Sunday, October 29, 2006

Non-Violent resistance in Israel and the Occupied territories

Despite what is an increasingly violent and militaristic culture in Israel, there are so many individuals and groups who are standing up and saying no more.

There are the extremely courageous Israeli conscientious objectors, who face imprisonment for refusing to fight and kill.

There's Yehuda Shaul, who wants Israelis and the world to know what is being perpetrated upon the Palestinian people. As he puts it, he is trying to break the silence, because "what's going on in the Occupied Territories is like the biggest secret in Israeli society. It's like the taboo. You never talk about it." (Listen/Read/Watch the Interview)

There is also so much non-violent resistance among Palestinians that is overshadowed by violent acts and underreported by the media.

I am particularly hopeful, however, about the solidarity movements and women's groups that are coalitions of both Israeli and Palestinian Women (like Coalition of Women for Peace and Bereaved Families Circle).

Here is an interesting podcast describing some of the Israelis and Palestinians who are using non-violent resistance to oppose the occupation. (listen/download mp3 - about 20 minutes long, and definitely worth a listen).

UPDATE DEC 18, 2006 - Yesterday there was a related article in The Star: Ex-soldiers break 'silence' on Israeli excesses: Yehuda Shaul tells Haroon Siddiqui 'something rotten' is going on in Gaza and the West Bank.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the links! In case you have not seen this, you might want to. It is very moving.

Anonymous said...

I think its is wrong for you to characterize Israeli culture as an "increaskingly violent and militaristic culture in Israel". Have you been to Israel? As someone who also holds Israeli citizenship, I find your characterization offensive.

Israel is a democracy. There has always been room for discourse.

You also state, "[t]here are the extremely courageous Israeli conscientious objectors, who face imprisonment for refusing to fight and kill". All soldiers in all countries would face imprisonment for failure to serve.

Red Jenny said...

Michelle, thanks for your comment. I agree that there is a lot of room for discourse in Israel, but when a country has lived in a constant state of besiegement it has an effect on people's psyches. There are increasing incidents of domestic violence and child abuse, gun ownership, and many other markers of violence.

I also agree with you that conscientious objection is punished in too many countries, and it takes courage and bravery to resist. I believe no one should be forced to kill against his/her moral beliefs, especially in wars of agression like Iraq. We will probably disagree on Israel also holding status of agressor.

I also believe most Israelis want peace - most of those I've met certainly do.