"Want Security? End the Occupation"

January 16, 2002 2:44 PM   Subscribe

"Want Security? End the Occupation"
Op-ed piece in today's Washington Post, by Marwan Barghouti. The writer is general secretary of Fatah on the West Bank and was elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council.
posted by mapalm (6 comments total)
Fatah claimed responsibility for killing a civillian this week. Several, even. And has called for a renewed and ever widening war: Article on Fatah.

So, outside the factual inaccuracy and dishonesty, and the lack of balance of the piece, he's not wrong.

Of course, having been offered %95 of the %22 that they wanted, the Palestinians still walked away from the table. Perhaps Fatah needs this guy in charge, instead of Arafat.

Say it with me, kids - "negotiation."

I still support the "Send aid to the Palestinians in the form of video cameras" cause. Nonviolent protest, with so much of world opinion on the side of the Palestinians _anyway_ would probably work like a goddamned charm. You want to be a martyr? Learn to sit still and be beaten, if necessary. Nothing turns world opinion faster than a nonviolent defender being attacked by a heavy handed violent one. Unless you're black and in the United States or you're Tibet. But I digress.

Worked for Gandhi. All he had was a bad attitude and he brought down the British. He hadn't even eaten a proper supper.

Worked for MLK too, mostly. On this coming Monday, the federal holiday celebrating his birth, perhaps MeFiers who would like to see some world peace out there could start a letter writing campaign to the people of Palestine, to Arafat, to the UN, to Sharon, to whomever you think gives a crap.

Tell them that the Palestinians need to start with nonviolence. Blowing yourself up in a pizzaria and killing women and children indiscriminately sorta decimates any claim you have to the moral high ground. Instead, try getting the whole Palestinian population to sit outside, drink tea, smile and wave for the international press corps. Watch how fast that works.

Try that tactic, and I give it a year. Don't try that tactic, and expect escalation that involves mass destruction of both sides.
posted by swerdloff at 3:33 PM on January 16, 2002

Swerdloff, this article might interest you: Emerging Alternatives in Palestine. It's by Edward Said, and discusses the growing (but oft-ignored) non-violence movement in Palestine.
posted by cell divide at 3:51 PM on January 16, 2002

There is no evidence, whatever, that ending the occupation will end the violence.

All parts of the Palestinian ideological spectrum insist upon a historical right to rule all of Israel proper, and the Palestinian left still holds it as a compelling, short-term objective. Even the so-called mainstream of Palestinian opinion insists upon a so-called "right of return" to Israeli proper and rejects the cessation of hostilities absent it.

Violence will end only when Palestinians accept at all levels of politics, religion, and culture, that Israel proper is and always will be a Jewish state, that the exile of Arabs who left Israel proper in 1948 is permanent and irreversible, and that Israeli civilians are not legitimate military targets.

I do believe that Israel can contribute toward that acceptance, and should reward by incremental steps in that direction, by a significant withdrawal of settlements outside of Israel proper and a judicious reduction of security facilities and easements in the West Bank and Gaza.
posted by MattD at 5:47 PM on January 16, 2002

This is a ridiculous suggestion. Everybody knows that bulldozing homes is the only way to bring about peace.

... Israeli civilians are not legitimate military targets.

Please define what "civilian" means in a country with compulsory military service, where nearly everyone has been, is, or will be in the military, and thus involved directly with the continued persecution of the Palestinians?
posted by hipstertrash at 8:04 PM on January 16, 2002

So, hipstertrash, in your opinion, the terrorist who detonated himself in a pizza joint filled mostly with pre-teens and families was legitimated because those kids would have one day grown up to be big bad Israeli soldiers?
posted by crustbuster at 2:44 AM on January 17, 2002

crustbuster - I'm not saying that he was justified. I'm merely asking a question: how do you define a 'military target' in a country where a disco is likely to contain as many soldiers or former soldiers as a USO club or a Saigon bar during the Vietnam War?
posted by hipstertrash at 3:03 PM on January 17, 2002

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