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Author Topic: A Palestinian call for non-violent resistance
josh
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posted 25 March 2004 03:24 PM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
"Over 60 prominent Palestinian officials and intellectuals Thursday urged the public to refrain from retaliation for Israel's assassination of Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, saying it would ignite a new round of bloodshed that would only hurt Palestinian aspirations for independence.

A half-page advertisement in the PLO's Al-Ayyam newspaper called on Palestinians to lay down their arms and turn to peaceful means of protest to end Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The ad reflected apparently growing sentiment among many Palestinian leaders and intellectuals that military struggle is not helping the Palestinian cause."

http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/spages/408728.html


From: the twilight zone between the U.S. and Canada | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
No Yards
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posted 25 March 2004 05:34 PM      Profile for No Yards   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Now, if only the western powers would all agree that if there is no Palestinian revenge response to the murder for a specified amount of time, that they would all sign on to a South Africa style embargo against Israel until they withdrew from occupied lands.
From: Defending traditional marriage since June 28, 2005 | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
Coyote
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posted 25 March 2004 05:38 PM      Profile for Coyote   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Quite positive. Hope this gains momentum.
From: O’ for a good life, we just might have to weaken. | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
o
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posted 25 March 2004 05:40 PM      Profile for o     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Ya sanctions would be great! Then all the lefties can hit the streets to protest the evils of sanctions like they did with Iraq!..not holding my breath.
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o
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posted 25 March 2004 05:42 PM      Profile for o     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
But seriously, I would love for a non viloent solution and kudos to the people behid it.
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RookieActivist
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posted 25 March 2004 08:16 PM      Profile for RookieActivist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Sanctions may not be the way to go, but all military funding must stop, and if I'm not mistaken, there are clauses in the deals the US has with Israel giving it money and weapons. Something along the lines of it not being used for aggression. Does anyone know about this?
From: me to you | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
josh
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posted 25 March 2004 08:27 PM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yes, but hell would freeze over before a US administration or Congress would buck the power of the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee and enforce the law against Israel using this weaponery for offensive purposes. This is a large part of the problem. Israel knows it has nothing to fear from its US benefactor.
From: the twilight zone between the U.S. and Canada | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Rufus Polson
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posted 26 March 2004 06:29 PM      Profile for Rufus Polson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I have to say that if I were a Palestinian, I would be very skeptical of the likelihood that nonviolent resistance would be likely to accomplish anything, either.

Let's count the obstacles.
First, every time Palestinians stop killing, Sharon accelerates it until someone reacts. In the absence of strong centralized control, something Israel stamps out every time they see signs of it, there's no way to stop splinter groups from responding to provocations; there will always be someone who isn't on side.

Second, the extremely fragmented state of the Palestinian population, with checkpoints between everything and infrastructures, including communication infrastructures, blown up makes mass movements difficult to build and assemble.

Third, Israelis are generally rather oblivious to what takes place inside the occupied territories, unless it is incredibly dramatic. There's an informal news brownout made worse by the fact that it's increasingly difficult for reporters to get permission to go there. So the nonviolent resistance, to even be noticed, would have to take place in Israel proper. But there's no way Palestinians could get masses of people into Israel proper.

I suppose, if one could get around the communication problem and actually assemble a really, really big and determined crowd, they could nonviolently blockade a settlement; that might get some press. It might also trigger a massacre of Palestinians.

Which brings us to
Fourth: How many Palestinians are likely to believe that the IDF and the political leadership of Israel would have any qualms about brutally suppressing any nonviolent resistance with as many deaths as they deemed necessary?

Fifth, how likely is it that Palestinian nonviolent resistance will make a lot of headlines worldwide? If it bleeds, it leads, folks.

Nonviolent resistance worked in India (although it's somewhat debatable whether it was the only factor--there was violent resistance as well) because the Indians were such a massive majority, they were not physically fenced in much, and the British use for India was primarily commercial, so putting a spanner in the wheels of commerce was effective.
Most other successful nonviolent resistances have been by majorities against dictatorial regimes with little popular support, where the military and police are of the same ethnicity as the resistance. Beyond a certain point of clear illegitimacy and lack of popular support, the military rank and file sometimes stop being willing to kill their own people for a dictator and step aside. If enough people just cease to obey, a polity stops functioning.

