Trending Topics:

The idea that people living under violent military occupation must be instructed in nonviolence is problematic

Activism
on 103 Comments

This morning I read yet another comment from someone in the US putting forward their solution to the “conflict” in Palestine and Israel. Apparently Palestinian women need to start pushing for Gandhian nonviolence, challenging their men who are more naturally inclined towards violence (like all men). They need to teach their kids about the value of nonviolence. Apparently, if Palestinians can manage to teach a new generation of youth to internalize nonviolence then the “cycle of violence” can be upended and peace can be achieved. I’m glad that yet another person in the U.S. can offer their wisdom to Palestinians.

But where does someone outside of Palestine get off telling Palestinians how to raise their children? The message here is that Palestinians are raising their children in the “wrong” way. The assumption is that somehow Palestinians view their children differently than we do in the “West” and that they are raising their children to value violence. The assumption is that we must teach Palestinians how to raise their children. This implicitly accepts a variant of the racist Israeli position that Palestinians love death more than their children. This is a dehumanizing and racist position. We must bluntly call this out. We can’t continue to just point out that saying this type of thing misunderstands the core of the conflict. It’s a racist position.

At the same time, positions like this one that insist on Palestinian nonviolence in the face of oppression show no understanding of the core of the conflict. What does teaching your kids about “nonviolence” look like in a situation of extreme structural violence and inequality? Let’s take as an example the kid who lived downstairs from me when I was in Ramallah during the Second Intifada. This kid came from a family active in peace circles. His parents were involved in dialogue groups, peace programs, and various other forms of non-violent activism. They were raising their child in an environment where peace and nonviolence were constant topics of conversation.

In 2002 this kid would have been about 6 years old. Now he is in his late teens or early twenties, one of the generation currently protesting in Palestine. In 2002 the Israeli military invaded Palestinian cities and placed them under curfew. Snipers were put on the roofs of buildings and anyone leaving their home was shot on sight. Tanks patrolled the streets. Soldiers conducted house to house raids and searches. My street was searched three times.

The first time Israeli soldiers searched my building I was walked around my house with a gun against the back of my head as another solider walked by my side, gun at the ready. The soldiers carried out similar searches in each apartment.

When Israeli soldiers arrived at the home of the family mentioned above, the parents of the family were visiting their neighbors. Their young son was naked in the bath when the soldiers entered their home. His parents were not allowed to come to him while the soldiers were in their home. He was forced to stay at home alone, naked, wrapped in a towel, as soldiers invaded his home. When the soldiers left the building another neighbor was so scared she started to vomit.

Could this experience make a mother’s words about nonviolence ring hollow?

The day before the soldiers searched our building another group of soldiers searched the buildings across from our home. They were violent. They kicked down doors, destroyed property, assaulted residents. The family who owned the home directly across from me was not home. A neighbor had the key to their locked home. While the soldiers were attempting to kick down the locked door of the unoccupied home the neighbor with the key turned on her light to provide assistance. The Armored Personnel Carrier in front of my building opened fire on her home for five minutes. She was not injured but her home was severely damaged. All of us cowered in fear on the floor away from outside walls as this shooting went on, hoping that gunfire would not be directed towards our homes.

Could this experience make a father’s words about nonviolence ring hollow?

Several young men were taken from a building across the street. They were driven across the city and left in the street. This was at a time when being out in the street would get you shot. They found refuge in a nearby home and were not able to return to our area for 3 days which was when the curfew was lifted for a few hours. Other men were taken and didn’t return for months.

What does this say about power to a child?

We found out about the snipers and curfew when a woman two streets over stepped outside on the first morning of the invasion and was shot in the head. Two young men four blocks over were shot and wounded in a similar situation. Similar stories were told across the city.

What does this say about the valuation of life to a child?

A week into the invasion our water was cut. We had no running water for 3 weeks. We were under curfew for 9 months that year. Military jeeps patrolled the streets throughout that period. The later curfews were not enforced by snipers, but people found violating the curfew were beaten, tear gas was thrown into homes, people were arrested.

What does this say about rights to a child?

The day the Israeli military pulled out of Ramallah after the March-April invasion of 2002 all of the children in my neighborhood including the young boy from downstairs gathered in the street in front of our building and began playing Israeli and Palestinian. They collected spent bullet rounds and pretended to shoot at each other with homemade guns.

A parent’s words meet the reality of life.

In the years that followed violent raids into Ramallah and other Palestinian cities continued. We watched as F-16’s bombed the police station in the valley across from our home. Apache helicopters carried out assassinations in town. Palestinians were killed regularly without accountability. Roadblocks were formalized and turned into permanent checkpoints. Jerusalem was sealed off from the West Bank. The Wall was built. Movement was continually restricted. Gaza was sealed off from the rest of Palestine. Gaza was attacked and placed under blockade. Thousands were killed and the world supported the attacks. Settler violence grew without accountability. Night raids into Palestinian communities were a daily occurrence. Thousands of Palestinian homes were destroyed.

Children learn from life.

Educating children for peace reads well for those of us living in safe, comfortable privilege, but children see the reality that surrounds them. Palestinian children see military occupation. They recognize the violence inherent in a system that discriminates against them. They see how the values taught in a course on nonviolence do not match the reality in which they live. A parent’s efforts to teach “nonviolence” are constantly running up against the reality of daily life under Apartheid.

The idea that nonviolence must be taught to the people living under violent military occupation and apartheid is problematic. The idea that the violence they may use in legally resisting occupation and apartheid is the violence that we must first work to end is problematic.

I support nonviolence on ideological grounds, but my beliefs must first and foremost influence my own actions. I can’t dictate to people living with injustice and violence the actions they must take and I can’t say they have no right to use tactics that the laws of war say are legal, tactics that their oppressor is allowed to use without condemnation. As a person with privilege I have no right to dictate to anyone living with structural violence and racism the actions they must take towards their own liberation.

Those of us from outside demanding action must not focus on telling Palestinians how to liberate themselves. Rather we should be lifting up the already existing powerful actions that they are taking to challenge injustice. We must listen to Palestinians and others living with injustice, take our lead from them in their struggles for justice, build relationships with them, support their efforts, undermine our own privilege, and work to end our complicity in injustice.

Those of us committed to nonviolence should work for changes that will end all violence, but we should start by working to end the systemic, structural violence that is at the roots of the neo-colonial, apartheid situation in Palestine. Undermine that system of injustice and violent resistance to injustice will disappear.

This post first appeared on Facebook 2 days ago.

Michael Merryman-Lotze

Mike Merryman-Lotze works with the American Friends Service Committee in Philadelphia as their Palestine-Israel Program Director. He has been involved in activism on Palestine since 1996. From 2000 through 2003 Mike worked as a researcher with Al-Haq in Ramallah and from 2007 through 2010 he worked with Save the Children UK as their Child Rights Program Manager in Palestine with responsibility for programs in both the West Bank and Gaza.

Other posts by .


Posted In:

103 Responses

  1. Pretext on November 6, 2015, 9:06 am

    All solutions for the oppressed must come from applying pressure against the oppressor. If the oppressor has enough influence to stifle the moral pressure of nonviolent resistance, who the hell are we to dictate that pressure from violent resistance is morally wrong?

    • MaxNarr on November 9, 2015, 10:56 am

      Violent resistance is morally wrong. These people are stabbing Jews in the streets. Shame on you!

      • Mooser on November 9, 2015, 3:47 pm

        “Violent resistance is morally wrong.” “MaxNarr”

        Oy Gevalt, Max, if only we had more Jews like you in the Warsaw Ghetto, things may not have turned out so tragically!

        But I’m glad to know that all the people who did go quietly into the camps had the moral upper hand.

      • Keith on November 9, 2015, 6:26 pm

        MOOSER- “Oy Gevalt, Max, if only we had more Jews like you in the Warsaw Ghetto, things may not have turned out so tragically!”

        An excellent riposte to our Zionist provocateur. To claim that violent resistance is morally wrong is, in effect, to claim that violent self-defense against violent assault is morally wrong, a ludicrous assertion. A recent quote on this very topic from the great Arundhati Roy.

        ” My question is, if, let’s say, there are people who live in villages deep in the forest, four days walk from anywhere, and a thousand soldiers arrive and burn their villages and kill and rape people to scare them off their land because mining companies want it—what brand of non-violence would the stalwarts of the establishment recommend? Non-violence is radical political theatre…. Non-violence should be a tactic—not an ideology preached from the sidelines to victims of massive violence.” (Arundhati Roy) https://zcomm.org/znetarticle/things-that-can-and-cannot-be-said-contd/

      • ErsatzYisrael on November 10, 2015, 2:39 am

        “Violent resistance is morally wrong!”

        The Palestinians have every moral and legal right to violently resist the colonization of their homeland.

        “These people are stabbing Jews in the streets.”

        Your Zionist anti-semitism is disgusting.

      • eljay on November 10, 2015, 8:04 am

        || MaxNarr: Violent resistance is morally wrong. … ||

        So, just to be clear: You condemn as immoral any and all violent resistance by Jews and by Israel to attacks against them. Is that about right?

      • diasp0ra on November 10, 2015, 8:51 am

        “Violent resistance is morally wrong.”

        Man, history would be really different if the Allies thought like you in WW2. Just put down their weapons and have dialogue with Hitler. Dialogue as he carves an empire across the globe, and dialogue some more as he shuttles people off to camps.

