Palestinian Gandhi, mark II



I am not going to recapitulate the debate about Palestine, non-violence, and Gandhi. We have won the arguments and won them decisively, no matter what non-sense the likes of Joseph Dana (sorry Joseph but I did warn you and you didn’t listen) is willing to invoke in order to ingratiate himself to his liberal audience in the United States. And yes, the discourse in in for another thrashing. It will be coming along presently. My concern here is a new initiative promoted by Dennis Loh called Check it out. Really, go check it out. Here is one of their core principles: “We condemn all violence, especially against civilians.” Is this a group that the New York City-based activist community wants to support? I really hope not. Some suggestions. Get your ideas straight. Read Peter FayPeter Gelderloos, and Derrick Jensen. Forget the Palestinian Gandhi — there was no Indian Gandhi.
And then while you’re “condemning” all forms of violence, be aware that condemning violence carries a corollary, which is the expectation of an alternative: in this case, non-violence. Then go stand next to the people in Bil’in having rocket-propelled tear-gas canisters collapse their chests at their demonstrations. You’re not going to do that? Then please send your money to theUS Boat to Gaza which has no ridiculous principles condemning Palestinian violence from metropolitan comfort.
I’ll be clear about the issues. This is not about supporting Palestinian non-violence. That should be done. And this is not about not engaging in non-violent struggle with Palestinians. That should be done and welcomed. And this is not necessarily about promoting news about Palestinian non-violence — although this is a much more complicated issue, and needs to be done with care.
Nonetheless, at the current moment, all of those are important tasks and the bravery of the Palestinians and the Israelis and Westerners who stand by them is amazing. This is about propagating comforting mythologies. I do not think the settler-colonial hold on Palestine will break non-violently, and I do not think Western capitalist domination will end non-violently. If you do, then put up. If not, no one is asking that you instead pick up an assault rifle, by any means. Do something much simpler. Just close your mouth.

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