But Palestine is not part of the Israeli polity--or, really, any polity at all at this point. Israel doesn't provide a state to obey or not, and its base of support isn't with the Palestinian people. On the other hand, the Palestinian people don't massively outnumber the Israelis, and Israel's reasons for colonizing go beyond the commercial. There is nothing Palestinians can do to put much of a spanner in the works, because nothing works in the occupied territories already and Israel doesn't care--indeed, Israel worked hard to make it that way.

I'm a fan of nonviolent resistance. There have been places where it's worked well, and there hopefully will be more in the future. But I don't see it doing anything in Palestine.


From: Caithnard College | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
No Yards
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posted 26 March 2004 07:01 PM      Profile for No Yards   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by o:
Ya sanctions would be great! Then all the lefties can hit the streets to protest the evils of sanctions like they did with Iraq!..not holding my breath.

That's why I said "South African Style", not "Iraqi Style".


From: Defending traditional marriage since June 28, 2005 | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
Rufus Polson
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posted 27 March 2004 02:40 PM      Profile for Rufus Polson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
You know, I've been thinking, and I'm beginning to think there are some possibilities for nonviolent resistance after all. But you'd need to do it smart.
First, you'd have to have a serious media plan. You would need reporters on the scene (and I'll get back to the details of that in a moment) and you would need a plan for how to get what those reporters produced out to the world. I would suggest a two-tier strategy where first you pass on video and articles to all the independent sites, then go to more mainstream media and say "This is all over the internet media and blogs, do you want the footage or do you want to miss the story?"
The reporters should if possible include at least two with cameras, one obvious and one hidden. The obvious one should watch the IDF troops and be ready to discreetly swap out his film (or whatever) and hand it to a runner when he sees them approach to shut him down and take his film. He should swap in another to film their approach and dialogue--they *might* not take his film, and anyway being still filming may help misdirect them into missing that most of the film is safe.

After they've escorted him elsewhere, the IDF will then do what they do when they don't think there are reporters around; this will get caught by the hidden camera.

As to the specifics of nonviolent resistance, I see three basic targets off the top of my head.

First, settlements. Blockade en masse the road/s from a settlement. Make clear that there will be no violence, the settlers can *walk* in and out, but that they aren't going to be driving to and from work and they aren't getting in shipments of coca-cola or whatever. Have large numbers, chain people together across the road and chain them to local walls, fences etc.; make them hard to remove. Go on hunger strike, perhaps. Make it clear that the settlement is illegitimate by international law and should not be there.

Second, checkpoints. If Palestinians can get a big enough crowd, just have it go en masse through checkpoints, basically saying to the IDF that their checkpoint is on Palestinian land, it is illegitimate, and they will have to kill everyone there to stop them from walking freely through their own land.

Third, Israeli-only roads. Again, occupy them en masse, simultaneously travelling on them and blocking them off for Israeli travel. Point out vigorously all the things these roads are accomplishing in terms of splitting Palestinian territory into tiny pieces. Point out that, once again, this is Palestinian land and a road on Palestinian land must be for Palestinians to use.

All these things, if anyone paid attention, would bring core features of the Israeli occupation back into debate, rather than focussing attention only on the worst atrocities and normalizing everything else as tends to be the case these days.


From: Caithnard College | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Rufus Polson
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posted 29 March 2004 01:46 PM      Profile for Rufus Polson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I'm disappointed this thread seems to have petered out so quickly; workable or not, non-violent resistance is the major potential alternative to, well, violent resistance.

Doesn't anyone have any opinions, potential tactics, notions of how workable mass scale organization might be, etc.?


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Michelle
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posted 29 March 2004 05:05 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Rufus Polson:
First, every time Palestinians stop killing, Sharon accelerates it until someone reacts. In the absence of strong centralized control, something Israel stamps out every time they see signs of it, there's no way to stop splinter groups from responding to provocations; there will always be someone who isn't on side.

This is something that has continually frustrated me. And it infuriates me when apologists for Israel point to these splinter groups as the reason why Sharon has to keep pushing and pushing.

I still firmly believe that it's because Sharon LIKES terrorism, and he LIKES it when there are suicide bombings, because it's just more votes in his slimy, murderous little pocket by a scared populace. Ending violence is not in Sharon's best interests, which is why it doesn't interest him in the slightest.