        Yep, resisting that violently would be totally morally wrong.

      • eljay on November 10, 2015, 9:36 am

        || diasp0ra: Man, history would be really different if the Allies thought like you in WW2. … ||

        Zio-supremacists routinely complain that the Allies didn’t do enough to help Jews, and now here’s MaxNarr essentially saying that the Allies were morally wrong to have done anything in the first place.

        Not only is MaxNarr refusing to read from the same playbook as his Zio-supremacist co-collectivists, but his suggestion that violent resistance against the injustice and immorality of the Holocaust was morally wrong is incredibly anti-Semitic.

        Why does MaxNarr hate Jew so much?!

      • MHughes976 on November 10, 2015, 11:04 am

        I think that both Hobbes and Locke have shown that there can be no blanket condemnation of violence in the absence of a social contract, either because it never existed or because it has broken down and is not in the process of being restored peacefully. In that situation of daily and hourly indignity clearly with no hope of redress, at least some forms of violent reaction, if any are possible,have to be permitted. Thus in some circumstances pacifism may reasonably be reproached, as the Hilberg school tends, as well as I recall, to reproach at least some of Hitler’s victims.

      • YoniFalic on November 10, 2015, 11:49 am

        I long ago concluded that the natives had the right to kill the invader settler colonists anywhere in Palestine (both pre-1967 Israel and the Occupied Territories). This conclusion is part of the reason I left. I also realized that I am a European and have no connection whatsoever to Palestine (or more correctly no more connection than any other European has).

        My sister and I no longer speak because I told her to leave and because I told her that I could not fault the Palestinian that kills her. I hope she wakes up from Israeli school indoctrination before she is killed with complete justice by the Palestinian resistance. (My father and mother already left. My grandparents are dead.)

  2. ivri on November 6, 2015, 11:09 am

    People refuse to accept that there are intricate conflicts in this world that defy a “normal” solution – meaning that what left practically to be done is to “live around” the situation and try to make the best of it even if problematic. At some point in the future – as happened in Europe and nobody would have predicted it just few decades earlier – matters can reach some kind of an acceptable political form.
    In the meantime encouraging Palestinians to struggle, which inevitably deteriorates to violence, cannot be helpful. Such obstinacy and lack of readiness to tolerate peacefully problematic periods have ended up very badly for most of Arabia and can drive a relatively normal situation in the Palestinian territories into similar conditions.
    If hell really break out the Palestinians will be on their own – Israel is very powerful and the world, including Arabia, is totally consumed with real big conflicts with no attention slack left. It would only mean for the world that in yet another country and a couple of millions more Arabs have joined the regional mayhem – with already 100 million affected (the combined population of Libya, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, the Sudan and some others are on the brink).
    So is it not more sensible in such conditions to avoid pushing people down to abyss by with the use of inflaming language on how bad is they condition or how urgently they need liberation from a “violent occupation” and alike?

    • annie on November 6, 2015, 11:20 am

      if you’re concerned about “pushing people down to abyss” you should direct your lecturing at israel. one thing seems certain to anyone following palestinian activism. it’s the incitement from the israel gov and settlers fueling palestinians to resist (stating the obvious).

      • ivri on November 6, 2015, 1:31 pm

        @Annie
        I know this argument (in your last sentence) and I don`t think it`s true. There are far deeper forces that drive the Palestinian antagonism (and no point to repeat that) and in any case the Gaza case shows that – there are no settlements there anymore and it only got MORE violent.
        The Palestinians are on a losing track here – repeating mistakes done in other countries in the region – and those who encourage them in the wrong ways (themselves living in faraway safe places) do them no favor. Some of those “supporters” are really less interested in the fate of the Palestinians than in wishing harm to Israel (due to broader approaches) and so don`t care that the Palestinians will pay the price. Perhaps even the opposite, since bloodshed will serve their main: defaming Israel even more brutally.

      • oldgeezer on November 6, 2015, 3:55 pm

        @ivri

        ” Perhaps even the opposite, since bloodshed will serve their main: defaming Israel even more brutally. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/recent-comments#sthash.ZE3139Rd.dpuf

        Even if true then Israel is the one responsible for it’s actions which can lead to defaming it.

        Have you been a victim all your life? Do you accept any responsbility for bad events in your life? Is it always someone else’s fault? Are Israelis so incompetent that they have no agency and can’t make their own decisions? Have you always been such a racist?

      • Donald on November 6, 2015, 5:09 pm

        “There are far deeper forces that drive the Palestinian antagonism (and no point to repeat that) and in any case the Gaza case shows that – there are no settlements there anymore and it only got MORE violent. ”

        I know this is a common argument with pro-Israel types because I see it all the time–you guys apparently repeat it so often it becomes a “truth”, which is false pseudo-facts in politics become firmly established in the minds of their adherents. (There are many others like this in the I/P conflict). But if you stopped and thought about it for a moment you’d see how ridiculous this is. Yes, the settlements in Gaza disappeared, but Israel with Egypt still controlled the borders. Gaza is a vast prison. Imagine some world where Israel were placed under a similar blockade until they shaped up. You would be outraged. This is so obvious it’s hard to fathom how anyone could miss it, but people do, and obviously it happens because ideology makes people stupid.

      • zaid on November 6, 2015, 5:38 pm

        Donald

        They also forget the fact that 80% of the Population of Gaza are refugees whose issue is not yet solved.

        And they ignore the National bond that Gazans have with All historic Palestine (their Homeland) as if the Gazans struggle was just for Gaza (1% of Palestine)

      • diasp0ra on November 6, 2015, 6:07 pm

        @Ivri

        Gaza is still occupied.

        Stop trying to hint at some intrinsic deep anti-Semitic hatred that is in our water supply or something.

      • bryan on November 7, 2015, 3:38 am

        Ivri – I think your argument would have much more force if you changed one word: “The [Israelis] are on a losing track here – repeating mistakes done in other countries in the region [the Germans and Italians in the mid-twentieth century in the Balkans and North Africa, and the British and French over a much longer period] – and those who encourage them in the wrong ways (themselves living in faraway safe places) do them no favor. ” This is a lovely indictment of Diaspora Zionism – “encourage them in wrong ways (themselves living in faraway safe places)” . Well said, but it is a lot more than just encouragement – funding, defending, covering up and incitement all come into the equation.

        I would quibble with your English expression (“mistakes done”) – you might “do” something accidentally, you rarely “make” something unintentionally.

    • diasp0ra on November 6, 2015, 11:37 am

      @Ivri

      ” drive a relatively normal situation in the Palestinian territories into similar conditions.”

      This sentence speaks volumes of your own privilege and position. There is literally nothing that is even relatively “normal” about living under a brutal military occupation.

      “Relatively normal” is when we don’t make a fuss for you about our situation. Similar to the last 10 years when you could turn off the news and not know a thing about the West Bank because it simply doesn’t personally affect you in any significant way.

      Do you dispute that Israeli military occupation is violent? How can there be a peaceful occupation?

      You can try and “live around the situation” as much as you want, but don’t be surprised if people react, and violently to that. You can’t put a people under occupation and expect them to not react, how is this difficult to understand. Life under occupation elicits this, there is no brainwashing going on, all people need to do is step outside to see the effects of occupation are everywhere.

      I’m going to quote Stokely Carmichael here, because his quote is applicable here:

      “Dr. King’s policy was that nonviolence would achieve the gains for black people in the United States. His major assumption was that if you are nonviolent, if you suffer, your opponent will see your suffering and will be moved to change his heart. That’s very good. He only made one fallacious assumption: In order for nonviolence to work, your opponent must have a conscience. The United States has none.”

      Israel has none as well. History will prove this.

      • W.Jones on November 6, 2015, 11:46 am

        “In order for nonviolence to work, your opponent must have a conscience. The United States has none.”
        Nonviolence and conscience played a role in ending segregation in the 1950’s and 60’s in MLK Jr.’s time.

        But I don’t think it would have worked, say, for the Native Americans in the Caribbean to avoid colonial Spanish enslavement until some more convenient time. Granted, it may have allowed them to survive better if they became slaves than if they were seem as a constant, albeit much weaker, threat to the Spanish colonists. It’s not that the Spanish had no conscience to the Indians at all. In fact, they may have had more conscience, arguably, than the Puritans did to the Indians because the Spanish integrated the Indians to some extent in the Caribbean rather than practically only ethnically cleansing them. Rather the Spanish had a pretty strong goal and MO of enslavement. It’s an interesting question.

      • wondering jew on November 6, 2015, 10:36 pm

        The mechanics of the civil rights movement in the US was to goad the southern whites into attacking blacks with fire hoses, billy clubs and dogs (and murder: Chaney, Schwerner, Goodman) and thus incite the northern whites to impose desegregation on the south. In fact Stokely Carmichael was wrong regarding the goal of desegregation, which was in fact achieved by the triangulation I have thus described. (A triangulation that is not achievable in Israel, where the imposing party needs to be the US and the US is too far away to really care enough to impose anything, certainly in the short term.)

        But who knows Kwame Toure’s true focus, since his public image was more of a revolutionary than a reformist and more of a nationalist than a universalist. (His antiSemitic rhetoric where he hopscotched between antiZionism and antiSemitism is also worthy of mention.)

      • Mooser on November 7, 2015, 1:39 am

        “The mechanics of the civil rights movement in the US was to goad the southern whites into attacking blacks with fire hoses, billy clubs and dogs”

        The “mechanics”? That was the plan? To “goad the southern whites into attacking blacks”?

