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View Diary: Gaza: There will be a ceasefire soon. (105 comments)

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  •  The other question is: (14+ / 0-)

    Can Israel complete its military objectives?

    And your second paragraph is just as vailid for Israelis.

    Why did you only call on Palestinians to be non-violent?

    The world is bad enough as it is, you have no right to make it any worse.
    Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

    by InAntalya on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 03:49:48 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Non-violence is more likely to work (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aseth, brooklynbadboy, Zornorph, aimeehs

      The first Intifidah achieved quite a bit, and did so because it emphasized local organizing, and yes, they used non-violent techniques to resist the occupation and to deal with the Israeli army.

      The 2nd Intifidah achieved nothing, since too many people, particularly from Hamas, decided to compete with the IDF as to how many civilians they could kill.  By this criterion, they did pretty well:  I believe they took 1 Jewish life for every 3 Arabs that died at the hand of the IDF.  Such victory.  But what did that macabre dick comparison contest do for anybody:

      • The Israelis built their border walls, and hermetically sealed their economy off from that of Palestine.  It turns out that they can live very well w/o employing people from the West Bank or Gaza.
      • While the Israelis did indeed withdraw Jewish settlers from Gaza, what infrastructure was left behind was destroyed, and not by the Israelis.
      • The Israeli economy prospered, and the Palestinians of under rule of Hamas and the Palestinian Authority have not.

      There are certainly Palestinians who understand how non-violent resistance works, and yes, the idea that it will be tried on a large scale scares the hell out  of a lot of Israelis.  They have certainly done what they could to harass, intimidate or exile anyone who's tried it.  And yes, people have died in non-violent actions. But what's been fatal to non-violence as a tactic is the lack of support from much of the Palestinian leadership, particularly on the Islamist side.  They can be as likely to harass, intimidate, or otherwise eliminate non-violent leaders.  

      And while some non-violent activists have been Christian (for example, Mubarak Awad), there is no reason why a philosophy of non-violent resistance could be built on an Islamic foundation, similar to what Badshah Khan did in pre-indepence India and Pakistan, or that is now being done to oppose the use of drones in Pakistan.  

      Some of this now happens now.  But non-violent resistance isn't just about engaging with your enemy -- you must engage your own leadership as well.  If the main tactic used by a leadership is violent (as Hamas has elected to do), non-violent resistance of the Israelis can and does make you defender not only of your own side -- it makes you the defender of violent groups on your own side.  I've seen cases of non-violent activists engaging IDF troops who are actively dealing with a sniper is stupid non-violence.  It puts the Israeli soldiers at risk of their lives.  People who are afraid of getting shot aren't going to be focused on the quality of your non-violence.  They will look at you as a human shield for the sniper.  And you know:  they'll be right about that too.  Some of the same thing can be said about the blockade runs.  The rockets now firing out into Israel were brought past that blockade.  While I think anti-blockade activism makes some sense, its relative lack of effectiveness relates to exactly this problem.  If you are serious about non-violence, you need to resist not only the Israeli Navy's blocking of civilian cargo.  You also need to resist the import of offensive munitions into Gaza.  Being a human shield for violent action, even if unintentionally, is not non-violence.

      This is not easy, it is not quick, and it involves real risks of imprisonment, exile, and death.  But anybody who seriously thinks that the Jews aren't better established now that they were 60 years ago just isn't paying attention.  Violence of the kind used by Hamas worked to publicity and draw attention to the Palestinian cause in the 1970s and 1980s.  But since then, it has been a sterile, bloody, and immoral disaster that the Israelis have learned to effectively combat and live with in the long run.  Unless killing Jews is in itself a virtue, why do it?

      Hamas is taking Palestinians down a rat hole with no light, no hope and no exit.  The Israeli public is sick to death of it as well, and if you can deal with their fear for themselves and their own families, you can get them to confront the morality of their behavior, and to start valuing the safety and prosperity of their Palestinian neighbors as they currently do not.

      Ultimately, both the use of violence and of non-violence in asymmetric warfare is a sort of theater, where both the act and the audience matter.  Using non-violence, Palestinians can engage the only audience that will matter for getting the conflict unstuck:  ordinary Israelis who much change what they do and think.  Outrage at Israel has very limited effect on what the Israelis do.  Outrage of Israelis at their own government can change everything.  Non-violence gives you a path to that.  Hamas' brand of armed resistance is just the last 80 years of conflict warmed over.  It won't reach or influence the people you need to reach.

      To be on the wrong side of Dick Cheney is to be on the right side of history.

      by mbayrob on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 04:50:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Becwuse Israel can accomplish its goals (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Zornorph, petral

      with violence, obviously. The Palestinians cant.

    •  Does Israel even know (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      poco, Lepanto

      what it's military objectives are?  I must say I really think not.

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