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Read dozens of quotes on nonviolence from Palestinian and Israeli visionaries profiled by Just Vision.

http://www.justvision.org/en/search/thematic/results/taxonomy%3A1211


Itamar Shapira

Combatants for Peace

...We view the Palestinians and ourselves as having fought for useless
things. We struggle for security but simultaneously prevent it; they
are struggling for a state but the suicide attacks prevent that; we are
in transition to a state of refraining from violence. We don't use the
term terrorist in our group anymore; we talk about people who took part
in the violent struggle.


Walid Salem

Panorama

Nonviolence sends a message to the dominant powers in the world that our struggle is a popular one. It calls for the end of occupation. It is not a
terrorist struggle that aims to destroy the Jews and that is a threat
to the stability of the region, as we are accused. Even the Arab
countries are afraid of us and view us as a threat to the stability of
the region. Our message is peace and a combination of joint meetings,
the attempt to reach the Israeli street and the development of
nonviolent activities as a substitute for the concept of violence.


Yitzhak Frankenthal

The Arik Institute for Reconciliation, Tolerance and Peace
I cannot accept that they [the Palestinians] are killing kids and women,
and I cannot accept that they are using force or terrorism against the
Israelis. They murdered my son and I cannot support them, but I do
understand the roots of the hatred. I understand where it comes from
but I think they [the Palestinians] are making a terrible mistake. I
think they would achieve much more if they wouldn’t use violence
against the Israelis. Terrorist attacks don’t push me towards despair,
not at all. It causes me pain because we are suffering from it, but I
know that they are also paying a very high price. Thousands of
Palestinians have been killed by Israelis, and we don’t care, "It’s
okay, it’s only a Palestinian." But that’s exactly what they are
saying, "It’s okay, it’s only an Israeli."


Ibtisam Mahameed
Interfaith Encounter Association, Middleway
How can I live in peace with myself while there is a conflict going on outside? You might think I am crazy. I think that through dialogue and
understanding my own situation I can build peace within myself. If
everyone builds peace within himself, then we will build a society with
new principles that are far from power and control. I can't stop the
arms dealers from selling arms in the Middle East and making billions
of dollars at the expense of innocent people that are killed on the
street. Can I control the arms dealers? Of course not. The question is
do I have control over myself.



David Lisbona
Middleway, Gisha, The People's Voice
After what happened in the Jenin refugee camp in April 2002, when the Israeli Army moved in, there was a terrible battle between the local guerilla
fighters and the Israeli Army. There were 23 Israeli soldiers killed
and I think 50 or 60 Palestinians killed. That operation left a very
bitter scar in the memories of people on both sides. And we really
liked this idea, this dream of doing a peace walk in the Jenin camp,
with such difficult and bitter memories for people on both sides.


Sara Karajeh
Bereaved Families Forum
Each stage of resistance to the occupation has its own ideas and requirements. The occupation must be resisted. If Israelis who have
lost their sons, daughters or wives in Palestinian martyr operations
say they are resisting the occupation and want to stop it because it is
the reason for their tragedies, then how can we, as Palestinians who
have suffered so much under the occupation, not resist as well? This is
a kind of resistance to the occupation, but we consider it a peaceful
struggle that is carried out in a nonviolent way.


Nur El Deen Shehada
Combatants for Peace, Middle East Nonviolence and Democracy (MEND)
I think the nonviolent choice is much harder than an armed struggle. It is much easier to pick up an M16. After I adopted nonviolence I was the
subject of a strong attack in Tulkarm. A leaflet was handed out saying,
“Look how the greatest fighter in town has turned into a surrendering
coward.” It was hard for them to accept, but this has changed and now
after four or five years almost 500 volunteers successfully work with
me on nonviolent issues.



Ibrahim Issa
Hope Flowers School
[My father] worked with refugees at the United Nations Relief Work Agency for the Palestinians, and during his work with the UNRWA he recognized
the suffering of Palestinian children and their need for a safe
environment, and also the need to protect these children from being
involved in violence which would lead to more suffering. So being a
nonviolent activist for him was also about dealing with these children,
teaching people to educate their children to live their lives in
peaceful ways.




Dr. Khuloud Dajani
People's Campaign for Peace and Democracy
The mutual violence rose out of the fear that peace agreements would not succeed, especially after the failure of Camp David, Taba negotiations
and the return of Israel's practices of oppression, killing,
confiscation of land, checkpoints, etc… Palestinians responded to the
oppression in order to defend themselves. One way of defending
themselves was by carrying out martyrdom operations. At a certain
point, we needed the parties who carry out such operations to think
twice about the operations that target Israeli citizens. Despite the
fact that we are living in a period of conflict, we should let our
plight be known through the media on the international level and find
an Arabic, Palestinian, and even Islamic spokespeople who could reflect
the truth about us; the truth that we are not for the killing and
targeting of civilians.



