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IDF Maj.-Gen. (res.) Amos Gilad: "We don't do Gandhi very well"

In a new wikileaks cable, Director of Policy and Political-Military Affairs at the Israel Ministry of Defense, Maj. General (reserves) Amos Gilad, told American government officials, ‘we don’t do Gandhi very well’  in reference to unarmed demonstrations taking place throughout the West Bank and specifically in Nabi Saleh. The cable confirms that the Israeli army has, in recent months, decided to increase violent pressure on the demonstrations ‘even  [if the] demonstrations appear peaceful.’

In the cable, titled “IDF PLANS HARSHER METHODS WITH WEST BANK DEMONSTRATIONS” and labeled confidential, the Israeli army is portrayed as fed up with the demonstrations and likely to engage in harsh repression if the demonstrations continue or grow. We learn that Israel has actively sought Palestinian secruity forces to help crush the demonstrations.

On orders from Mizrachi, West Bank commander BG Nitzan Alon and West Bank civil administrator BG Poli Mordechi reportedly met with the Palestinian security force commanders recently to deliver a strong message that they must stop these demonstrations or the IDF will.

For those following unarmed demonstrations in the West Bank, the material in this cable will not come as a suprise. Just look at the village of Nabi Saleh. The trial of Nabi Saleh popular committee leader Bassem Tamimi will resume on Sunday. 14 year old Islam Tamimi of Nabi Saleh who was arrested last Janurary and subjected to borderline psychological torture at the hands of Israeli interrogators is set to take the stand.

This cable should come as a surprise, however, to those in the media (Thomas Friedman) who often rant that what the conflict needs is a Palestinian Gandhi. There are many Palestinian Gandhis but many are in jail because Israel doesn’t ‘do Gandhi very well.’

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    1. directrob

      The Palestinian Gandhi made it to TED:
      Palestinian Gandhi needs Haaretz, CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera and more focus from 972mag.

      Reply to Comment
    2. If they don’t do Gandhi well, then you must give them nonviolece, and expect provocation. What is missing (apparently) is prior social organization and training before demostrations are called. Gandhi, on his own, was nothing in either South Africa or India. I have read that Abbas does not like demonstrations, because they get out of hand. Better to have small, repeated demonstrations which grow, allowing discipline to grow with them. But I am not there, and am in no risk at all.

      Reply to Comment
    3. annie

      i thought one of the most amusing parts of the cable was
      “After visiting two of these “so-called peaceful demonstrations,” Mizrachi said he did not know what they were about”

      hmm, it’s the occupation stupid.. and land resource theft..and killings..and child/adult torture/incarceration.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Borg

      Gandhi has some interesting comments on Jews. He urged them to mass suicide during the Holocaust in order to prick the conscience of the world. When few Jews followed his advice, he flet that by not committing suicide, the Jews forfeited the sympathy of the world in 1945. Thus, I dont think Israel should do Gandhi well

      Reply to Comment
    5. Israel’s attempts to crush the nonviolent, Jewish-Arab demonstrations is one of the things that most depress me (as a Jewish Israeli).

      I wish that more Israelis were aware of it, and that things like the extended military detentions of people like Tamimi got more attention in the local press. Of course, that’s because I’d like to believe that there are many Israelis who would be bothered by it- maybe not as much as me, but enough to re-evaluate at least some of their opinions about what’s done for “real” military reasons and what’s done for the worst of political reasons.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Sane person

      You must be SO proud of yourselves, supporting another the establishment of another terrorist entity, just like Gaza. Just to have a glance at a fake document that says that supposedly there’s “peace”. We’ve seen how Arabs treat peace treaties just a few weeks ago – or maybe attacking Israeli citizens is fine by you guys. It’s funny that anarchists like you – trying to promote an extreme radical form of freedom, are actually going after democracies (even flawed ones…) instead of fighting the dictatorships, which deny from their citizens even the most basic, simplest form of your extreme desire.

      Reply to Comment
    7. Thanks for your dedicated reporting on Nabi Saleh, Joseph. Good to see that a few mainstream media outlets are finally picking up the story.

      There’s nothing “borderline” about what happened to Islam Tamimi. Sleep deprivation is torture. That it’s happening to a child is unconscionable.

      Reply to Comment
    8. Piotr Berman

      “After visiting two of these “so-called peaceful demonstrations,” Mizrachi said he did not know what they were about”

      I have a suspicion that this guy would flank a course on nonviolent conflict resolution.

      Reply to Comment
    9. eddie

      I believe this is a great article and should be shared amongst many, the Israelis have no sense of the word “peace” every time they tell them to come up with a solution they go and start another conflict the same thing happened in south Lebanon while they were told to solve the state of war what did they do? they bombed innocent people while the Lebanese solely aim at the other soldiers the Israelis would shoot anything that got in their way including children, woman, elderly, ANIMALS anything at all that they see they shoot

      Reply to Comment
    10. directrob

      Who needs friends with ennemies like you. Israeli clearly do not shoot anything in their way. If nothing else killing too many is very bad PR (not the least inside Israel).

      Reply to Comment
    11. Directrob and Borg,
      When Gandhi applied nonviolence through his life, in his organized greater community, he was often great. When he asks others outside of his ken to do so he faulters. He demonstrated repeatedly that nonviolence requires organization to be effective; Hazare seems to have found a new way to organize, based partly on social media. Gandhi is no saint who appears to deliver us from evil. He offered an intricate way which will often not work in its entirety elsewhere. Perhaps it can be made to work, shaped to work, elsewhere, but that is for those exposed to the violence of occupation to form and decide. Talking about Gandhi’s view of 1938 Palestine is of little import. Bertrand Russell, in his 90’s predicted that the Israeli State would be enmeshed in violence indefintely. Wonderful. What can be done where we are, now. I wish I had an answer, even for myself.

      Reply to Comment
    12. Amir-Ras

      Isn’t it fortunate then, that the Palestinians too, do not “do Gandhi” very well?

      Reply to Comment