Independent Media Center, Israel
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ISM = Liers%AM %01 %b %2003
author: Rsonin

summary
An authentic peace activist would be preventing violence of all kinds against anyone. The ISM has showed absolutely no interest in helping stop Palestinian vs. Israeli violence - they have chosen a side. This can be a moral position, but only if they would state that they have chosen a side. I can't respect people who lie while they moralize.



An authentic peace activist would be preventing violence of all kinds against anyone. The ISM has showed absolutely no interest in helping stop Palestinian vs. Israeli violence - they have chosen a side. This can be a moral position, but only if they would state that they have chosen a side. I can't respect people who lie while they moralize.



Also, there is a marked difference between the people who run the ISM and the bright-eyed, bushy-tailed volunteers who join out of an earnest desire to change the world. They get a hopelessly biased account of things which some struggle with but most swallow without chewing (you can even get a hint of this in some of the journals they put up on their web site). I doubt that most of the people joining in the US and Sweden and wherever, have any clue as to what violence is.



If you compare this kind of group with, say, the people who went to help the ANC, you can see a big difference. The ANC never claimed to be non-violent, and the people helping them, say, smuggle guns, knew full well what the whole thing was about. The Palestinian struggle that the ISM recognizes explicitly as valid is one which involves violence - you cannot approve of a violent struggle without approving of violence. By any means necessary means by any means necessary - by killing babies, if necesssary. That is not non-violent, and that is what makes them liars, even to their own members.



At another level, remaining "non-violent" while allowing Palestinians to do the violence is hypocritical and irresponsible. The comment made by one of their members about how they thought they had a tacit agreement with the IDF that ISM members wouldn't be killed is telling in this repset - it implies a two-tier valuing of life with (white, Western, "privileged") ISM members inviolate and Palestinians not (on the model of some people being more equal than others). On the other hand, it is legitimate for Palestinians to kill people as part of their struggle, but the ISM is too pure and moral to bloody their own hands (which then justifies their expectation that they will not be bloodied).

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