How the Israeli Soldiers can stop the Palestinian Non-violence Resistance ?

Hard question to answer…. actually it is harder question to ask!!
Israel has made three ideas fundamentaly difficult to achieve: Use of Nonviolence, Peace and Coexistence.
In Palestine, we were taught how to be nice to people and how to respect human beings. I was taught every thing is possible and that we can make the impossible, possible. While I was child I heared of people talking about peace and coexistence with Israel. Many groups of people tried to achieve it, but I am convinced that Israel is the reason peace has not been accomplished. Israel has not acted like a willing partner in this struggle for peace.
Holy Land Trust organizes weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the Israeli Occupation and building of the apartheid wall over Palestinian land and farms. Since January  2007, Holy Land Trust has organized this event, but I can’t remember, even for one time, that Israel used a nonviolent way to stop us! The armed soldiers, it seems, are always ready to shoot, or use wooden sticks and tear gas.
I have participated in the nonviolence resistance since I started working with Holy Land Trust in March of 2007. I am very happy to see my People (the Palestinians), with the help of some internationals and Israeli peacemakers, to join the nonviolent resistance against the occupation. The number of the participants are increasing, and the idea of resistance against the occupier in a nonviolent way is becoming steadily popular among the society. But the question still lurks: How are the Israeli soldiers supporting these actions? What is their opinion toward the Palestinian nonviolent resistance?
To answer this question I need to begin in 1948, when Israel occupied Palestine. Israel used military tactics to defeat all kinds of Palestinian action against the occupation. Since Palestine is not a armed country and does not have equal power with Israeli, Palestinians had very few ways to defeat the Israeli occupation and gain back their rights and lands. Personally, I have experienced the Israeli violence against Palestinians in the first Intifada when the Palestinians threw stones at Israeli soldiers. Many people were killed in this period, but now we live in a new period. In this new period Palestine is trying a new resistance against Israel, the nonviolent resistance.
Even non-violence does not stop Israel from using violent measures agaisnt our peaceful resistance. On Friday, January 25, 2007, I joined the weekly demonstration in Al-Khader village, on the western side of Bethlehem. Demonstrators called to end the Siege of Gaza and to create one land living in Peace. The event proceded when the Muslim population had their Friday prayer. After, we walked towards the Israeli segragation wall, calling, ”End the Siege of Gaza” and “Free Palestine”. The Israeli soldiers prevented us to cross to the main road to protest, so we had to start moving back to leave. As we were leaving the tear gas started going off. one of the bombs landed right in front of me. I couldn’t breathe and I was running away while my eyes were shut due to the tear gas. I sat on the sidewalk, eyes bloodshot, for 15 minutes trying to breathe fresh air, I felt like I was dying.
Typicaly, this is the method Israel uses to stop us. Our calls for peace is something dangerous for Israel. I am going insane because I don’t understand what we should do to end the Israeli Palestinian Conflict. I feel defeated by them. While reflecting on the previous methods of resistance by Palestinians, I conclude; throwing stones did not work and suicide bombs defiently did not work. In this new time period we must use the nonviolence method, but even that seems aggressive to the Israeli occupiers. I feel they don’t want us to be peaceful, but I believe that if peace is going to prevail, nonviolence is the only way we can solve our problems.

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Hi Elias,

If you really want to know how to end the Israeli Palestinian conflict, I suggest you meet with Israelis and ask them what they want. It would be best if you could meet with average Israelis (not those who come to Palestine to protest) so you can have an idea of what Israelis think, feel and want. You don’t have to agree, you should just listen.

I could easily take what you wrote and replace “Palestinian” with “Israeli”- most Israelis feel that Palestinians are completely at fault for the conflict. Each side sees itself as the angel and the other as the devil. It is the nature of conflict- we judge ourselves by our intentions, we judge others by their actions.