Kobi Snitz
Anarchists Against the Wall
A commitment to nonviolence is not necessarily a religious one. It does
not have to be total; it could be up to a point, such as up to a
certain number of casualties. So to answer your question, I do consider
a demonstration to be nonviolent even if some of the participants are
not above being provoked. As far as the demonstrations in Palestine,
the youth who respond with stones are not exactly part of the
demonstration. They have their own tactics, which they pursue mostly
separately from the rest of the demonstration, and even the army sort
of understands that distinction.


Ibtisam Mahameed
Interfaith Encounter Association, Middleway
Gandhi freed India not through killing and violence but through spirituality.
The idea for [my organization] the Golden Road is that we both walk
this road together and recognize that there is room in this land for
both the Palestinians and Israelis, to widen our hearts and live
together without killing each other.


Kobi Snitz
Anarchists Against the Wall
Just about everywhere, the organizing committees-- especially when they invite us-- have made a commitment to nonviolent demonstrations, which
means that they march, and typically what we do is try to get to a work
site and sit in front of a bulldozer to try to prevent the
construction. Now, this commitment to nonviolence does not include
policing the youth to the point that they won't respond to army
provocations. They are not committed to being an extension of the
police who are going to chase them [the youth] and prevent them from
responding to army provocation. They do typically urge the youth not to
throw stones and not to place themselves at risk that way and not to
respond to army provocation.


David Lisbona
Middleway, Gisha, The People's Voice
I think only in the current situation the army, or parts of the army, has realized that this is not a war that can be won by conventional means,
by any force of weapons. So the army is beginning to be prepared to
listen and observe - with some puzzlement I would say - when groups of
civilians want to go in and try and achieve some results which the
army, with all its resources and power cannot achieve.


Robi Damelin
Parents Circle - Bereaved Families Forum
I remember when Nelson Mandela came out of prison and he was speaking in a stadium. These people were standing there with sticks, to get
revenge. He said, "take your sticks and throw them in the river,
because that's not the path we're going to take." Pragmatically, he
understood that the best thing for the South African people, for his
people, would be to take a nonviolent path.



Ayed Morrar
Community Organizer, Budrus
The Israelis are very creative in using their destructive weapons. They
have one of the most advanced weapon arsenals in the world. They have
the best and most advanced warplanes and tanks and they excel in
putting them to use, but we can cripple these weapons by adopting a
nonviolent agenda


Sami Awad
Holy Land Trust
My opinion, which may be seen as a bit philosophical, is that it is the
other side’s interpretation, and not my own, which determines whether
an act is judged as violent or non-violent. If an Israeli soldier
considers a stone thrown at him a reason to use violence to defend
himself because he felt he was in danger, or if he finds an excuse to
use violence to defend himself against violence that doesn’t
necessarily exist, we have lost the struggle. I stress that this is my
personal and philosophical opinion.




Ayed Morrar
Community Organizer, Budrus
I think this Occupation, like any other, rests on three main pillars: the
economy, the media and military ability. In terms of the economy, we
can resist by boycotting Israeli products [....] The Palestinians have
so far been unable to implement a boycott effectively. If we could
implement this strategy, it would contribute greatly to ending the
Occupation


Iltezam Morrar
Community Organizer, Budrus
During every march I was afraid but I would say to myself, in the next one I
will not be afraid. But when I saw the army, I was afraid. But the
feeling of fear did not make me forget that we have a duty to fulfill.
When you first see the bulldozers and the soldiers, you spontaneously
go to work. I would grab the flag or the megaphone before every march
and just go down. The fear is always present because everything is
possible. The soldiers have no compassion, no mercy, they might hit
you, they might shoot you, or they might imprison you. But there is a
duty that one has to perform.




Ayed Morrar
Community Organizer, Budrus
I think Palestinians should choose the most effective way of resisting
the Occupation. It is true that popular resistance requires greater
efforts [....] Military operations, on the other hand, don’t require
more than one man convincing another of carrying out an operation,
giving him a weapon and explaining how to do it. Convincing thousands
of men, women and children to take part in a rally is much more
difficult.


