Independent Media Center, Israel

Gilad, I strongly disagree
author: Ben


I appreciate your comments and do not take them lightly. I'm sure you have devoted more time to the issue of non-violence than I, and have much to teach me. But I have to say, I strongly disagree with some of what you wrote about the issue.

You say that non-violence "it is about solving a conflict w/out harming or even endangering humans. even though sabotage (as is the case with the fence) probably isn't the bestest of nonviolent methods, and certainly not a perferable one -- it doesn't stand in contrast to the basic principles." You explain that the fence was harming the Palestinian farmers and destroying the fence was serving the higher human good.

That may be true as some sort of principle, but its not the principle of non-violence. If you put it in those terms, when Israel destroys the homes of know terrorists, it is acting non-violently. No one would agree with that, and I am certainly not trying to make that point, but it follows your formula as I understand it.

I don't have a working definition of non-violence to replace the one you suggest, but I think I know violence when I see it. Storming a fence because you believe it should be opened and cutting it down with wirecutters is simply not non-violence. You may be right, it may be the right thing to do. I don't know. But non-violence it isn't.

Your definition defines non-violence down in dangerous way. It could be applied all sorts of ways. Is throwing rocks non-violent? Is sending a fighter plane to knock down empty Palestinian government buildings non-violent? Is building a security fence on Palestinians land non-violent - if those gates had been real gates and they could access their land?

I think most people would agree these are violent acts. Tearing down a fence falls is no different than those examples.

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