Tag Archives: non-violence

Gaza Shifts To Protests Rather Than Rockets

Hamas ruled Gaza for years adopted a policy of defying Israel by sending thousands of rockets across the border fence where 99% never killed anyone or caused much damage. However, one outcome of these rocket attacks was the massive Israeli attack on Gaza which led to the death of hundreds and massive physical damage. The people of Gaza increasingly are attempting various forms of non-violence resistance such as marching, waving banners and refusing to fire weapons. Hamas leadership welcomes these approaches since they reinforce the determination of Palestinians to make certain Israel knows they will not surrender their dreams of an independent state.

Non-violence can only succeed if the people who have power also have a conscience and a belief in democratic ideas of government. The people of Israel DO believe in democracy and now Palestinians must shame them into acknowledging the violence inherent in building fences, driving Palestinians from their land and constructing houses in Palestinian areas.

Non-violence can succeed. It requires patience and fortitude.

President Abbas– Intifada, A Detour In Road To Peace

President Mahmoud Abbas representing the Palestinian Authority made clear his government will not support another Intifada which he believes will only lead to further destruction of Palestine and fail to accomplish the goal of an independent nation. He promised there would not be a third intifada for the simple reason, “we’ve suffered enough.” Abbas made clear “the palestinian people are focused only on the path of peace through negotiations.” He also urged President Obama to follow through with promises the United States would support the concept of negotiations by moving from words to actions.

The tragedy of the Arab people is failing to learn from the examples of Gandhi in India and Martin Luther King in the United States that non-violence is a more powerful weapon than bombs and death. The Palestinian people should take to the streets in the spirit of Martin Luther King and confront Jewish Israelis with the power of love. In so doing, Palestinians will secure the support of most American Jews and compel leaders of Israel to bargain at a table of peace.

Iranian Protests Go On And On Defying Ahmadinejad!

There are moments in history when those in power believe they have triumphed because of their control over military and police forces. Violent clashes continue in Iran despite threats by security forces they will crush any challenge to the state’s authority. Large numbers of police and army contingents flooded the streets but young Iranians continued shouting their defiance. The Ayatollah Khamenei has demanded an end to public rallies and acts of civil disobedience, but Iranian youth are distributing via the Internet the ideas of Gandhi and Martin Luther King on how to conduct non-violence resistance. One group of protestors aimed their anger at the son of Ayatollah Khamenei who is said to be behind the crackdown. “Mojtaba, may you die, so that you don’t get the supreme leadership” was the chant of crowds of young people.

A man in his sixties told western reporters the reason he continued to protest was because, “they have killed our dear youth. How can we forgive them? Khamenei has the army and police on his side, but in the process he has lost Iranian youth who are shocked a leading cleric would order killing of young Iranians. One doubts if Khamenei can cite passages in the Koran which sanction such behavior.

Diplomacy Not Guns To Solve Turk Problems With Kurds!

Ahmet Turk, leader of Turkey’s Democratic Society Party(DIP), urged his nation to move away from the current focus on military action and consider the possibility of employing other strategies in order to end the conflict with Kurdish militants. He told the Turkish Daily News neither guns nor violence are effective means of dealing with nationalistic desires of Kurds. He shared his views in light of recent bombing attacks in Turkey which many analysts attribute to Kurdish followers of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party(PKK) who were sending a message related to recent bombings in Kurdistan by the Turkish air force. Turk and his party have been criticized for their refusal to label the PKK as a terrorist organization. Turk has told leaders of the PKK their resort to violence will never achieve aims of Kurds in Turkey to equal treatment and he believes the Turkish government should undertake a new dialogue with the PKK.

Turk welcomed the announcement by Prime Minister Erdogan of extensive investment of money to develop Kurdish areas of Turkey but he does not believe money alone will resolve issues between Kurdish national feelings and Turkey. He wants a major effort to further democracy in those areas of Turkey as well as providing Kurds a sense they have an equal voice in what happens in their nation.

Turk fears that efforts to close down his party will send a message to Kurds their views are not respected and they are an unwanted people living under an occupation by outsiders. Turk’s common sense approach to issues of Kurds living in a nation which does not afford them a voice in government is simply common sense.

German Muslims Overwhelmingly Reject Violence

A German Interior Ministry study of Muslim life in their nation revealed about 40% held a “fundamentalist orientation” which was equated with having strong religious moral values and world view. However, 92% rejected religiously motivated terrorism and violence. Around 6% were classified as harboring “violent tendencies,” and about 14% were regarded as having “anti-democratic tendencies.” Jurgen Mansel, a sociologist at the University of Bielfeld, in a statement to the press said ‘there is no evidence that there is more of a violent tendency among Muslims or immigrants than there is among other groups in Germany.”

German newspapers took a measured reaction to the study. Die Tageazeitung noted< ‘Actually the study’s findings should have a calming effect. They’re definitely not surprising. Some Muslim haters may now feel justified. More generally, though, the study offers very little substance. Just the opposite, in fact: when compared with ethnic Germans and non-Muslims immigrants, from the same educational and socio-economic backgrounds, one finds comparable attitudes.” After all, Germany still has a non-democratic group which lived for many years in the old East Germany and among them are people who have never adjusted to German democracy. In the history of America, there is considerable evidence that immigrant groups quite often in their early years in America had a small minority among them who were into crime and certainly did not accept the democratic constitutional nature of the United States.