Iltezam Morrar
Community Organizer, Budrus
At one of the demonstrations there was a whole wall of about 200 soldiers
surrounding the bulldozers…I found a very narrow opening I thought I
could get in. Suddenly I found myself behind the line of soldiers,
facing the bulldozer. I was extremely frightened, and I didn’t know
what to do. I got an idea: jump in front of the bulldozer. When I saw
the bulldozer, I realized that I was alone and I was terrified. I
thought, "What can you do against a bulldozer?" Any movement from the
bulldozer and I could get hurt…The man in the bulldozer - I looked in
his eyes and I think he didn’t know what to do. He looked at the
soldiers and he decided to stop because he couldn’t do anything



Ayed Morrar
Community Organizer, Budrus
The Palestinian people have recently created the greatest democratic process in the Middle East. Democracy in the Middle East should not be
taken for granted. It is more like a garden in the middle of a
minefield. We, as Palestinians should not undermine this democratic
experience and allow the uncontrolled weapons on the streets to
threaten the very endeavor we are so proud of. It is unacceptable to
misuse Palestinian weapons. Even if these weapons were a beneficial
means in the armed resistance, they remain a threat when it comes to
internal fighting. Taking into account all factors, I am convinced
nonviolent and popular resistance is the best and most efficient way to
realize our goals and national ambitions




Ayed Morrar
Community Organizer, Budrus
The Israelis are very creative in using their destructive weapons. They have one of the most advanced weapon arsenals in the world. They have
the best and most advanced warplanes and tanks and they excel in
putting them to use, but we can cripple these weapons by adopting a
nonviolent agenda


Iltezam Morrar
Community Organizer, Budrus
there was a march of women and there was amazing participation and incredible enthusiasm. When the women went to the construction site where the Wall
was being built, they were fired up; there was a sense of defiance,
that we were going to do something. From then on, no march had only
men. Marches were attended by both men and women.


Ayed Morrar
Community Organizer, Budrus
had I not been a former prisoner, some might claim I preach nonviolence
because I lack the courage to do something else. Because people know I
suffered and sacrificed in jail, and paid a heavy toll, nobody dares
accuse me of cowardice



Rutie Atsmon
Windows
We don't judge people if they support the army or if they support attacks.
What we try to do is work with them to see why they feel that way, why
they support this way or that way. We try to lead people to believe
that the best way is to talk to each other, that the best way to solve
the problems is without violence. But in order to bring people to feel
this way, we have to understand why people support, if they do, acts of
violence, on any side of the conflict. And part of it will be to
understand the fears, the anger, the frustration that people on both
sides feel that leads them to support violence.




Ayed Morrar
Community Organizer, Budrus
It’s hard to coordinate an activity involving large numbers of people,
especially when most of the resistance mechanism currently in Palestine
involves armed resistance. We need more international supporters and
media attention. Bloody events usually attract the media and we need to
encourage the media to cover this kind of resistance



Iltezam Morrar
Community Organizer, Budrus
From our experience in Budrus, I believe in nonviolence and peaceful
resistance even more because it helped us achieve something. We
actually achieved something important. Large amounts of land were
supposed to be confiscated from the people of Budrus but because of
these demonstrations they were only able to take a small portion of the
lands that they planned to take, and they moved the Wall to the Green
Line. This is a big achievement. Any theory needs to be tested and if
it succeeds that means it is effective. Through these achievements our
belief grows stronger that nonviolence is really effective.



Ayed Morrar
Community Organizer, Budrus
By nonviolent resistance I don’t mean raising banners and chanting in
front of Israeli soldiers. By nonviolent resistance I mean avoiding
killing. I will not kill or use any means that could lead to killing. I
aim to stop a bulldozer, for example, by placing my body in front of
it. Many in the West view Gandhi's nonviolent way as the optimal
nonviolent struggle. But Palestinian culture is completely different
from Indian society and the culture Gandhi led at the time.



Robi Damelin
Parents Circle - Bereaved Families Forum
I remember when Nelson Mandela came out of prison and he was speaking in
a stadium. These people were standing there with sticks, to get
revenge. He said, "take your sticks and throw them in the river,
because that's not the path we're going to take." Pragmatically, he
understood that the best thing for the South African people, for his
people, would be to take a nonviolent path.




Rutie Atsmon
Windows
To the best of my knowledge, [Budrus] was the first significant struggle
against the wall that lasted for a long time, where Israelis,
Palestinians and international activists were involved in a nonviolent
struggle


Ayed Morrar
Community Organizer, Budrus
Small cameras carried by international solidarity activists have been very
effective in overwhelming the massive propaganda machine steered by the
Occupation. This is especially true in the modern age of easy and
immediate communication


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