Why is it so important we do not forget the determination and sacrifice of non-violent Palestinian protesters? Take a moment to watch Israel’s soldiers take over a property in Nabi Saleh (3:05) and proceed to pick out young men amongst the protesters and lead them off for arrest. How long will they be imprisoned? Interrogated? Separated from their families for this nonviolent action?
See all those people in the video documenting the protest and arrests? And here is Ma’an News’s photo of photographer Moheeb Al-Barghouthi after the protest.
Ma’an News reports:
Palestinian photojournalist Moheeb Al-Barghouthi was beaten by Israeli soldiers on Friday while covering an anti-wall protest in Nabi Saleh near Ramallah.
Al-Barghouthi, who works for the official Palestinian Authority newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, suffered head injuries and sustained bruises across his body in the attack.
He said soldiers destroyed his camera and confiscated some of his equipment.
The journalist said the soldiers accused him of “misrepresenting” the image of Israeli forces. They left him bleeding and handcuffed on the ground in intense heat for several hours, he added.
Israeli reactions to Palestinian nonviolent resistance have been swift and explicit. Underlying the Israeli response is the desire to maintain control of the carefully crafted narrative of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The narrative of a human rights struggle overshadowing the current peace process is one that Israel has long feared. In fact, the mainstream understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been framed as both sides striving for peace, sometimes in good faith and sometimes not. However, Israel’s recent reactions to Palestinian nonviolence, both locally and on an international scale, reflect the existence of Israel’s internal problem of maintaining an ethnic democratic state battling increasingly visible expressions of nonviolent resistance to its colonial management of the territories.
Israel has successfully deflected criticism of its actions by stressing its exceptional position in the Middle East as the only democracy. In a region of authoritarian dictatorships, the logic goes, Israel’s maintenance of a liberal democracy has provided the rationale for giving the country wiggle room in its dealing with difficult security decisions, including the maintenance of a 44-year-old occupation of land secured in a pre-emptive war. Palestinian nonviolent resistance is cracking away at Israel’s exceptional position in the Middle East by demonstrating the power which nonviolence has in situations of oppression. In the build up to the September vote on Palestinian statehood, Palestinians will continue to use nonviolence while the looming question hangs in the air – will Palestinians be able to sustain their nonviolence in the face of violent Israeli provocations?