        Are you out of your mind? “Goad”? Well, that puts a whole new slant on the pogroms and the Holocaust!

      • Mooser on November 7, 2015, 1:45 am

        (“A triangulation that is not achievable in Israel, where the imposing party needs to be the US and the US is too far away to really care enough to impose…”

        Shorter Yonah: ‘I know good and goddam well that Israel can’t stand on it’s own! Only the US can bail us out!’

        “In fact Stokely Carmichael was wrong regarding the goal of desegregation”

        It was all just a nasty trick to take over Jewish neighborhoods?

    • W.Jones on November 6, 2015, 11:38 am

      I think Michael is trying to criticize those who place the blame for violence basically on Palestinian people collectively. For example, you’ve described the harsh military oppression Palestinians live under as a “relatively normal situation in the Palestinian territories”, and then you callously demand avoiding “pushing people down to abyss by with the use of inflaming language on how bad is they condition or how urgently they need liberation”.

      So you are demanding that people avoid strong language about how bad their brutal repression is. This is very callous and arrogant, because as a matter of human rights principles it’s important to recognize and declare how bad the conditions are people are living in. The Israeli narrative emphasizes so much how bad their condition is from Arab aggression or would be without the Israeli army, that it is only callousness when they demand silence about Palestinians’ suffering.

      The main weakness in Michael’s essay is different – this essay does not distinguish between (A) the kind of arrogant demands of nonviolence that the brutal Israeli army and advocates of the current Israeli system demand, and (B) the teaching of nonviolence, the strong promotion of nonviolence to Palestinian families. At least in this essay, the Israeli army’s actions make nonviolent teachings “ring hollow”. In fact, a strong argument for advocating nonviolence to Palestinians should be made, while rejecting arrogance against Palestinians.

      • Mooser on November 6, 2015, 12:15 pm

        “(B) the teaching of nonviolence, the strong promotion of nonviolence to Palestinian families.”

        Oh yes, the Palestinians have a strong, strong cultural tradition of militarism and violence. Their armies once ruled the entire Middle East. The hereditary Officer class still rules the country. They will have to overcome that, if they want to get along with the Zionists?

        I think the Palestinians know more about non-violence than any of us will ever know.

      • W.Jones on November 6, 2015, 1:42 pm

        Mooser,

        You are right that there are longstanding traditions of nonviolent cultural resistance among Palestinians. You would have to ask how Christianity was able to survive there (10% of Palestinians were Christian in 1900) after 1200 years of Islamic rule. The Turks and some of the medieval Caliphates were quite brutal, for example.

        Still, there is also a developing school of basically nonviolent Palestinian Liberation Theology promoted by Sabeel. Marc Ellis has mentioned this in his writings and based his own Liberation Theology on it. I sympathize with this particular theology of nonviolence among Palestinians and with its promotion.

      • Mooser on November 6, 2015, 6:03 pm

        “I sympathize with this particular theology of nonviolence among Palestinians and with its promotion.”

        Perhaps this “theology of nonviolence”, which is a very good thing, may even make some headway among Jewish Israelis. That would be a very good thing, too.

      • W.Jones on November 7, 2015, 12:43 pm

        Mooser,

        How could a theology of nonviolence, or what Ellis calls Jewish Liberation Theology, be promoted to most Israelis? It seems like they are moving further to the right. I don’t mean the question rhetorically. It seems that they have a vested interest in Settlement expansion and land acquisition, and have a strong ideological/philosophical/religious belief in them. It seems analogous to trying to persuade the American pioneers idealized in Hollywood movies that they shouldn’t move into Native-American-claimed areas.

      • Mooser on November 7, 2015, 5:39 pm

        “How could a theology of nonviolence, or what Ellis calls Jewish Liberation Theology, be promoted to most Israelis?”

        Oh, gosh, that would be easy. First, you convert them all to Christianity, and the rest just falls into place.

      • tree on November 8, 2015, 7:06 pm

        Mooser,

        First, you convert them all to Christianity, and the rest just falls into place.

        Herzl come full circle.

    • Mooser on November 6, 2015, 11:49 am

      “…ended up very badly for most of Arabia…”

      Arabia? Where’s “most of Arabia”? Where’s the rest of “Arabia”?

    • zaid on November 6, 2015, 6:36 pm

      ” meaning that what left practically to be done is to “live around” the situation and try to make the best of it even if problematic”

      You wish.

      “In the meantime encouraging Palestinians to struggle”

      I am a Palestinian, and i didnot need someone to encourage me to Resist.I resist because i see with my own eyes the land theft and the ethnic cleansing of my people.

      “So is it not more sensible in such conditions to avoid pushing people down to abyss by with the use of inflaming language on how bad is they condition or how urgently they need liberation from a “violent occupation” and alike?”

      They dont need that , they Have eyes and ears and they live and witness the Violent occupation first hand.

      “If hell really break out the Palestinians will be on their own – Israel is very powerful”

      Yes it is powerful , but the world moral consciousnesses have improved since 1948 and they wont tolerate or accept another Nakba, which means Israel cannot use its big guns to drive the Palestinian out or kill large number of them .

      They know that any move like this in the age of electronic media and globalization would backfire and lead to the end of the Zionist movement,Which leaves their big guns useless (specially the Nukes that didnot deter Egypt or Syria or even Hamas and Hizbollah from attacking Israel).

      Ivri,

      Lets be honest, Israel is stuck with 6 million Palestinians and there is really nothing they can do to change that, and it is actually only going to get worse and worse in the future from a demographic standpoint.

      The Palestinians doesnot seem to get tired at all, and they proved to be a very tenacious nation , and every body can see that the newer generation are more committed to their cause than the previous ones.

      Israel is astonished , why havent they given up like others did? why dont they surrender like the Tibetans?

      Worse, even the Palestinians of 1948 are raising their voices against Zionisim more than before and they are lifting the bars of their demands higher and higher.

      Palestinians saw a black man elected as president of the United States and they can see the globalized modern values of freedom and equality for all, and it is unlikely that they would settle with less.

      The founders of Israel were very ambitious and they believed in establishing a safe haven state for Jews (only) that extends even beyond the Jordan river.

      They never imagined that after 70 years their borders would actually shrink, and that their citizens wont be able to walk in the street safely or that they would have missiles raining on them from North and south and bombs set off on the middle of the street, they never imagined that they would be struggling to control their so called capital, or begging their citizens to have more children or else they are gone. they actually imagined Israel to be a safe refuge for Jews, but the Palestinians despite all odds turned Israel to be the most dangerous place on earth for Jews .

      Those Palestinian kids are Israel worst nightmare, they are telling Israel that the struggle is alive and the game is still on , and their message is clear : Give me dignity or i will Kill you.

      • straightline on November 6, 2015, 7:17 pm

        You talk about the surrender of the Tibetans, Zaid, but the situation in Palestine is different. I’ve often wondered what would happen if the Palestinians said loudly and in unison to the Israelis “We surrender”. What would Israel do? Israel actually does not want surrender; it wants departure – alive or dead. That is the only rational conclusion one can come to from the words and actions of the Zionists. The Germans surrendered at the end of WW2 and look at them now. The Japanese surrendered at the end of WW2 and look at them now. The South surrendered to the North at the end of the US Civil War and they seem largely to be doing fine now. The French surrendered to the Germans during WW2 and look at them now. Even the Aztecs were able to convert to be saved from the excesses of the Spanish colonists – not an option for the Palestinians. In effect the Palestinians have been in a state of surrender with short outbreaks of resistance very like the Vichy period in France (with the PA playing the role of the Vichy government) but for much longer. Israel is often likened on MW to a colonial state but it is, in fact, much worse. In reality Israel wants the native people to either leave, or die.

      • W.Jones on November 6, 2015, 11:27 pm

        “Those Palestinian kids are Israel [sic] worst nightmare,… their message is clear : Give me dignity or i will Kill you.”
        ~”Zaid” with an avatar of the pro-Axis Mufti

        I wonder how many sockpuppets there are who intentionally write things like this to either make Palestinians look bad or to encourage them to write self-incriminating trash.

      • ivri on November 7, 2015, 1:59 am

        @zaid: ”Israel is stuck with 6 million Palestinians and there is really nothing they can do to change that”
        That`s true and I believe it served as a main hope-anchor for the Palestinians: What can they do? They can never get rid of us so all what we have to do is to give them enough trouble that they will have enough of that, give up and go.
        But what happened in reality was different, Circumstances changed: the 6 million Palestinians got divided into 3 groups – each with its own interests and condition. The Gazan group was actually separated into another entity with which Israel has wars like with another country (and a tremendously weaker one). The Israeli Arabs got integrated into Israel to one degree or another – constituting in it a sector (out of several).
        So what`s left is what you hear in the news now: the West-Bank. Over there they staged a big try in the past – Arafat and the second Intifada – but once that failed plus the fact of that there are similar population of Jews in that broader territory (the Jews living in Jerusalem plus the settlers), the situation has reached some manageable form.
        There are indeed troubles there again now but that only means that Israel will have to find ways to deal with it – an unorganized low-level warring mode – likely by developing new technologies (metal-detectors, scanning devices), fencing troublesome neighborhoods, random check points strategy, better surveillance plus all kinds of deterrence modes. It takes time but as in the previous cases, after an initial tough period things are likely to subside.
        That`s the name of the game here and it will just continue to roll on. Not ideal, but that`s life.