If I had one wish, it would be that we would actually listen to each other. Because once we understand what each side believes, feels, wants, we can find the solutions together. Until that happens, I don’t see how this conflict will end.
Elias: How do you feel about what Corey wrote?

How do others here feel about what Corey and Elias wrote?

-- PmR
Yes, I totlay agree with Corey, I totlay support meeting Palestinian and Israeli together, but these meeting should be build upon HUman rights and Justice, i will never accept some one who deny the truth and facts.
In Palestine we do Non Violence Protest against Occupation and Wall, this is kind of messege to the ISraeli Side that there are many people live in the other side of the Wall who want peace, and these people could not reach and talk to you becasue of the Wall and checkpoints. But unfortunatly the Israeli soldieres do not let us go with this protest even we are silent and holding eachother's Hand.
If ISrael shows real faith to start real meeting with Palestinain, this will happned, We need 2 governments (Israel and Palestinians) who decide to not talk about borders but tlak about Country with 2 nations where they can meet and talk freely.
I hope you got my opinion clearly
Hi Elias,

Thanks for your reply. I agree with you that Palestinians must have their human rights restored and we must find just solutions together. I would like to point out two things to you:

1. There is an implicit view with Palestinians that the ball is in Israel’s court because Israel has all the power so Israel has to make the changes. Israelis see it the opposite- the Palestinians have to stop the violence first and then changes can be made. You can argue who should move first until the end of time but that will never change that each side is waiting for the other to do something therefore no one will do anything. I believe that it is up to us, the average Israelis and Palestinians to stop the cycle of violence through any way possible.

2. Viewing the conflict as one of human rights and justice works for the Palestinians but not for the Israelis. It sounds like a code for another way to throw us in the sea (we are a very paranoid people :-)). When I hear justice, I think of the right of return. When I think of the right of return, I think of the end of my country. I may be wrong but that is what most Israelis would feel. So if you are going to approach it this way with Israelis, be specific- what does human rights mean? What does justice mean? Most Israelis want Palestinians to have human right. Most Israelis want to find solutions to the refugees. In my opinion, Palestinians need to speak in specifics of what they want. It doesn’t mean you will get everything you want but at least you will know what Israelis think about the issues. From there we can find solutions that work for all of us.

All the best,
One thing that is important to remember is that the aggressive reaction of the Israeli forces is actually desirable and will increase in proportion to the effectiveness of your non-violent resistance. The more uncomfortable you make the Israelis, the stronger their response will be; and there isn’t much that is more uncomfortable than being confronted by one's dark side.

The last thing you want is for them to ignore you. But you must also be completely committed to non-violence, and be prepared for all consequences. During the civil rights movement in the United States Martin Luther King and his supporters stressed strict discipline amongst the demonstrators. Before each action they rehearsed every possible reaction they might encounter – even having cigarettes put out in their hair.

In contrast, I have a video that shows some of the protests at Bil’in, and I have to say that what I see in that video pushes the boundaries of non-violence. Throwing rocks and bottles, and yelling at the soldiers are not non-violent actions. Your audience is not the Israeli soldier – it is the international community (and the US in particular); and it is exactly the disproportional response that you speak of that will eventually get their attention.

The real challenge is, how can you get through our tightly controlled media? That is where Siraj, and other organizations like it, do a have an important impact - by bringing internationals to Palestine to witness the reality of occupation. Every opportunity I have, I tell people the stories that I brought back from Palestine. I have even had some small successes getting the story in my local newspapers. It is a small thing – but we keep trying. You know this is having an effect because the Israelis are making it increasingly difficult for internationals connected to such organizations to return.

I know it is easy for me, from the comfort of my living room, to tell you to not lose hope; and much harder for someone living your reality to believe there is a reason to be hopeful. But without hope, we have nothing.

Be Well,
Dear friends,

I know we all want a change in the situation, I guess we all feel stuck as the change we see is in Israely armed tactics and Palestinians violent and non violent actions. above all of that we know that agreements like Oslo acourd, with all their good will failed to address the real needs of the palestinians hence failed to work for us. being "non-violent" play sometime to the hand of the violent so our highest resposibility is to be wise in the way we creat our future relationship.