[ 29 March 2004: Message edited by: Michelle ]


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
josh
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posted 29 March 2004 05:12 PM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Rufus Polson:
I'm disappointed this thread seems to have petered out so quickly; workable or not, non-violent resistance is the major potential alternative to, well, violent resistance.

Doesn't anyone have any opinions, potential tactics, notions of how workable mass scale organization might be, etc.?



I believe massive non-violent resistance will work because it would grab the attention, and the imagination, of American TV (save for Faux). The ensuing sympathy would put pressure on the American government to, in turn, put pressure on Israel. The only thing Israel fears is a change in the attitude of Americans and the American government. As long as some Palestinians insist on using suicide bombing that will not happen.

As for tactics, I would suggest mass marches, with the includision of sympathetic Israelis. Mass attempts to, say, break through the wall, or march on an illegal west bank settlement. Even hunger strikes. I am convinced these will change the dynamic, at least in the U.S. in relatively short order.


From: the twilight zone between the U.S. and Canada | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 29 March 2004 05:17 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I agree with josh.

However, what do you do about the fact that not everyone will be onside, and there will be splinter groups who still carry out suicide bombings? You know that if there's a massive peaceful protest by the majority, and then there is a suicide bombing, Sharon will put all the focus on the bombing, and so will international media, and he'll make it look like all Palestinians support it.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 29 March 2004 05:25 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
As for tactics, I would suggest mass marches, with the includision of sympathetic Israelis.

I keep imagining Palestinians demonstrating by marching silently through their streets, and stopping upon being confronted by the snipers and tanks of the Israeli Occupation Forces.

As they remain there, calm and silent, every marcher removes his or her clothing to stand naked before the guns of the occupation.

If this image were to be broadcast in the USA, the occupation would end in six months.


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Michelle
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posted 29 March 2004 05:41 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
That would be awe-inspiring. However...I don't know if the naked part would be acceptable culturally. I mean, getting a bunch of people to do it even HERE, in the land of hip-huggers and halter tops would be difficult.
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 29 March 2004 05:57 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Even more to the point: would the splinter groups go for it? If not, keep your clothes on.
From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
greatdebate
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posted 29 March 2004 06:07 PM      Profile for greatdebate     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The polls in Israel consistently say that about 80% of Israelis want to pull out of occupied territories, in return for peace based on a two state solution (Palestine which would be predominantly Palestinian, and Israel which would be predominantly Jewish). However, they are unwilling to withdraw if it will merely be a stepping stone to Palestinian or Islamic irredentism. And unfortunately a very large percentage of Palestinians both of the fundamentalist and secular varieties, cannot bring themselves to agree that Jews have rights of national self determination anywhere in their historic homeland.
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Coyote
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posted 29 March 2004 06:21 PM      Profile for Coyote   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
It has to start somewhere. No matter how justified under international law or morality we might find the right to resist (always excluding, of course, the targetting of civilians) the simple fact is that armed resistance is getting the Palestinians absolutely nowhere. I am no pacifist, but one of the reasons I joined with the ISM in going to the West Bank was because I saw a desperate need to help build an international, non-violent resistance to the Occupation.

People must understand that giving up armed resistance is not giving up on resistance. A few suggestions from this end:

1. The PA must resign, either voluntarily or under pressure. It has served for far too long as a fig-leaf to the occupation. As long as they have formal sovereignty of any sort, the international media and Israel will be able to point to their inability to stop terrorist attacks. It is time to reconstitute as the PLO, and provide a secular alternative to islamic militarism.

2. Non-cooperation must become the order of the day. Refusal to obey closures, curfews, and check-points must be organized and massive . . .and overall non-violent. Violent elements seeking to exploit this dynamic must be ostracized.

3. Israeli and international peace groups must publicize and publicly endorse all non-violent resistance. They must participate as much as possible in these actions, and begin their own making it clear that these actions are in conjunction with the Palestinian initiative.

4. Continued violence on the part of the IOF and Palestinian militant groups must not deter non-violent actions.

A few suggestions from a simple S'katch'n boy.


From: O’ for a good life, we just might have to weaken. | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged

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