      • on November 7, 2015, 2:56 am

        Surrendering in the context of Palestinians is totally unacceptable and a ludicrous suggestion. Firstly, surrendering implies ideological defeat. How could a racist colonial ideology defeat an indigenus self determination ideology when the former is universally accepted as unredeemably repulsive and morally deficient? This is politically impossible, and will never happen not only in Palestine but anywhere on Earth where there are humans. It is Israel that should (and will) surrender and accept ideological defeat.

        Secondly, a military surrender is also not feasible because it is strategically unwise to do so. Unless Israel can militarily destroy every remnant of Palestine, its peoples and its culture with minimal consequences to its own well-being, there is no point in surrendering. Palestinians are many and spread around the world and can absorb practically unlimited Israeli offense without suffering permanent damage while it builds up its own offense.

        Most importantly, you never surrender when you are winning and Palestinians have been winning since day 0.

      • zaid on November 7, 2015, 5:23 pm

        Ivri

        “They can never get rid of us so all what we have to do is to give them enough trouble that they will have enough of that, give up and go.”

        The eradication of the state of Israel is enough for me and no one has to go anywhere.

        ” the 6 million Palestinians got divided into 3 groups”

        And all three are not Jewish nor Zionist.

        ” each with its own interests and condition.”

        Maybe their leadership, but not the population.

        They all agree Zionism got to go.

        “The Israeli Arabs got integrated into Israel to one degree or another – constituting in it a sector (out of several).”

        You are talking about Madagascar apparently.

        “likely by developing new technologies (metal-detectors, scanning devices)”

        Nothing new here, every nation that tried Israel stunt did that and it always failed in the end.

        Why do you think the colonialist project succeeded in Australia and Canada but failed in Algeria ,India and south Africa.????

        Hint: Demo……

        In 2016 there will be more Palestinian than Jews in Palestine, and from there, every year the gap will increase by 90,000 , so in a decade the gap will be 1 million in favor of the Arabs.

        So good luck with the metal detectors.

      • zaid on November 7, 2015, 5:35 pm

        “I wonder how many sockpuppets there are who intentionally write things like this to either make Palestinians look bad”

        The article is simply saying that violence is a byproduct of the humiliation of the occupation , and that is exactly what i said.

        It is an explanation of the phenomenon of Palestinian violence.

        ” self-incriminating trash.”

        And who is going to incriminate us?

        You!

        Who are you?

        Are you a 1948 Refugee or a 1967 one?
        How many times did Israel destroy your Home?
        Who restricts your freedom and movement?
        How many of your family members got burned alive by violent settlers?
        Which country is currently trying to erase and replace you from your homeland?
        Who many of your people is living in refugee camps since for 70 years?
        Are you living under siege like in Gaza?
        ….

      • gamal on November 8, 2015, 10:25 pm

        “I wonder how many sockpuppets there are who intentionally write things like this to either make Palestinians look bad or to encourage them to write self-incriminating trash.”

        Jones sad to see you succumb to rhetorical violence, non-violence is not for everyone i suppose, and so little provocation, are you sure you understand non-violence as it applies to you? I mean Gandhi just laughed when Muhammad Ali denounced Hinduism, with repellent discourtesy, here check below from a review of Singhs famous book, even though you are a Christian White Man you still have to make a convincing argument, Gandhi’s career is rather well known and much studied in much close detail in the Arab and Muslim worlds, the Pashtuns of Bacha Khan, who witnessed Ali’s insolence and Gandhi’s forbearance, became a famous leader of a remarkable non-violent movement, famously viciously tortured and murdered in large numbers by Christians, Gandhi taught by example dear Jones I will for go the opportunity to incriminate myself, there’s always tomorrow, and you seem to have done as good as job as possible with self incrimination today, whats the Welsh for munafiqun?

        “Gandhi, after promising swaraj within a year, withdrew the Non-Cooperation Movement in the wake of communal riots in Kerala and, of course, the famous Chauri Chaura incident in 1922. The Congress formally adopted full independence as its goal only in 1931. His second objection was that non-violence would not succeed. In this Jinnah was wrong.

        There is a remarkable sub-text in this speech, which has never been commented upon, at least to my knowledge. When Jinnah first referred to Gandhi, he called him ‘Mr Gandhi’. There were instant cries of ‘Mahatma Gandhi’. Without a moment’s hesitation, Jinnah switched to ‘Mahatma Gandhi’.

        Later, he referred to Mr Mohammad Ali, the more flamboyant of the two Ali Brothers, both popularly referred to as Maulana. There were angry cries of ‘Maulana’. Jinnah ignored them. He referred at least five times more to Ali, but each time called him only Mr Mohammad Ali.

        Let us leave the last word to Gandhi. Writing in Harijan of June 8, 1940, Gandhi said, ‘Quaid-e-Azam himself was a great Congressman. It was only after the non-cooperation that he, like many other Congressmen belonging to several communities, left. Their defection was purely political.’

        In other words, it was not communal. It could not be, for almost every Muslim was with Gandhi when Jinnah left the Congress.

        History might be better understood if we did not treat it as a heroes-and-villains movie. Life is more complex than that. The heroes of our national struggle changed sometimes with circumstances. The reasons for the three instances I cite are very different; their implications radically at variance. I am not making any comparisons, but only noting that leaders change their tactics.

        Non-violent Gandhi, who broke the empire three decades later, received the Kaiser-I-Hind medal on June 3, 1915 (Tagore was knighted the same day) for recruiting soldiers for the war effort.

        Subhas Chandra Bose, ardently Gandhian in 1920, put on a uniform and led the Indian National Army with support from the Fascists.

        Jinnah, the ambassador of unity, became a partitionist.

        The question that should intrigue us is why. “

      • Mooser on November 9, 2015, 12:03 am

        “zaid” I was mortified by the comment about “sockpuppets” and “encourage them to write self-incriminating trash.”

        I feel like that comment needs an apology. I do apologize for it.

      • echinococcus on November 9, 2015, 5:08 am

        W Jones: Whose “sockpuppet”, exactly? Based on what?
        You’ve got some nerve, with your Zionist self-evidence to attack an anticolonial resistant of yore. Who gives a rat’s bottom if it looks “bad” to an American who can’t tell his axe from his elbow? What exactly is not factual in the statement that even Palestinian total surrender will not have any influence on the clear and acknowledged Zionist plan to eat up all land for a racial-exclusive state and rid it of its owners?

      • gamal on November 9, 2015, 8:02 am

        Sorry forgot link to the Muslims were with Gandhi not Jinnah, you know what we are like, no attention to detail (e.m.forster, passage to India, leave me my allusions)

        http://www.rediff.com/news/special/almost-every-muslim-was-with-gandhi-not-jinnah/20090820.htm

      • Mooser on November 9, 2015, 10:49 am

        “In fact, a strong argument for advocating nonviolence to Palestinians should be made, while rejecting arrogance against Palestinians.” “WJones” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/11/instructed-nonviolence-problematic#comment-156765

      • zaid on November 9, 2015, 12:21 pm

        You are a good man Mooser, so is W.Jones.

      • gamal on November 11, 2015, 5:17 pm

        “so is W.Jones”

        “You would have to ask how Christianity was able to survive there (10% of Palestinians were Christian in 1900) after 1200 years of Islamic rule. The Turks and some of the medieval Caliphates were quite brutal, for example.”

        you have no idea how wrong you are Zaid, the evangelist is no friend of yours, anyone wishing to evangelise amongst Muslims or Arabs who thinks its a safe bet to imply a caliphal brutal millenium of repression of Christians, its a safe guess its Islam after all, well a very bright and rather admiral Jew at Yale puts Jones’ nasty little prejudice to rest watch, he is quite specific, which reveals that the evangelist hasn’t even bothered to read anything other propagandistic trash, 14, 15, 16, Freedman is not a specialist and is therefore just giving what scholarship accepts as the documentary record nothing controversial or difficult, only 15 if you lazy and wish to stick to the brutal point. Jones’ discussion of Aztecs, Amerindians, Spaniards and Frenchmen was a study in the whites morbid obsession with domination.

        https://youtu.be/TuRtuYgekuE

    • bryan on November 7, 2015, 3:56 am

      With your obvious empathy and compassion, Ivri, you should have a go at being an agony aunt. You could advise the rapist’s victim to give in to her oppressor, because the police might be along in a decade or so. You could counsel the person being mugged that resistance is futile. I’ve heard that argument before, haven’t I, with six million instances to back it up?

      As for this being an “intricate conflict” what a delicate euphemism that is! Was the Egyptian captivity intricate? Was the killing of a few score people at Kishinev intricate? Was the Dreyfus Affair “intricate”? One could obviously continue in this vein for ages – there is nothing intricate about racist oppression and brutality.

    • Misterioso on November 7, 2015, 2:47 pm

      ivri

      “[…] there are no settlements there anymore and it only got MORE violent”

      True, there are no longer any Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip. However, the Gaza Strip is still belligerently and illegally occupied by Israel and its inhabitants’ resistance is justified.

