classes have changed, like others worldwide. The Labor component has moved to the center-right, in response to the rise of the fascist BJP. In any case the Gandhi component has been nuetralised ideologically, by being turned into a puppet family 'dynasty'.

    The Israelis are not attempting to form an empire but rather annex land for single nation-state. Posted by: David F. | March 28, 2009 at 10:19 PM
    On the other hand, the Neocons in the US could be described as part of an imperial movement. They see Israel as an outpost to spread American influence (aka "freedom and democracy") throughout the Middle East. Posted by: David F. | March 28, 2009 at 10:23 PM

    I diagree with this analysis; I see many signs that Israel is not only "attempting to form an empire," but in the advanced stages of the process of replacing the US empire with one of its own construction, using various allies mainly bound to it by military contracts (many relying on stolen US technology, by the way).

  21. dance says:

    There could be any number of Gandhis, from the protests held weekly in the West Bank, to Dr Abu al-Aish. The media does not pick up on these peaceful elements of protest and people, so very few in the west know about them.

  22. wadosy says:

    "the Indian political classes have changed, like others worldwide. The Labor component has moved to the center-right, in response to the rise of the fascist BJP."

    that's what it looks like.

    and i agree that the impulse towards "benevolent global hegemony" comes from israel and israeli americans.

    i'm still not convinced that all the israeli americans are that loyal to israel, though… they may only be cashing in on israel's immunity from criticism, and are in reality the mothers of all looters.

    …keeping in mind that peak oil complicates everything, maybe to the point that many of these people have written everything off except the personal survival of themselves and their families.

  23. Ed says:

    @ Rowan,

    a Judeofascist empire, which was the original intent of Communism.

  24. wadosy says:

    a million dollars is nothing… you can put a million dollars of hundred dollar bills into a laptop sack… and a million dollars, compared to the bullshit going down, is nothing.

    but we're expected to believe that israel paid tony blair a million dollars to lie us into iraq.

    it doesnt add up.

  25. Rowan says:

    a million dollars is nothing… Posted by: wadosy | March 29, 2009 at 01:41 AM

    well, you know what they used to say : "A million dollars here, a million dollars there, and pretty soon, you're talking real money."

  26. wadosy says:

    to bottom feeders on the american economy –maybe a security guard– a million dollars is real money… then you mouth off to somebody about oilmen and zionists…

    once in a while, five dollars becomes real money.

  27. wadosy says:

    my wounds have been self-inflicted. as far as i can tell, everything that happened to me was pretty much premeditated.

    …which is okay with me.

  28. wadosy says:

    …but i have to admit i read "limits to growth" and "the next hundred years" twenty or thirty years ago.

  29. wadosy says:

    i dont like getting personal, but i dont see any way around it if we're to learn from each other's mistakes…

    my father was an outlaw, a short guy and overcompensating, probably, but a died-in-the-wool hillbilly and a cowboy… and he'd dynamite fish.

    he was a logger… and was methodically wrecking the habitat of the steelhead, salmon and trout that lived in the creek that ran through the valley his mother had decided we'd live in.

    he liked the place, one reason, because of the fish.

    the creek died. whose fault was that?

    my father seemed incapable of making the connection.

  30. Rowan says:

    IMO, peak oil is not only a reality, but the supply of oil to "the West" is on the point of being cut off, and Israel is busy deserting the West, and forming new alliances in the East. This is also the key to the collapse of the dollar, and the move (supported by the Jewish boss of the US Treasury) to switch the operations of the IMF away from dollar-based loans to SDRs. In other words, the USA has been had for a sucker. Soon, the dollar won't be worth the paper its printed on.

  31. Eva Smagacz says:

    Al Arabiya, March 22, 2009

    - Ahmed Saud Basal is an eleven-year-old boy from Tuffah, a village in the middle of Gaza. He lives in a two room house along with five brothers and sisters, his parents and a grandmother. Times are tough, much harder than before. The two-year-long siege of Gaza has been devastating and its effects will continue to take a toll. Education, health care, transportation, economy and every aspect of a normal society lie in ruins. The result of a campaign of collective punishment was clear, disregarding not only the international human rights law but also underlying values of every major religion.

