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Thursday, April 3, 2008

non-violence

Click here for a quick primer on the Palestinian struggle.

I was listening to a piece on Tibet and the recent unrest or potential unrest there. It seems they have employed nonviolence in their struggle for years. Many people say, including US government officials, that if only the Palestinians would renounce or end all violence, then Israel would ever so graciously let them move about freely and maybe even have their own country on a tiny sliver of land in the region. Dare to dream. That just wouldn't happen. If there's no violence, the conflict would get less publicity than it gets now and Israel would feel free to grab more land and collectively punish in silence. Well, the nonviolent approach hasn't worked so well for Tibetans. They are still in a struggle with China and some want to reconsider the nonviolent approach. I have always said the Palestinian struggle is not a matter of terrorists vs democracy or Muslim vs Jew; it is a political struggle that needs a political solution which is occasionally hijacked by fanatics, unfortunately for the Palestinians. Any attempt to call it anything different is an attempt to put off discussing actual solutions: statehood, one state vs two, boundaries, and so called "final status issues".

I'm not advocating violence. I'm saying that political struggles need political solutions. You can't wait on all parties to stop the violence or make up reasons for the violence. While that's great for the population in a sense, it is not a solution. If the US would abandon the "smoke 'em out of their holes", "I'm not talking to terrorists (or people I deem terrorists or people who look at me funny or those who had WMD 10 years ago)" bit, we might be able to be an effective mediator. Maybe those things will die with Bush's presidency. No more cowboy "diplomacy"!!

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