I guess that we all can recognize that in each society we have power components that do not accept the same trouths about the historic naarative of 48 and the arab-jewish history. some extreem plan a jihad and stricet Muslim rule, other extreem plan a jewish-only state with historic borders of 5,000 years ago. and we all stuck in the middle hope to set condition for peace.

I want to question one of the assumption that we need to get justice and the one true story to win in order to get out of this bloody dance between our people. I think this is one of our traps.

Justice is not a solution, it is an outcome of relationship. a non-violent relationship between us will not bring back the deads and the property. so instead of projecting justice to the past, lets preject justic to the future. lets seek a new understanding where the importance of the good life condition of all the children of this region will be secure. some of the people will get money support but all the people will get condition to develope a good life.

while we continue to blame the palestinion as terrorists, or the israelies as violent (state-terrorist) we may be logically justifyed but we will fail to creat a future together where we all can share .

I cannot stop being categorized as Israeli, so my word may be interperted as i ignore the past and suffering of the palestinians. but my words come from my human core where I seek to take responsibility for no not suffering for humans here. and responsibility I can take for the future not for the past.

lets get out from the Blame game, lets kick asses of the violent people among us and let create new bonding that will manifest justice and non-violent habitat for our children.
I share this artcile from today, March 5, 2008 The Guardian UK:
To blame the victims for this killing spree defies both morality and sense
Washington's covert attempts to overturn an election result lie behind the crisis in Gaza, as leaked papers show
Seumas Milne The Guardian, Wednesday March 5 2008 Article history
About this articleClose This article appeared in the Guardian on Wednesday March 05 2008 on p33 of the Comment & debate section. It was last updated at 00:06 on March 05 2008. The attempt by western politicians and media to present this week's carnage in the Gaza Strip as a legitimate act of Israeli self-defence - or at best the latest phase of a wearisome conflict between two somehow equivalent sides - has reached Alice-in-Wonderland proportions. Since Israel's deputy defence minister, Matan Vilnai, issued his chilling warning last week that Palestinians faced a "holocaust" if they continued to fire home-made rockets into Israel, the balance sheet of suffering has become ever clearer. More than 120 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza by Israeli forces in the past week, of whom one in five were children and more than half were civilians, according to the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem. During the same period, three Israelis were killed, two of whom were soldiers taking part in the attacks.

So what was the response of the British foreign secretary, David Miliband, to this horrific killing spree? It was to blame the "numerous civilian casualties" on the week's "significant rise" in Palestinian rocket attacks "and the Israeli response", condemn the firing of rockets as "terrorist acts" and defend Israel's right to self-defence "in accordance with international law". But of course it has been nothing of the kind - any more than has been Israel's 40-year occupation of the Palestinian territories, its continued expansion of settlements or its refusal to allow the return of expelled refugees.

Nor is the past week's one-sided burden of casualties and misery anything new, but the gap is certainly getting wider. After the election of Hamas two years ago, Israel - backed by the US and the European Union - imposed a punitive economic blockade, which has hardened over the past months into a full-scale siege of the Gaza Strip, including fuel, electricity and essential supplies. Since January's mass breakout across the Egyptian border signalled that collective punishment wouldn't work, Israel has opted for military escalation. What that means on the ground can be seen from the fact that at the height of the intifada, from 2000 to 2005, four Palestinians were killed for every Israeli; in 2006 it was 30; last year the ratio was 40 to one. In the three months since the US-sponsored Middle East peace conference at Annapolis, 323 Palestinians have been killed compared with seven Israelis, two of whom were civilians.