    Ahmed and his family aren’t starving. This isn’t Somalia. Gaza was never the so-called “third world,” but hierarchies of suffering miss the point. Compared to before, when factories were open, when farms could bring their products to market, when students could study at night by electricity rather than by candles; life today has grown desperate. Unemployment hit 80%. Skyrocketing prices for basic necessities, such as food, clothes and medicines, force people to survive hand to mouth. In such an economic crisis, parents, however reluctantly, must enlist their children as wage earners.

    Beginning early each morning, Ahmed and his ten-year-old sister, Hadia, go to work with their father. The three of them sell tea in the street. For an eight hour day, each of the children earns between 6-10 shekels ($2-3.50). Added to what their father makes, the family brings in $12 a day, not much when beef costs $15 a kilogram and fruit, which Ahmad hasn’t tasted in a year, $3 a kilogram.

    UNWRA food packages help, but the rations, which are given out four times a year, are basic: 30 kilograms of flour, 5 kilograms of rice, 5 kilograms of sugar, 3 kilograms of lentils, 6 liters of oil; and sometimes, 5 250-gram cans of sardines. For a family of eight, this doesn’t go far….

    If twenty thousand people were to starve themselves to death under the auspices of Palestinian Ghandi, the Israel would say thank you and list them on the Darwin Award website with glee.

  32. wadosy says:

    "Soon, the dollar won't be worth the paper its printed on."

    every time i think that, they pull another trick out of the hat.

    in the long run, it's got to be true… but they'll keep it propped up for as long as they can make a buck.

    meanwhile, the dollar is way off its lows.

  33. Rowan says:

    I could take my analysis even further in the direction of monetary radicalism: suppose that all the nations currently supplying raw materials and commodities simultaneously stopped accepting anything except gold and silver,or other commodities, in exchange? It would be like a game of musical chairs when the music suddenly stops, and you can be sure the USA would be left without a seat. The Jews and their friends, though, would probably be sitting pretty due to their traditional positions in the thick of the world's commodity exchanges.

  34. wadosy says:

    it's basically boring, and that's what will kill it.

    corrected url for flowers of edinburgh, above.

    how you gonna get that reverb without lexicon?

  35. wadosy says:

    there was a shower room in our high school that might have come close…

  36. Rowan says:

    I can almost hear the stock response already: "Now you sound just like Mahathir Mohamad." This is in fact not a specifically Jewish reaction, but the normal colonialist, imperialist, or class ruler reaction: discredit the message by demonising and scapegoating the messenger, in the hope that others will not dare to repeat the message for fear of being smeared by association.

  37. wadosy says:

    in the long run of humanity, it's the geology that says what will happen.

    it's likely that jews, in the long run, are not gonna be all that significant… they may have mobilized quicker to deal with geology, but in the long run, they've abandoned long-term survival strategies.

    so they're doomed.

    in the meantime, we'd be more productive in figuring out how to make the kind of music we're accustomed to hearing, which is so fucked up by gadgetry that we dont know what music sounds like.

  38. wadosy says:

    some people have an advantage

  39. ... says:

    quote from above "It is cartoons like this that inspired millions of people to hate in the 1930s and help set the stage for the Nazi genocide," said a statement from the Simon Wiesenthal Centre."

    no, it is israels actions towards its neighbour palestine that is setting the stage.. the cartoons are a byproduct which can present a view to help foster some detachment and objectivity…

  40. wadosy says:

    pretty silly, isnt it?

    if you dont like the way people think of you, quit behaving in ways the confirm their worst expecatations.

    even doc aumann could figure that one out.

  41. Richard Witty says:

    Gandhi is a relevant model for Palestinian effort, and NOT the revisionist Finkelstein selections/exceptions.

    Primary in Gandhi's view was the idea that non-violence is based on two practical goals:

    1. That the OTHER is human ("love neighbor as thyself")
    2. That to burn bridges is to isolate oneself

    If you feel that the predominant attitude among Israelis is that Palestinians are less than human, then THAT is the first order of business, to inform of the sensitivity, moral courage, community.