      To wit:

      Human Rights Watch, 2005: “…Israel will continue to be an Occupying Power [of the Gaza Strip] under international law and bound by the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention because it will retain effective control over the territory and over crucial aspects of civilian life. Israel will not be withdrawing and handing power over to a sovereign authority – indeed, the word ‘withdrawal’ does not appear in the [2005 disengagement] document at all… The IDF will retain control over Gaza’s borders, coastline, and airspace, and will reserve the right to enter Gaza at will. According to the Hague Regulations, ‘A territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army. The occupation extends only to the territory where such authority has been established and can be exercised’. International jurisprudence has clarified that the mere repositioning of troops is not sufficient to relieve an occupier of its responsibilities if it retains its overall authority and the ability to reassert direct control at will.”

      The International Committee of the Red Cross: “The whole of Gaza’s civilian population is being punished for acts for which they bear no responsibility. The closure therefore constitutes a collective punishment imposed in clear violation of Israel’s obligations under international humanitarian law. The Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, ratified by Israel, bans collective punishment of a civilian population.”

      “In practice, Gaza has become a huge, let me be blunt, concentration camp for right now
      1, 800,000 people” – Amira Hass, correspondent for Haaretz, speaking at the Forum for Scholars and Publics at Duke University in 2015. Hass an Israeli who has won numerous awards for her reporting, has been covering the region since the early 90s.

    • Kay24 on November 9, 2015, 7:31 am

      It seems the truth always hurt these zionists. It is amazing how delusional they can be.
      What is going on in the Palestinian territories is not fun and games, but suffering and loss of lands and resources, whatever the zionist supporters say:

      Even the UN says so:

      “Spokesperson: Under resolutions adopted by both the Security Council and the General Assembly on the Middle East peace process, the Gaza Strip continues to be regarded as part of the Occupied Palestinian Territory. The United Nations will accordingly continue to refer to the Gaza Strip as part of the Occupied Palestinian Territory until such time as either the General Assembly or the Security Council take a different view.”

      http://blog.unwatch.org/index.php/2012/01/27/un-we-still-consider-gaza-occupied-by-israel/

      Zionist supporter keep living in a trance.

  3. W.Jones on November 6, 2015, 11:27 am

    Michael,

    You begin your essay with:

    This morning I read yet another comment from someone in the US putting forward their solution to the “conflict” in Palestine and Israel. Apparently Palestinian women need to start pushing for Ghandian nonviolence, challenging their men who are more naturally inclined towards violence (like all men).

    I think in this case it would be most helpful to quote the American’s comment in your essay, because nonviolence can be the right thing to teach Palestinians, but there can be a wrong way to do it.

    So if your American correspondent writes (A) that the main reason for the conflict is that the Palestinians collectively are violent, that the only thing they need to change is to switch to nonviolence to achieve their goals, or that Palestinian men are inclined to violence and need to practically all be “challenged” in an arrogant way, then yes, I understand how your correspondent is using a supremacist or arrogant attitude toward Palestinians that misses the fundamental asymmetrical nature of the conflict.

    However, if it is only a matter of (B) teaching and promoting nonviolence to Palestinians as a successful and most admirable, ideal strategy, then in fact this is arguably the best thing to do. This is the teaching of MLK Jr, Gandhi, Nonviolence International, Mennonites, and the Quakers when they face(d) the violence of their oppressors.

    So from the philosophy of nonviolence in (B), it can be true that “They need to teach their kids about the value of nonviolence.” And it’s ideally true for supporters of nonviolence that “if Palestinians can manage to teach a new generation of youth to internalize nonviolence then the ‘cycle of violence’ can be upended and peace can be achieved”, even if non-Pacifists may consider this ideal unrealistic.

    You ask: “He was forced to stay at home alone, naked, wrapped in a towel, as soldiers invaded his home. When the soldiers left the building another neighbor was so scared she started to vomit. Could this experience make a mother’s words about nonviolence ring hollow?”

    I agree that for one who believes in Quakerism, in the Mennonite teachings, or in Gandhi’s strategy this is an extremely challenging situation. There are many other examples, like the case of half the world’s Armenians being slaughtered by the Turks. How could someone even avoid the temptation of seeing hollowness in the teaching of loving one’s enemy? I have not been in such an extreme situation myself, so maybe this Christian commandment of loving enemies would become empty for me too. One way Christianity tries to keep feelings of love while undergoing persecution is to keep before us the image of those like Jesus who died while loving their persecutors. I agree that it’s a challenge, but from this radical peace perspective, it’s one we must at least try to meet.

    I encourage others’ thoughts on this challenge.

    • Mooser on November 6, 2015, 12:19 pm

      ” One way Christianity tries to keep feelings of love while undergoing persecution is to keep before us the image of those like Jesus who died while loving their persecutors. I agree that it’s a challenge, but from this radical peace perspective, it’s one we must at least try to meet.”

      Now, was that helpful, or was that helpful?

      • chocopie on November 6, 2015, 2:38 pm

        Soooo helpful.

        We could send the U.S. military over there to teach them non-violence, since the military is mostly Christian.

      • W.Jones on November 6, 2015, 4:01 pm

        Chocopie,

        Perhaps it is ironic, but the Palestinian Authority has at times even requested NATO or UN troops to provide at least semi-independent oversight for the brutal Occupation, while the Israelis do not even want to be part of NATO, much less have NATO troops interfering with their Occupation/De Facto Annexation/Settlement Expansion.

        “Israel rejects proposal by Abbas for NATO troops”
        http://www.jpost.com , Feb 9, 2014

        Yes, that’s how bad the occupation is and how much it violates even the international “Establishment” consensus.

    • Donald on November 6, 2015, 3:52 pm

      Most Americans, Christian or not, aren’t pacifists, so we can’t preach pacifism to others. Someone like MLK could (leaving aside the unfortunate pro-Zionist stance he apparently did take on this subject). But most of us have never risked our lives in some nonviolent struggle for justice, so we don’t have the standing to tell others to do what we aren’t willing to do ourselves. I’m not in jail because I committed some act of civil disobedience to the arming of Israel. Until I take that kind of risk I’m not going to tell others to take bigger ones.

      I think the stabbing attacks directed against unarmed people (even militant settlers) are wrong. However, arming a country which uses the weapons to bomb children is a bigger wrong, and we who are Americans live in a country where the mainstream politicians defend Israel’s “right to defend itself”, which means in practice that we give them weapons so they can bomb homes with children inside. I can comment about what I think is right or wrong, but we Americans are doing terrible things to them and we commit our own war crimes, all of which leaves us in a poor position to give advice. Maybe ask Desmond Tutu to talk to them. I don’t see why Palestinians would give us too much credence on this subject.

      • Kris on November 6, 2015, 3:57 pm

        @Donald: “Maybe ask Desmond Tutu to talk to them. I don’t see why Palestinians would give us too much credence on this subject.”

        Outstanding comment, Donald, thank you!

      • Mooser on November 6, 2015, 4:11 pm

        “I think the stabbing attacks directed against unarmed people”

        Every time I hear the word “stabbing” I think of the fact that my sister and I both found a perfectly serviceable pistol, and ammunition. Her’s was a cheap chrome-plated .38 revolver, mine was a black .38 “purse pistol” ( a hammer-less revolver). Her’s was left behind in to-be-called-for luggage by some peripatetic friends passing through, mine we found (along with a lot of ammo of many types) when we bought this house. And it is not uncommon at all, for Americans to find working guns.

      • W.Jones on November 6, 2015, 4:22 pm

        Donald,

        You write:
        “Most Americans, Christian or not, aren’t pacifists, so we can’t preach pacifism to others.”
        The US can’t hold Palestinians to a standard of pacifism for the reason you mentioned – the US government is certainly not Pacifist.

        However, those who believe in Pacifism and in the strategies of Gandhi and MLK Jr. really can promote their belief in it as the most effective strategy. Since Gandhi and Tutu were effective in their modern strategies and the IDF has overwhelming superiority, it seems that this nonviolent strategy is arguably the best and has zero to do with judgmentalism against Palestinians.

        The call from the Churches of Palestine, the Kairos Palestine Document, promotes peace and nonviolence many times without judging Palestinian people harshly:

        4.2.2 When we review the history of the nations, we see many wars and much resistance to war by war, to violence by violence. The Palestinian people has gone the way of the peoples, particularly in the first stages of its struggle with the Israeli occupation. However, it also engaged in peaceful struggle, especially during the first Intifada. We recognize that all peoples must find a new way in their relations with each other and the resolution of their conflicts. The ways of force must give way to the ways of justice. This applies above all to the peoples that are militarily strong, mighty enough to impose their injustice on the weaker.

        See other examples here:
        https://www.oikoumene.org/en/resources/documents/other-ecumenical-bodies/kairos-palestine-document

        I sympathize with promoting to Palestinian society the Churches’ call.

      • W.Jones on November 6, 2015, 4:26 pm

        Kris and Donald,

        You write:
        “Maybe ask Desmond Tutu to talk to them. I don’t see why Palestinians would give us too much credence on this subject.”

        They would not be giving particular credence to the US government or Obama about this. They would be giving credence to the human rights activists worldwide who are committed to this tactic and believe in it themselves. A great example is KAIROS USA and FOSNA, the allies of KAIROS and SABEEL in Palestine who are committed to peaceful strategies.

      • SQ Debris on November 7, 2015, 10:13 am

        The world has nothing meaningful to say about the means that Palestinians use in their struggle for survival. Our species has enabled craven criminals to perform a slow-motion genocide against Palestinians for decades, meanwhile patting ourselves on the back about how civilized we all are. Enough with the patronizing advice. Work for meaningful change. Like BDS in every venue, every institution that we interact with.