But the US and Europe's response is to blame the principal victims for a crisis it has underwritten at every stage. In interviews with Palestinian leaders over the past few days, BBC presenters have insisted that Palestinian rockets have been the "starting point" of the violence, as if the occupation itself did not exist. In the West Bank, from which no rockets are currently fired and where the US-backed administration of Mahmoud Abbas maintains a ceasefire, there have been 480 Israeli military attacks over the past three months and 26 Palestinians killed. By contrast, the rockets from Gaza which are supposed to be the justification for the latest Israeli onslaught have killed a total of 14 people over seven years.

Like any other people, the Palestinians have the right to resist occupation - or to self-defence - whether they choose to exercise it or not. In spite of Israel's disengagement in 2005, Gaza remains occupied territory, both legally and in reality. It is the world's largest open-air prison, with land, sea and air access controlled by Israel, which carries out military operations at will. Palestinians may differ about the tactics of resistance, but the dominant view (if not that of Abbas) has long been that without some armed pressure, their negotiating hand will inevitably be weaker. And while it might be objected that the rockets are indiscriminate, that is not an easy argument for Israel to make, given its appalling record of civilian casualties in both the Palestinian territories and Lebanon.

The truth is that Hamas's control of Gaza is the direct result of the US refusal to accept the Palestinians' democratic choice in 2006 and its covert attempt to overthrow the elected administration by force through its Fatah placeman Muhammad Dahlan. As confirmed by secret documents leaked to the US magazine Vanity Fair - and also passed to the Guardian - George Bush, Condoleezza Rice and Elliott Abrams, the US deputy national security adviser (of Iran-Contra fame), funnelled cash, weapons and instructions to Dahlan, partly through Arab intermediaries such as Jordan and Egypt, in an effort to provoke a Palestinian civil war. As evidence of the military buildup emerged, Hamas moved to forestall the US plan with its own takeover of Gaza last June. David Wurmser, who resigned as Dick Cheney's chief Middle East adviser the following month, argues: "What happened wasn't so much a coup by Hamas but an attempted coup by Fatah that was pre-empted before it could happen."

Yesterday, Rice attempted to defend the failed US attempt to reverse the results of the Palestinian elections by pointing to Iran's support for Hamas. Meanwhile, Israel's attacks on Gaza are expected to resume once she has left the region, even if no one believes they will stop the rockets. Some in the Israeli government hope that they can nevertheless weaken Hamas as a prelude to pushing Gaza into Egypt's unwilling arms; others hope to bring Abbas and his entourage back to Gaza after they have crushed Hamas, perhaps with a transitional international force to save the Palestinian president's face.

Neither looks a serious option, not least because Hamas cannot be crushed by force, even with the bloodbath that some envisage. The third, commonsense option, backed by 64% of Israelis, is to take up Hamas's offer - repeated by its leader Khalid Mish'al at the weekend - and negotiate a truce. It's a move that now attracts not only left-leaning Israeli politicians such as Yossi Beilin, but also a growing number of rightwing establishment figures, including Ariel Sharon's former security adviser Giora Eiland, the former Mossad boss Efraim Halevy, and the ex-defence minister Shaul Mofaz.

The US, however, is resolutely opposed to negotiating with what it has long branded a terrorist organisation - or allowing anyone else to do so, including other Palestinians. As the leaked American papers confirm, Rice effectively instructed Abbas to "collapse" the joint Hamas-Fatah national unity government agreed in Mecca early last year, a decision carried out after Hamas's pre-emptive takeover. But for the Palestinians, national unity is an absolute necessity if they are to have any chance of escaping a world of walled cantons, checkpoints, ethnically segregated roads, dispossession and humiliation.

What else can Israel do to stop the rockets, its supporters ask. The answer could not be more obvious: end the illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories and negotiate a just settlement for the Palestinian refugees, ethnically cleansed 60 years ago - who, with their families, make up the majority of Gaza's 1.5 million people. All the Palestinian factions, including Hamas, accept that as the basis for a permanent settlement or indefinite end of armed conflict. In the meantime, agree a truce, exchange prisoners and lift the blockade. Israelis increasingly seem to get it - but the grim reality appears to be that a lot more blood is going to have to flow before it's accepted in Washington.
Seumas Milne
Hi Max,

This is a seductively simple article. I trust that we all agree that unfortunately the Palestinians were, are, will not be the only refugees in this imperfect world of ours.