    If you are really solidarity and not just vanity, then that's where you'll spend your dissenting energy.

    The second effort would be to then appeal to that recognition of the "other"'s humanity (a NATURAL progression), and then encourage Palestinians to assert that non-violently as Gandhi did in South Africa and India, and as ML King did in the US.

    Pretending that violent resistance is progressive or the only option, is cowardly and represents a void of imagination and determination.

  42. Citizen says:

    @ Ed @ Richard witty
    The ultimate minority is the minority of one, the individual. Families, extended families, tribes, ethnic groups, collectives, states, nations, religions, forms of group think. The USA contains the population with the most highly developed sense of individuality. The Declaration Of Independence, the Constitution, The Bill of Rights, the praise of "rugged individualism." The founding principle "all men are created equal." Perhaps it's important to look at the culture and traditions of any group of people before loosing one's own on them for their own good? Some peoples are more receptive than others. Here's a ranking list
    of top to bottom countries in terms of the extent to which one can anticipate a mass reaction based more
    on independent thought versus group-collective think.

    link to

  43. Eva Smagacz says:

    Not many of us here advocate armed resistance. In the face of the overwhelming power Israel possesses and its determination to use it, the armed resistance is not likely to be effective. It is, however a sacred right of all people, Israel shouts about its right to defend itself from the rooftops.

    The non-violent resistance is morally superior, but completely lost on Israelis. Unlike british, their only concern is for Palestinians to be gone, by any means they can get away with.

    The only effective resistance that Palestinians can mount is on the international scene, and non-violent resistance will aid them in their struggle.

  44. Citizen says:

    The Israelis are known for deporting or otherwise silencing Gandi/ML King type Palestinian leaders–as was posted recently on this blog. They view them, apparently, as the most threatening.

  45. Richard Witty says:

    They are the most threatening.

    A committed non-violent activist is more determined than deterred by imprisonment, deportation, etc.

    The opportunity is to act where one is, not in some fantasy.

    The choice of violence (especially when accompanied by unconditional rejection of the other) is the difference between prospectively changing the others' attitudes by mass sympathy, and dismissing the others' attitudes.

    You don't get there. If you want to get there, then you've got to take the road to the bridge.

  46. Rowan says:

    Gandhi was not opposed to the use of violent anti-imperialist struggle when he considered it realistic and more likely to succeed than the non-violent or pacifist protest campaign. He regarded the choice as entirely tactical –m not moral. The myth of him as dedicated pacifist is a rpoduct of British valorisation after the fact.

  47. Colin Murray says:

    When thinking about the utility and morality of violence in resisting colonization, I believe it is useful to ask several questions about how the Palestinian struggle has developed since 1948.

    * What tools, whether wielded by Palestinians or by third-parties, have been successful in rolling back or slowing the rate of colonization?
    * What variables do successful tools depend upon for their efficacy?

    I think the first thing one should do is gather the data which might allow an answer to the questions. The core of any data set will be a time-series of colonization, e.g. a list of the dates and locations of new colonies along with estimates of their demographic and spatial growth over time. I realize that it would probably be impossible to account for them all, especially the 'wild-cat' seed colonies, but one can only do the best one can, and integrate an appropriate level of uncertainty into the results of one's analysis. There may not be enough data available to try this method at all; I've no idea but I'm going to to go with it anyway until the morning coffee buzz wears off.

    The fundamental data elements therefore consists of a population estimate at a given location and time. The whole set can be made uniform by 'binning' them in space and time. The binning scales would depend upon the spatial and temporal resolution of the original data elements, but for purposes of exploring the methodology I'll choose scales of 10 square kilometer and one week. Consider the 60 years between 1 Jan 1949 and 1 Jan 2009. This contains 3,120 weeks. Take a map of larger Palestine, which includes what is now Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, and every territory that Israel has attempted to annex, i.e. southern Lebanon and the Sinai. Divide the area of the map up into uniform little 10 square kilometer boxes. Consider such a map for each of the 3120 weeks between 1949 and 2009. The 'binning' template now consists of 3,120 weekly maps of 10 square kilometer boxes. Each of our data, colonist population estimates at a given location and time, can be assigned to a spatial box for the week within which it is valid.