    • diasp0ra on November 6, 2015, 4:29 pm

      “because nonviolence can be the right thing to teach Palestinians, but there can be a wrong way to do it.”

      With all due respect, we don’t need anybody to “teach” us nonviolence. There are still many many peaceful protests every Friday all over the West Bank, and have been for decades. Bil’in and Ni’lin to name a couple. Yet they get repressed all the same.

      Israel has made nonviolence impossible with its policies. Just read how at the beginning of the Aqsa Intifada demonstrations were peaceful and nonviolent, but Israeli response was brutal to the point where it effectively killed any hope for nonviolence. There are reports of how Israelis shot those they deemed to be the “ring leaders”. Remember, under military law any kind of protest is illegal in the West Bank.

      As much as I hate to quote him, but JFK has a good quote on this:

      “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”

      • W.Jones on November 6, 2015, 11:06 pm

        Hello, Diaspora!

        It is neat hearing from you, since you are Palestinian. You are right that “There are still many many peaceful protests every Friday all over the West Bank, and have been for decades. Bil’in and Ni’lin to name a couple.” It is neat to hear about them. Palestinian nonviolent protestors have been inspiring and creative, as shown in the movie Five Broken Cameras.

        It was also neat for me to hear about the tradition of protests in the Christian areas, like the Santa Claus demonstrators. Even placing a Christmas tree can be an act of nonviolent resistance, like the one in Nazareth Illit! △ ☆ †

        Generally speaking, JFK’s quote is right when it come to understanding how societies work. And you made a good point:

        Israel has made nonviolence impossible with its policies. Just read how at the beginning of the Aqsa Intifada demonstrations were peaceful and nonviolent, but Israeli response was brutal to the point where it effectively killed any hope for nonviolence.

        This is an important point to make when talking about Palestinian nonviolence and the challenge it faces, since nonviolence is brutally repressed. This surprisingly does not actually make nonviolence impossible, however, because the oppressed still have an option to take this extremely heavy burden despite being crushed during its peacefulness. Take for example the many Indians who were massacred by the British while opposing British rule, despite Gandhi’s leadership. Often, civil disobedience occurs in recognition that the oppressor will brutally oppress it.

        An interesting example may be the Rosenstrasse protest against deportations in Berlin during WWII. A large protest erupted by the German wives of Jewish husbands who were to be deported. It is somewhat surprising that the Nazis, instead of simply crushing the protest, chose to allow the husbands to stay. I write this while myself acknowledging that the Nazis were one of the most brutal regimes in suppressing resistance. However, for some scholars it raises the question of whether more protests could have been effective in stemming the Nazis’ course more.

        So perhaps even in the Palestinian context there could be real outlets for instances nonviolent civil disobedience that are not impossible, despite the usual brutal suppression.

        To say that there is a need to teach, promote, or educate about nonviolent resistance for Palestinians in no way denies that Palestinians are widely already using a tradition of nonviolence, nor does this need mean that Palestinians are even violent. That is because a belief in teaching an ideal strategy can mean reinforcing it or giving better understanding to it. Many Churches have “Education Departments” that teach their members their faith. To have education departments and teach the faith to the faithful in no way means that the churches are filled with ignorance. Rather, the teaching can be needed to reinforce, strengthen beliefs, or understand it better.

        In the Palestinian context, promoting nonviolence can mean studying it to see how it can be used best in the challenges you describe. For example, if the Israeli army uses tear gas on demonstrators or bullets, then what can be done? Film it? Show it on social media worldwide? Raise awareness about the flotillas? Teaching and promoting nonviolence can mean teaching the answers to these challenging questions.

        In no way does teaching nonviolence support the claims of Ivri or other Occupation-supporters that somehow Palestinians are the main guilty party in the Occupation or that if only” they never used violence then the Israelis would definitely choose a 2 State Solution. Nor does it mean that we need to take an arrogant attitude of “challenging” Palestinian men who are supposedly more violence prone.

        There are great programs by Kairos Palestine, Sabeel, and Christian Peacemaker Teams that advocate and promote nonviolence by Palestinians, and I support their work and education efforts. My support does not in any way downplay already-existing nonviolence.

    • bryan on November 7, 2015, 5:47 am

      W. Jones – The Palestinians have tried and many to this day are trying non-violence and it isn’t working (or at the very least it has few concrete achievements). Violence has also been tried and failed. Is there a third way?

      There is of course, but it is not under direct Palestinian control, which is not to say that the Palestinians do not have enormous no influence. This horrible mess will only be resolved, if it ever is, when the civilised world’s conscience is sufficiently aroused either (a) to impose a settlement on Israel (similar to the agreement reached with Iran, or something wider under UN auspices) or (b) BDS activity reaches such a level that Israel is forced to rehabilitate itself in the eyes of the world. Both possibilities face formidable obstacles, and it is probably false to pose this as an either / or, since most likely the two will operate in combination. Major changes in world, and especially American, opinion will be necessary.

      To arouse the world’s conscience to enforce effective action is exceedingly difficult, but not unprecedented (e.g. South African Apartheid) but Zionism is far stronger and more influential than ever was Afrikanerdom. The issue must be constantly kept in the public focus (which is where the Palestinians have a crucial role) whilst the shift in opinion is engineered and comes to fruition. So let’s pose the question not as whether violence / non-violence can force Israeli change, but whether it can force a change in world opinion. Here I would argue that violence is the best crutch that Zionism possesses because it allows the continual refrain that they hate us, the’re all terrorists, they want to drive us into the sea, they constantly assault a peaceful nation with a hail of rockets and suicide bombs, etc. Take that crutch away, and what is left? Cherry tomatoes, a naked occupation, and outright racism.

      So whilst I can understand and even defend violent resistance (which I would say worked when employed by Hezbollah in Lebanon) pragmatism suggests to me that an entirely peaceful campaign would be far more effective. The first intifada was essentially non-violent (employing civil disobedience and general strikes) but such an approach demands huge solidarity and imposes a heavy social and economic cost) Targetted resistance to every abuse (the walls, checkpoints, segregated roads and communities, the assassinations, the house-demolitions, the unequal allocation of resources like water, etc.) can probably only go so far, and will only be effective if it receives due attention in world media. A far more concerted and consistent campaign is required of Palestinian ambassadors, representatives and supporters. If only Palestinian advocacy could match, challenge and refute Israeli hasbara! If only Palestinians could transform this “conflict” into a civil rights issue, challenging the Apartheid legal systems and voting systems. BDS is making great strides here, but is too easily dismissed as anti-Israel rather than pro-Palestine, pro-civilian, pro-humanity. And does not the concerted campaign ultimately require Palestinians (and exclusively Palestinians) to achieve a degree of concensus both on objectives (one or two states?) and organisational structures (PA, PLO, Hamas?) Surely the overthrow of Apartheid came about because South Africans had very clear vision of the society they wished to build and a unified leadership?

      • W.Jones on November 7, 2015, 6:41 pm

        Bryan,

        Palestinians’ nonviolent opposition arguably has some success, however weak. If they hadn’t used any noonviolent resistance and used only violence, they might not have gotten the UN recognition for their state or some EU countries’ limited restrictions on settlement products. I understand a counterargument that these benefits are hardly enough, but I do think that Palestinians won some more admiration internationally due to their nonviolent actions.

        If there was no nonviolent protest, the movie 5 Broken Cameras could not have been made and presented in Hollywood at all.

        I like the rest of your post, and I agree with the importance of efforts and recognition by the international community. I also agree when you say:

        Here I would argue that violence is the best crutch that Zionism possesses because it allows the continual refrain that they hate us, the’re all terrorists, they want to drive us into the sea, they constantly assault a peaceful nation with a hail of rockets and suicide bombs, etc. Take that crutch away, and what is left? Cherry tomatoes, a naked occupation, and outright racism.

        I don’t agree with judgmental attacks on the Palestinian people for past decades of resistance, however my own sympathy is strongest with promoting and teaching nonviolent resistance. You made some good points.

  4. Kay24 on November 6, 2015, 11:33 am

    For Israel and it’s supporters, all Palestinians must, with complete obedience, bow their head in gratitude, for the years of oppression, land grabs, blockades, and inhumane treated meted out to them, by their oppressor. Palestinians must teach their children to protest in utmost silence, and never raise a finger in anger against their oppressor, never mind if they see no hope of freedom from oppression, in their future. If their homes are demolished, it is an honor, after all a Chosen on will benefit from that land they sacrificed. If your family has been massacred by a precision bomb, you must not show anger towards the killers, but treat them with reverence and love. Showing anger, using violence against your neighbor, and stealing, is an entitlement ONLY for zionists.

    Unrealistic, stupid, and arrogant, to say the least.

  5. Mooser on November 6, 2015, 11:35 am

    “People refuse to accept that there are intricate conflicts in this world that defy a “normal” solution – meaning that what left practically to be done is to “live around” the situation and try to make the best of it even if problematic”

    You know, “Irvi” you are right. There’s no reason in the world why anybody, German, American, any of the Allies, should feel the least bit guilty about the Holocaust. It was just one of those “intricate conflicts in this world that defy a “normal” solution”.

    You know, sort of like the intricate problem of the Jews being scattered all over the world, and reduced in numbers and orthodoxy. If we” “live around” the situation and try to make the best of it even if problematic” we could probably do very well at it.

  6. amigo on November 6, 2015, 12:23 pm

    There is not much point in turning the other cheek and bumping into another thug , who is ready , able and more than willing to break your other jaw.

