|Independent Media Center, Israel |
Glad you are against: occupation, the Wall, it's location, etc.. I hope we can add indiscriminate home demolition to that list.
A serious economic study in Rafah would show I'm right about punitive border trade restrictions creating more incentives for digging tunnels.
As for riding the buses... the argument is this: the root of the conflict is occupation. Ending occupation will end violence, not a few foreigners lecturing Palestinians, or riding buses. We are working to address the root cause and help bring about an end to occupation, which we believe will bring peace and justice for Israelis and Palestinians.
Israel already has the fifth most powerful army in the world to defend itself and to use offensively. Israeli soldiers are everywhere. Palestinians are largely a civilian population with no means of defense, few weapons, no army, etc., and little ability for civilians to carry on their lives in the face of the Israeli army. So where would you judge that our little group of non-violent civilians be most effective ?
We are working to make non-violence effective so that it will be a viable option and more Palestinians will see a reason to choose it. Israelis should applaud that rather than trying to crush non-violence.
Non-violent strategies have always been about choosing key issues that symbolize oppression and confronting them head on, in a peaceful, but determined manner. That is what ISM is doing, and it can be provocative. Read Ghandi, read King. Israeli soldiers choose whether they will respond to nonviolent acts against oppresive systems like the Wall in a humane manner or a brutal manner. Usually they choose to respond with force. This is their decision, and they get into the news when they choose this way. If the soldiers instead chose to respond in a humane manner, it wouldn't make the news.
Yes, news coverage on the occupation, the Wall, etc., is important, because in many places, particularly the US, people are ignorant of all that, and only know about suicide bombings. So if people learn more about what is really happening in the West Bank and Gaza Strip through ISM and gain a more complete view of realities in Israel and Palestine thanks to ISM, that is a positive thing. With more knowledge they then have a better basis for making their own personal decisions about the role they should be playing and their countries should be playing.
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