    Decide on a 'color map' which relates colonist population to a color, e.g., white for no colonists, blue for less than 100, green for less than 500, yellow for less than 1000, orange for less than 2000, and red for greater than 2000. For each of our 3120 weekly maps, color each spatial box appropriately, then plot a picture. Each picture could be a ppm or jpeg or png. You could string them together in time forward order to make a 'movie' and see the progression of colonization over time, visually seeing colony growth, surging and ebbing, etc.

    Since our data are now uniformly binned, we can also take a centered time derivative across 'weekly snapshots' to create a new animation/movie of colonist population growth rates, where a negative growth rate indicates a reduction in colonist population. Assign a similar type color map where white indicates population change between between -10 and 10 colonists per week, light blue indicates between -10 and -50 colonists per week (cpw), blue < -50 cpw, light red between 10 and 50 cpw, and red > 50 cpw. One would of course have to play with the color map scales to bring to one's eye the most useful variation within the data. Watching a movie/animation of colonist population growth/decline would highlight areas of fastest growth in darkest shades of red and fast decline in darkest shades of blue. I would expect the movie to show Gaza to be light red, indicating gradual growth, up to 2005, with darkest blue during the weeks of colony withdrawal, followed by white when there are no more colonies,and hence no more changes in colony population (zero – zero = zero).

    Visual analysis of the colonist population and population growth rate animations should reveal spatial and temporal patterns. These patterns may be able to be corellated with policies or actions, whether Israeli, Palestinian, or international, whether violent, legal, civil, etc. If one know of a dedicated attempt to slow colonization using Israeli courts took place in Jerusalem, is there any evidence that the growth rate was slowed, or is the rate the same before and after? Is there a temporal correlation between Intifada violence and reductions in colony growth rate? Did American diplomatic pressure exerted over some period of time decrease growth rate? What happened to growth rate after it ceased? Asking these kinds of questions may, or may not, allow some qualitative estimates of what political, military, and economic tools have been most useful in delaying Israeli colonization.

    A few other thoughts: What specific Palestinian and Israeli actions have drawn international attention to the conflict? For example, violent Palestinian resistance in Gaza was instrumental in driving out the colonies there. They certainly didn't drive them out directly, but raised the cost to an unacceptable level. Does anyone think Sharon would have pulled out of Gaza if Palestinians had sat there with complete docility? Does anyone think that Israel would have attacked Gaza if Palestinians had been content to spend the rest of eternity as well-behaved helots in their open-air concentration camp? I think the utility of the use of violence depends upon what the objective is, and how it affects other elements within the strategic environment. For example. Gazan violence was utterly instrumental in ejecting the colonies, but it also had negative effects in that it allowed Israel to paint Palestinians as terrorists, and its very success highlighted the failure of the sham negotiations with Israel led by Fatah to the detriment of Palestinian political unity. Coffee is out, cheers.

  48. Saleema says:

    @ Witty,

    "Pretending that violent resistance is progressive or the only option, is cowardly and represents a void of imagination and determination."

    Please send a memo to Israel that violence is not the answer. Set aside the guns and come to the negotiating table in good faith.

  49. LD says:

    Non-violence won't work. Didn't Israel deport a Palestinian during the 80s for advocating this strategy? They even said that they did so because non-violence would be effective essentially.

    So of course Israel will find ways around it. I mean, I don't understand why anyone would want the Palestinians to use themselves as shields.

    The IDF already does this. And Israel kills/abuses/humiliates Palestinians regularly because they don't see them as people.

    So what's the point? Wouldn't even the oppressor have to have some humanity? Israelis are fascists. Just read the public opinion polls on attitudes towards Arabs and about the peace process (scam) and about settlements.

    Palestinians just have to hold out and keep resisting violently (do not target civilians, kill Israeli soldiers only). And do not accept a scam of a State which is what the US-Israeli planners want.