    If non violence is the answer , then why have armies ,or spend so much on defence.This logic is the product of a vacuous mind , or more likely that of a self serving privileged and arrogant jackass. Israel has spent decades fostering violence.I have stated , that is their goal but as they will kill ( they have in the thousands) whether or not , the victim is violent , I do not blame some Palestinians for wanting to take a few of their oppressors with them.The oppressor has to be made pay a price somewhere along the line.If not , why would they change .

    • W.Jones on November 6, 2015, 1:36 pm

      Amigo, the path of Quakerism finds that there is a higher, more effective ideal in nonviolent resistance. It would have been interesting in terms of this challenging article by the AFSC Mideast director to see how that ideal could be promoted within these questions.

      • Donald on November 6, 2015, 3:58 pm

        A shorter version of what I said above–if you want someone to urge nonviolent resistance to Palestinians, find people who have actually practiced it under similar conditions. I don’t know if the AFSC Mideast director would fit the bill. Desmond Tutu or someone of that sort might.

        There was also that Palestinian–his name slips my mind–who really did practice these techniques. (Not that he was or is the only one, but he was famous for awhile.) I read recently that he was tortured and then sent into exile by the Israelis. I should find his name, but I have to do some errands.

      • W.Jones on November 6, 2015, 4:09 pm

        Donald,

        AFSC stands for the American Friends Service Committee, the main Quaker organization. There are smaller Palestinian Gandhis like Naim Ateek of Sabeel or the Awad brothers of Nonviolence International.

        Someone who would successfully help promote nonviolent resistance would be someone like Tutu, like you said. Still, a major concern of the Occupation is the problem if a major nonviolent force or figure of peace and reconciliation would arise. Rabin, for example, with all his faults, was actually taking some steps for reconciliation, however flawed, and that is why his opponents decided he had to go, with “Death to Rabin” being shouted at a Netanyahu rally before his removal. In my personal opinion, it would be helpful if NGOs did promote nonviolent resistance, drawing on, for example, Palestinian Liberation theology and figures like Tutu. This is what KAIROS PALESTINE calls for.

      • Donald on November 7, 2015, 11:54 am

        I like the nonviolent approach and hope Palestinians take it. And I’m glad people who practice what they preach advocate for it. My point is only that those of us who are Americans have no standing to urge Palestinians to take this course, with the possible exception of Americans who are themselves willing to risk jail or beatings or death in nonviolent protest.

      • W.Jones on November 7, 2015, 12:35 pm

        My point is only that those of us who are Americans have no standing to urge Palestinians to take this course, with the possible exception of Americans who are themselves willing to risk jail or beatings or death in nonviolent protest.

        I think those of us Americans who look to Martin Luther King Jr.’s strategies and who oppose the dispossession of the Native Americans have “standing” to promote nonviolent resistance to Palestinians in a non-judgmental, friendly way, because those situations are analogous.

        Regarding the Native Americans, it’s a hard question what they could or show have done. They were faced with an asymmetrical balance of power and could not effectively conquer their opponents. It’s a good question what their best tactic would have been. On one hand, perhaps if they hadn’t resisted, the Sioux would have been more fully routed and had less social cohesion than they do today. On the other hand, reprisals by Amerindians were one of the main excuses used by the American army to dispossess them.

        Since I support nonviolence, personally, I think this strategy should have been promoted to the Amerindians by their friends among Americans. I imagine that the Quakers of that day did counsel the Indians against resisting with violence.

        However, those Americans who don’t believe in nonviolent resistance and would not follow it themselves of course don’t have standing like you said to dictate to Palestinians that they must observe it.

      • MaxNarr on November 9, 2015, 11:08 am

        @Donald, thank you for your courageous stand against violence.

  7. eljay on November 6, 2015, 4:05 pm

    This morning I read yet another comment from someone in the US putting forward their solution to the “conflict” in Palestine and Israel. Apparently Palestinian women need to start pushing for Gandhian nonviolence, challenging their men who are more naturally inclined towards violence (like all men). They need to teach their kids about the value of nonviolence. …

    The victim remains chained in the rapist’s basement. She now has a daughter.

    Someone in the U.S. believes that the solution to the “conflict” between the victim and her daughter and the rapist…
    – does not lie with the victim and her daughter being liberated and the rapist being arrested, tried and held accountable for his past and on-going acts of injustice and immorality; but, rather,
    – lies with the victim teaching her daughter not to be violent toward their captor and abuser;

    Someone in the U.S. is a hateful and immoral person.

    • bryan on November 7, 2015, 6:19 am

      “Someone in the U.S. is a hateful and immoral person.”

      Not necessarily: perhaps, but perhaps not, that person has spent years lecturing Israeli mothers on teaching the path of peace. Perhaps they insist that there should be no military solutions to conflict, and that militarism is wrong, and should not be so propagated amongst Israeli children. Perhaps that person has long-campaigned that American aid and arms sales to Israel are wrong. Perhaps that person is utterly indignant when leaders in the American Jewish community advocate backing the Israeli policies of “mowing the lawn”. Perhaps that person loudly protested when Adelson blythely proposed nuking Iran. Perhaps that person is a complete hypocrite and the personification of double standards. Perhaps not hateful, but perhaps too much in love with Israel. perhaps not immoral but perhaps having a completely distorted, illogical, inconsistent and irrational sense of morality.

    • MaxNarr on November 9, 2015, 11:08 am

      Eljay your profile picture shows some sick obsession and this has nothing to do with rape. The Jewish people has returned to our native homeland, and there we shall stay.

      • annie on November 9, 2015, 1:39 pm

        Eljay your profile picture shows some sick obsession and this has nothing to do with rape.

        the photo is of this event https://occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com/2011/06/23/zionist-thugs-beating-up-jewish-rabbis-video/

        using organized violence through private security personnel against these peaceful protesters is only one of many tactics used by the State of Israel to intimidate and discourage further protests. The police were nowhere to be found at the time or even hours after the melee. Several Rabbis and children were attacked with electric stun gun devices and knives, requiring some to be hospitalized.

        so what so-called “sick obsession” does eljay display (using this photo depiction in his profile), according to you?

      • eljay on November 9, 2015, 1:47 pm

        || MaxNarr: Eljay your profile picture shows some sick obsession … ||

        The avatar is of a Zio-supremacist Israeli goon assaulting a Jewish man. You’re right: Zio-supremacism is a sick obsession. You should seek help.

        || … The Jewish people has returned to our native homeland … ||

        “The Jewish people” do not have a homeland. The geographic region of Palestine was the homeland of all people of and from that region. Israel is the homeland of all people of and from that country. The country of Palestine will be the homeland of all people of and from that country.

        || … and there we shall stay. ||

        Yeah, yeah, and the Roman and Ottoman Empires and Nazi Germany’s “Thousand Year Reich” all live on.

      • Mooser on November 9, 2015, 1:52 pm

        “Eljay your profile picture shows some sick obsession and this has nothing to do with rape.”

        SQUELCH!! Take a good long look at your naked homeland.

  8. gracie fr on November 7, 2015, 3:38 pm

    A crisis in Palestine is again all over the headlines. From stabbings and molotov cocktails, to killing of protesters and anti-Arab lynch mobs–how much of the mass media coverage can we really trust?

    http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=15062

    • Kris on November 7, 2015, 4:43 pm

      gracie fr–many thanks for sharing the link to this very informative and interesting news report, “The Empire Files: The Distortion & Death Behind Israel/Palestine Coverage.”

      It is fascinating to see how the “human shield” claim has been used consistently by the U.S. to excuse killing civilians in WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, etc., all the way up to the recent bombing of the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) hospital. And Israel, of course, uses the “human shield” claim all the time, despite the fact that only Israelis, not Palestinians, have been proven to use “human shields.”

      Investigative journalist Dan Cohen, who reported from Gaza during Gaza 2014 (Israeli “Operation Protective Edge”), describes how he himself was used by IDF troops as a “human shield.” And how Palestinian journalists are deliberately killed by the IDF, no matter how clearly they are marked as “PRESS.”

      I don’t like to watch tv, but this report was well worth the time, so here’s the link again: http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=15062

  9. Rashers2 on November 7, 2015, 5:14 pm

    Leaving aside ivri’s “intricate conflicts” and equation of telling the truth with the “use of inflaming [sic] language” and focusing on the article, I would like to see the source of the comment which inspired it. There is no reason to assume it to be other than bona fide but an attribution or link is always useful. Taking it a face value, the commenter cited appears to have fallen into the perception trap deliberately laid by MSM in the coverage of I/P and the recent protests and escalation of violent episodes in the OWB and OEJ, which casts the protagonists as – at best – equal actors whilst never elucidating the context. The OWB and OEJ are illegally occupied (even the Great Enabler, the US government, hasn’t [yet] stooped to fudging or contradicting that fact). Having just interrupted myself to watch this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwJHG2KSsG0 documentary on Area C, tonight re-broadcasted on AJ, I am – not for the first time – astonished by the stoicism and dignity of the Palestinians in the face of the occupation’s aggression and its relentless campaign to make the OWB unliveable for those whose true and inalienable home it is. The IOF and all the “settlers”- the Jewish-Israeli land-thieves (mainly fairly recent Olim) who have migrated to the OWB and OEJ – are part of an illegal occupation. Possession of dignity is a charge which can be levelled against few settlers or IOF operatives in the OWB.
    Instead of exhorting Palestinian mothers to instil in their progeny a culture of “Gandhian non-violence”, perhaps Merryman-Lotze’s commenter might consider exhorting Jewish-Israeli motherhood to teach its young about respect for human life and the right of every man to go to sleep without wondering whether his shelter will be demolished in the middle of the night! Were I a young male victim of the occupation, I would probably be studying the operational tactics of the Maquis during WWII rather than the teachings of Gandhi.

