There is no justification for the actions that the Israeli government took this week. There is no justification for the blockade on Gaza. There is no defense for allowing settlers to invade Palestinian land, eating it up piece by piece. The apartheid in Israel/Palestine is immoral, unjust, inhumane, and repugnant. Everybody knows it. Even Israel’s defenders know it.
The typical response from defenders of Israel, when faced with Israel’s actions, is something like this one that I read on Facebook this week
And we all know what martyrdom means to Muslims – it is an honor they often seek.
Muslims, you see, are particularly irrational. (The fact that not all Palestinians are Muslim doesn’t seem to matter in the slightest.) That’s why, when butted up against a moral wall, an Israeli I spoke to defended his country by saying “Palestinian women strap their kids with bombs.” What that Israeli meant was – Yes, our actions are crazy, but it’s because we are dealing with crazy people.
Even people who recognize the immorality of Israel’s actions still vilify Palestinians by erasing their actions and ignoring their movements. Take this video from the Young Turks. (Thanks to Mariana E. for posting it.)
Once again, someone is lecturing Palestinians about nonviolence. Once again, someone is telling Palestinians that they should learn from Gandhi and Martin Luther King. Which is infuriating. Because there has always been nonviolent, Palestinian resistance.
the reality is that Palestinians have consistently chosen nonviolent resistance before arms – from the general strikes of 1936, to the consistent appeals to international legal bodies, to the weekly demonstrations against the wall. It has been the continued dispossession at the hands of Israel, and the silence of the international community despite these nonviolent efforts, that has led some Palestinians to view violence as the only option.
As Yousef Munayyer describes in the article quoted above, if there is a Palestinian Gandhi, he or she is most likely languishing in an Israeli jail. Just because the New York Times doesn’t report on the nonviolent movements or pretends as though they are new does not make it so. Like most U.S. media, they prefer not to contradict the image of Palestinians as irrational, inhuman, crazies.
So below I am linking to videos, articles, and websites that show a different picture of the Palestinian people than you get on the U.S. mainstream news. Next time someone gives you the “they’re all crazy and violent” response, feel free to provide them a link.
Here is the trailer to a new film about the protests in Budrus. (Note: I haven’t seen it yet.”
Even the Daily Show interviewed Anna Baltzer and Mustafa Barghouti about nonviolent movements.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Exclusive – Anna Baltzer & Mustafa Barghouti Extended Interview Pt. 1|