Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Non Violent Resistance

Since my return from Palestine many people have asked me if I felt safe there.  I answer that during my three month stay in Palestine I was treated very respectfully and did not feel threatened at all.  The reason for their question is probably based on what most people in the United States read in the newspapers or see on the television.  Much of what is reported in the U.S. is about violence, particularly in or near the border between Gaza and Israel.

While living in the West Bank I had the opportunity to observe and participate in many non-violent demonstrations.  In fact, the Palestinians regularly engage in non-violent resistance.  

Non-Violent Protest at Deir-al-Ghusun Agricultural Gate
We met at the Deir-al-Ghusun demonstration
Most Palestinians experience armed settlers and fully armed Israeli soldiers on a daily basis.  There are weekly non-violent demonstrations in many towns and cities on the West Bank.  Most Americans are completely unaware that almost all resistance in the West Bank is non-violent.  The reason:  It does not get reported in our press.

I recently viewed a film clip by a Brazilian filmmaker, Julia Bacha, who makes a very interesting point about non-violent resistance.  She states that non-violent resistance and terrorist acts are both a form of political theatre.  Non-violent movements in India, led by Ghandi, and in South Africa, led by Nelson Mandela, were widely viewed by the world community through press coverage.  But this is not true of the non-violent resistance in Palestine.

I encourage you to view this presentation.  I feel a responsibility to inform others that most Palestinians are involved in non-violent resistance, not violence.  

In the future I will write more often in my blog.  I may even add some information on Haiti as I plan to go there on a trip with "Helping Hands For Haiti" with some members of our church in late December.

May peace prevail.