For now I'll just ask three related questions:

1) Is the the case of and for the Palestinian refugees generally any different from any other refugees the world has seen? If so, in what way?

2) Are the 600,000 to 800,000 contemporary and related Jewish refugees from Arab lands relevant in any way? If so, in what way?

3) Are the Jews who were 60 years ago massacred in or expelled from the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza relevant in any way? If so, in what way?

There have been hudnas before. The have not really worked. For now let's not discuss those because that just simply starts another blame game round.

For now, I'll just say that Seumas Milne's article, in my view, is seductively simple and simplistic.

What do others here think?

Be well...
Paul R
David Hirsh had a discussion with Milne you can read here. (To me, though, Hirsh is too willing to concede dubious points in order to emphasize other issues.) The best, though, is from Norm Geras. Milne writes:
And while it might be objected that the rockets are indiscriminate, that is not an easy argument for Israel to make, given its appalling record of civilian casualties in both the Palestinian territories and Lebanon.
Geras responds:
That, says Seamus, 'is not an easy argument for Israel to make'. Did I miss something or is Seumas Milne an Israeli? I didn't think so. He could therefore say that the right of resistance to occupation doesn't include a right to chuck missiles at Sderot and Ashkelon. But it seems not to be the trend of his thought.
Milne, as Geras so deftly points out, is being partisan and prosecutorial, not even handed. Milne, of course, ought to condemn the rocket attacks, but he uses a cheap rhetorical trick to sidestep the matter.
First of all I am so impressed with the non violant discussions here - that's so refreshing.
I want to add that each side is right. we all have suffered violance, war, pain. It is obvious that each side thinks the other side started first, and that the other side does not want peace. First of all it's good to have some diffrerent information than we have in the media it is so important. And second I strongly advise people to look to the future. This is the situation we will not solve it by blaming each other, and deciding if history is right or wrong. I suggest living in the now. Creating new ways of communiting new ways of cooperating. Look at Ireland their prime minister put the past behind and built a prosperous country. I suggest looking ahead and seeing what can be done now instead of looking back and blaming the history because history is never the reality it is always told by people who have their own views there for it cannot be relied upon we can only rely on what we see now and we can go ahead from what we have. That's why I joined this community.

Hi Michal,
Regards to Beersheva.
(Did you go to Mizpe Ramon to see the snow there?)
I agree that we must focus on the future, but as Santayana wrote,
he who forgets the past is condemned to repeat it.
So we can only effectively focus on the future by keeping one
eye squarely on the past.
The way forward is for both the Israeli and Palestinian authorities to
commit themselves to a coherent, rational plan for promoting and defending
the Human Rights of all their citizens.
Anything less will not lead to real peaceful coexistence.
Wouldn't you agree?

My definition of Zionism: "Zion BaMishpat Tipadeh, ViShavehah BiTzedakah."

That goes for everyone.

Shalom Rav,
Hi Yigal,
Didnt see the snow ... missed it as a former Jerusalem resident I am familair ... :-)
I agree with you that both sides should commit to preserving human rights. I am not saying we should forget the past but there is a tendency on both sides to blame each other and "you started no you did, it's your fault..." and I see it everywhere in my surroundings. So my suggestion is to think of ways to do things together - establish more economic relations, teach as much as we can tolerance and compassion for the other side. I am not taking sides, I am saying it is always more effective to look at the future and see what we can be done regardless of the rough circumstances. If we dwell on those circumstances and talk about who did what to who we will not go forward. I am not interested in politics I am interested in people and seeing them prosper no matter how the circumstances go.




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