Independent Media Center, Israel

non-violence is about confrontation
author: amir givol (

hi all. non-violence is about confronting injustice, not just talking and thinking about it. it's called non-violence in order to emphasize that even though the action uses force, creates a disturbance, and sometimes endangers the well being of the participants (by provoking violent responses), the emphasis is on minimizing the force of the action so that it gets the message through with a minimum amount of risk to people. non-violence is usually practiced more in the forms of demnstrations or sit-ins or marching as we recently saw but sometimes more direct and forceful (and therefore raising the potential for violence but still making sure the right precautions are taken) actions are taken, like blocking roads or sabotage to military installations, depending on the agenda and the situation.

the emphasis here is on peaceful confrontation, which sounds like a contradiction in terms but isn't when performed wisely. of course this action and the one in qalqilia are against the appartheid wall, the wall is a huge injustice and should be protested against. the fact that the gate blocks passage into the fields goes to demonstrate that injustice, it's not just a question of whether x person can get through on a particular day or not, although it would be nice if x person could. it's about protesting in a more direct and creative fashion, albeit using a lot of force which isn't exactly my cup of tea, exactly because it makes it that mucxh easier to blame the protestors of being violent.

one could argue for instance that the mere presence of the ISM in palestine is violent because they came here to confront the idf (among other things) but that again is turning the accuser into the accused, "i apologize for placing my face in front of your batton, officer".

one last thing, gilad, i think damage is a better term than harm, harm usually also relates to people.

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