Saturday, January 01, 2011

"Where is the Palestinian Gandhi?"

via guerrillamamamedicineWho Decides How the Oppressed Should Fight Oppression?
Every so often, an article, video or book surfaces with a similar message: Palestinians are being taught nonviolence; Palestinians are responding positively to the teachings of nonviolence.

As for progressive and Leftist media and audiences, stories praising nonviolence are electrifying, for they ignite a sense of hope that a less violent way is possible, that the teachings of Gandhi are not only relevant to India, in a specific time and space, but throughout the world, anytime.

These depictions repeatedly invite the question: where is the Palestinian Gandhi? Next they invite the answer: a Palestinian Gandhi already exists, in numerous West Bank villages bordering the Israeli Apartheid Wall, where they peacefully confront the carnivorous Israeli bulldozers eating up Palestinian land.
The problem with the nonviolence bandwagon is that it is grossly misrepresentative of the reality on the ground. It also takes the focus away from the violence imparted by the Israeli occupation – in its routine and lethal use in the West Bank, and the untold savagery in Gaza - and places it solely on the shoulders of the Palestinians.
As for the gross misrepresentation of reality, Palestinians have used mass nonviolent resistance for generations - as early as the long strike of 1936. Nonviolent resistance has been and continues to be the bread and butter of Palestinian moqawama, from the time of British colonialism to the Israeli occupation. At the same time, some Palestinians fought violently as well, compelled by a great sense of urgency and the extreme violence applied against them by their oppressors. It is similar to the way many Indians fought violently, even during the time that Mahatma Gandhi’s ideas were in full bloom.
Those who reduce and simplify India’s history of anti-colonial struggle are doing the same to Palestinians.
(via afghanipoppy)
Our collective history of the South African struggle against apartheid, including Mandela himself and the armed wing of the ANC which he led, has been completely sanitized of all its violent elements as well. No one seems to remember that it was only in July 2008 that Mandela himself was taken off the US terror list since the ANC was designated a terror organization. I need to write that again, just for my own sanity, UNTIL 2 AND 1/2 YEARS AGO MANDELA AND THE ANC WERE CONSIDERED TERRORISTS BY THE US.
(via somerset)

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