Friday, April 17, 2009

Non-Violence in Palestine: Timing and Intentions

A Good Piece
By Ramzy Baroud
Palestine Chronicle

".....For decades, the Palestinian struggle for freedom was largely a non-violent movement. With occasional pockets of armed resistance, Palestinians in the occupied territories employed methods of general strikes, demonstrations and the like to express their demands and desires to finally live in freedom. And yet these were the years where Palestinians saw that great majority of their homeland swallowed up into what is now the State of Israel. Land was stolen with no recompense to its owners, prisons burst at the seams with prisoners who never received a trial, houses demolished by the hundreds, entire orchards of olive and fruit trees ransacked and burned. All this was carried out in the confines of an “Intifada-free” society. So, it might be suggested that Palestinians gave non-violent resistance more than a fair shot.

It seems that there is an ongoing trend among many in the “establishment” to celebrate those broken and oppressed refugees who in spite of more than sixty years of bondage call for non-violence or passive resistance. While the intention is in itself honorable, one must question the timing......

Amidst the grief and rage that followed, Belgium found it fitting to nominate one sorrow-stricken doctor and father of three lovely daughters from Gaza, the Nobel Prize, in recognition of his efforts to promote peace between Palestinians and Israelis......

In the midst of this mess, where is the call for Israel to embrace non-violence? Would the media and the world community press the Israelis to embrace non-violence, had they endured such atrocities such as those witnessed in Gaza?......

Just why does the UNDP find it fitting to highlight a survey that concludes that most Palestinian youth find violence “unhelpful” at such a time? And why does the world renown a man who calls for reconciliation, a term that somehow suggests a conflict between people of equal standing, while his daughters rest in fresh graves? Some may suggest that non-violent resistance in such situations is the embodiment of the dignified struggle.

Others might call it surrender."

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