Peace paradigm

Nonviolent protest in Palestine
What? Do you want them to commit suicide?” That was the response of Sis Levin, a Columbia University specialist on finding alternatives to violence, when asked if Palestinians should be encouraged to engage in nonviolent demonstrations against the Israeli military occupation.

But the reality in Palestine is that the Israeli government is more afraid of nonviolent action than of more forceful forms of resistance. Within a paradigm of violence, Israel can portray its brutal repression as self-defense against bombs, gunfire or even children throwing rocks or old men throwing shoes. Usually the objects that children and the elderly throw at “clash sites” in Ramallah, Nablus or Hebron, or indeed at the Al Aqsa mosque, fall far short of the heavily armed soldiers and their bulletproof vehicles. Yet the Israeli military responds as though these actions were shots fired at the heart of Israel.


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