Non-Violence is the only effective method to establish positive social change.
Once again the world has witnessed the violence of Israeli Defense Force (IDF). This time confronting a flotilla delivering humanitarian relief to break the Israeli-enforced blockage of Gaza using the technique of non-violence civil disobedience. In a disastrous miscalculation this non-violent flotilla was seized by the IDF. If this had occurred off the coast of Somali in international waters this would have been called “piracy on the high seas”. Clearly there is a double standard held by elements in world governments and international media.
But I also know that there are segments of the Jewish community both in the Holy Land and abroad that are outraged at this act of state sponsored aggression and other humanitarian and human rights issues. There is no room today for a blanket condemnation of all Israelis. We need to affirm that the Jewish people are conflicted regarding many of these actions. Many Jewish Israelis understand that the occupation, the blockage and the continue back and forth of violence, even as self-defense, have not brought peace nor security to the people of the land. Violence cannot create lasting peace and it has been exposed again for what it is – a cruel deception. I invite everyone to remain committed to the use of non-violence as a weapon to end the embargo against Gaza.
Yet, while I say this, it is also time for the Palestinian people (Muslim, Christian and other) to pressure Hamas and Fatha to call for a pledge of non-violence, non-violence between themselves and the Israeli people. The hate, hate-speech of death to Israeli, Khaibar! Khaibar! Ya Yahud and the like must end. Instead there must be a call to all people of this Holy Land to stand for non-violence resistance for social change.
As a Blackamerican I know well that angry protests and rioting will not help the noble cause of freedom, justice and equality. When the civil rights movement hit a wall, such as the assassination of Martin Luther King, Blackamericans rioted in spontaneous combustion, burning down our own communities and many of our businesses all across the United States. In Washington, DC it has taken decades to recover from the destruction that emanated of our own hands.
Neither violence toward the Israeli public nor between the rival factions of Palestinians can be accepted. I recommended what one activist calls the “White Intifada” – a non-violence resistance. This will require training, discipline and the voice of strong moral leadership. Perhaps the mothers of the dead may be the best voices. Mothers who have lost their sons and daughters to violence. The era of suicide bombing must end and must end now. Those who would take the lives of innocent people must be dissuaded or stopped. The cause of peace and justice in the Holy Land is turning a corner in the long road to freedom and peace.
Those in the international community must continue the pressure on the United Nations and all key allies of the State of Israel and especially my government, The United States, to end the blockade on Gaza, NOW! As we did in the South African Apartheid movement; artists and musicians, faith-leaders and public intellectuals most boycott the resorts and entertainment venues of the Israeli rivera. Divestment campaigns must be organized and the voices of moderate Israeli’s must be given attention. There are many organizations making recommendations to withdraw their ambassadors and to cut funding to the Israeli government. Each and everyone of us must commit to a plan of action and stay with it. The Holy Land will know peace, if we keep up the pressure and God’s Mercy will come upon us all.
Non-Violence is the most powerful weapon in waging peace.