    • W.Jones on November 7, 2015, 10:56 pm

      Rashers,
      You write:
      “focusing on the article, I would like to see the source of the comment which inspired it. There is no reason to assume it to be other than bona fide but an attribution or link is always useful.”
      Yes.

      “Were I a young male victim of the occupation, I would probably be studying the operational tactics of the Maquis during WWII rather than the teachings of Gandhi.”
      It’s hard to put oneself in such another person’s shoes. However, it was interesting to learn how imprisoned Palestinians were actually studying Gandhi:

      “”In non-violence you have to be very very strong,” Awwad continued. “Starving for seventeen days is like killing yourself each day. You demonstrate how much you believe in your cause by standing even against yourself…When using non-violence you are not a fighter, you don’t identify with political values. You identify with humanity.”

      Following the hunger strike, Awwad began learning more about non-violence. He did not receive formal education about nonviolent resistance but studied Gandhi and Mandela in prison.”

      http://daily.swarthmore.edu/2015/03/05/palestinian-ali-abu-awwad-speaks-about-nonviolent-resistance-in-israelpalestine/

  10. Ossinev on November 7, 2015, 6:42 pm

    @ivri
    “The Gazan group was actually separated into another entity with which Israel has wars like with another country (and a tremendously weaker one)”

    Steady on old bean you are spinning out of control again.

    Which “country .. like any other country” would that be exactly ?

    A few deep breaths and a re-visiting of the manual should get you back on the Hasbara rails.

  11. rosross on November 7, 2015, 8:42 pm

    I never cease to be astonished at how many people deny the reality of the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

    We fought in the Second World War to free people from German and Japanese occupation and yet today, people fight to maintain the occupation of Palestine and the brutal and murderous military regime which maintains it!

    Which bit do people, and Americans in particular not get? Occupation is occupation. Palestine is occupied by European colonists who use military force to repress resistance from the indigenous Palestinians and to continue to steal their land.

    Israel slaughters men, women and children in the name of occupation, colonisation and apartheid and the US bankrolls them to do it.

  12. Elizabeth Block on November 7, 2015, 9:02 pm

    Many years ago I heard Mubarak Awad speak. He’s a Palestinian-American, and he was living in Palestine and teaching nonviolence.
    The Israelis threw him out.
    The Israelis, I have to say, are terrified of nonviolence, because it makes them look like the chuzzers* they are. But they are also just fine with it, because it almost never gets mentioned in the mainstream western press.

    *pigs

    • W.Jones on November 7, 2015, 10:05 pm

      Elizabeth,

      The Awads produced a good video of their Nonviolence project. The playlist for their film, Little Town of Bethlehem is here:
      https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLBC0AD0CB9C8053FF

      M. Awad now lives in the US, while his family continues their work in Bethlehem.

      I believe that we should promote their work. The fact that M. Awad was expelled like you said suggests that this is actually one of the more effective strategies to achieve peace and justice.

  13. Truth Be Told on November 8, 2015, 9:30 am

    It’s provocative alright. It provokes me to righteous anger. Americans who want to teach Palestinians about nonviolence know little regarding the history of Palestine prior to the invasion by European Jews. For centuries, Jews, Christians, and Muslims had lived together peacefully prior to the meddling by European and American power brokers, who took real estate not belonging to them and gave it to foreign invaders.

    Until now in Palestine during the Ramadan season when Muslims are fasting from daybreak to sunset the majority of Christian owned restaurants close out of respect for the hunger of their Muslim neighbors. During my five years living in Palestine, I did not hear one insulting remark from Muslims concerning their Christian neighbors. This mutual regard and consideration for other religions permeates the entire culture including how schools are administered. Muslims have Friday and Saturdays off from school, Christians have Saturdays and Sundays.

    I could write an article about the inherent non-violence of Palestinians, both Christians and Muslims, that I’ve witnessed during a lifetime of intimate involvement with them.

    It would be better for Americans to go and live among them to learn how we can be more accommodating to others and curtail much of our cowboy frontier violence. As an American I’ve witnessed our violence first hand.

    • Mooser on November 8, 2015, 5:17 pm

      Hello “Truth Be Told”! I see it’s comment #1, so, welcome!

    • Kris on November 8, 2015, 8:19 pm

      Very interesting and informative comment, thank you!

      • Mooser on November 8, 2015, 11:46 pm

        “Very interesting and informative comment, thank you!”

        And, I hope, certainly not the last.

  14. traintosiberia on November 8, 2015, 10:53 am

    Israel was not born in nonviolence . How can it be dismantled by the defeated party without violence? Sure Dalai Lama might have a role in imparting nonviolence as a means to address the tension between the IDF and the settlers . Beyond that nonviolence has no place in Israel.

    Nonviolence was present among Arabs of that area.
    They offered accepting Jews and building a nation periodically before 1947
    Syra offered to take refugees in exchange for a durable peace in 1949
    European American and S American offered places and residencies for the fleeing Jews in 1940 s without any condition or demands .
    Guardian exposé on the steps agreed by Palestnian authority in exchange for some kind of state ( rump state, state the size of couple of hundreds of the Israeli stamps put together ) was not even worth the consideration by Zionist of all stripes .

    So the nonviolence has no place . The only hope of Palestine lies in the process runs it full cycle. That process of slow demise of American power has started .Without America being able to take care of Israel’s economy ,the Israelis would slowly leave just the way their ancestors did during Roman era and before .

    • MaxNarr on November 9, 2015, 11:07 am

      keep wishing Siberia, Jews are here to stay in our native homeland until the end of the world.

  15. hophmi on November 9, 2015, 11:45 am

    “The idea that people living under violent military occupation must be instructed in nonviolence is problematic”

    So is the idea that a movement can be “nonviolent” while refusing to condemn violence.

    • annie on November 9, 2015, 1:14 pm

      there’s no moral reason a nonviolent movement be required to condemn violence. no more than a vegetarian is required to condemn meat eaters. the requirement to condemn is an elicitation point scoring hasbara tactic used to garner information, flip the conversation, divert, condemn the non condemner etc etc etc.

      • Mooser on November 9, 2015, 1:42 pm
      • hophmi on November 9, 2015, 3:05 pm

        “there’s no moral reason a nonviolent movement be required to condemn violence. ”

        Really? I think there is. Nonviolence is a principle. It’s not just a strategic thing you say so that you can trick naive college kids into joining your movement. In any event, it would far easier, and far more honest, if you just admitted that your movement is not violent or nonviolent, but simply one tactic in a greater war against Israel, in which your allies include non-violent protesters and violent terrorists. The idea that a boycott or a sanction is nonviolent is idiotic. I never heard anyone call sanctioning Iraq in the 1990’s nonviolent.

        “no more than a vegetarian is required to condemn meat eaters”

        What nonsense. Yes, activists who call themselves nonviolent have no requirement to condemn violence anymore than non-murderers have to condemn mass murderers.

      • annie on November 9, 2015, 4:44 pm

        Yes, activists who call themselves nonviolent have no requirement to condemn violence anymore than non-murderers have to condemn mass murderers.

        at least we agree on something. the requirement to condemn is a hasbara tactic as i explained here: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/11/karmah-elmusa-magazine#comment-807308

        the point being to shift the focus and divert from the topic and flood the online community with sympathetic pro israel hasbara and then demand or elicit condemnation of palestinian violence. and this turns the onus on pro p supporters to either back down (not condemn – and be condemned for doing so) or step up to condemning palestinian violence. (like this : http://mondoweiss.net/2015/11/killed-palestinians-october/comment-page-1#comment-807496 ) see where the focus is? it’s a win win for israeli hasbara because the topic becomes the condemnation of palestinian (not israeli) violence. (and this is a repeat tactic used here, you should all be familiar with it)

      • ErsatzYisrael on November 10, 2015, 12:28 pm

        “I think…”

        Don’t exaggerate, Zionist.

        “Nonviolence is a principle.”

        Palestinian violent, armed resistance, is a right, legally and morally.

    • eljay on November 9, 2015, 1:26 pm

      || hophmi: So is the idea that a movement can be “nonviolent” while refusing to condemn violence. ||

      A movement claims to be non-violent. It does not engage in violence. The actions correspond to the claim. The movement is non-violent.

      A state claims to be a “moral beacon”. It engages in terrorism, ethnic cleansing, oppression, colonialism, torture and murder (among other (war) crimes). The actions do not correspond to the claim. The state is not a “moral beacon”, but a beacon of injustice and immorality.

    • Bill R. on November 19, 2015, 7:01 pm

      Whether a movement is nonviolent has nothing to do with what it condemns or refuses to condemn, if a movement restricts itself to nonviolent means (whether by principle or as a tactical choice) then it’s a nonviolent movement.

      The author of the article isn’t saying we shouldn’t condemn violence, he’s saying we should focus on the violence of the oppressor because it represents the bulk of the violence and because it is the very reason why the oppressed resort to violence.

  16. Bill R. on November 19, 2015, 6:48 pm

    Great article.

Leave a Reply