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unarmed resistance

  • Popular resistance in Palestine: Decline and hope for change

    A decade ago popular protests against the separation wall, settlements, and occupation were the great promise of the Palestinian struggle. Now a new book takes a look at why these demonstrations were never actually able to bring out the Palestinian masses to the streets, and what activists can learn for the future. By Thimna Bunte In what may be the most insightful, comprehensive, and sensitive academic study of today's Palestinian popular resistance, Marwan Darweish and Andrew Rigby's new book, Popular Protest in Palestine – The Uncertain Future of Unarmed Resistance, provides an excellent analysis of Palestinian unarmed resistance to the Israeli…

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  • 'The New York Times' investigates a Palestinian hobby

    You thought Palestinians throw stones because of the occupation? Think again. The New York Times on Sunday published one of its most out-of-context items from the West Bank in recent years - and it has published many of them. The piece consists of a study of "the culture of stone-throwing,” which apparently has become part of Palestinian life, in the same way that Friday dinners are part of Jewish life or Sunday walks in Central Park are part of New York life. The head of the paper's Jerusalem bureau, Jodi Rudoren (who has written decent pieces in the past), traveled to…

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  • Settlers accuse 'Haaretz' of calling for violence against them

    Fallout from Amira Hass’s article on Palestinian stone-throwing shows that as far as Israelis are concerned, any and every form of resistance against the occupation is illegitimate. The Yesha Council – the regional council for West Bank settlements, which operates also as the settlers’ political and lobbying arm – filed a complaint with the Jerusalem Police against the Haaretz daily newspaper and its reporter in the occupied territories, Amira Hass. Hass this morning published a piece discussing the logic of stone-throwing and persecution in the occupied territories. Quotes: Throwing stones is the birthright and duty of anyone subject to foreign rule. Throwing stones…

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  • Reframing non-violent resistance: An act of moral piracy

    When we allow non-violence to be distorted as illegitimate, we fail to uphold our most cherished principles. It is not a strange phenomenon for morality to be the object of contestation. Competing groups often battle for the moral high ground when presenting their case to the outside world in a customary appeal for support. Far from being an exception to this rule, Israelis and Palestinians are its standard bearers, constantly providing their accounts for the entire world to see, hear, and sympathize. The tragedy is that this game has been played for so long, with arguments crafted in such minute…

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  • Rhetoric, reality and Twitter in the West Bank

    Twitter is changing the nature of breaking news from West Bank demonstrations. It is exposing Israel’s heavy handed crowd control methods which often break the army’s own internal codes of conduct. Naturally, some so called ‘supporters of Israel’ are having a hard time rationalizing Israel’s behaviour, therefore attacking Twitter users as biased, misinformed or even outright liars. As I was standing amidst the chaos yesterday at the Qalandia checkpoint -- the site of a demonstration marking the anniversary of the 1967 war -- I reported on Twitter what I saw. The demonstration started off peacefully and then the army attacked…

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  • WATCH: Private Israeli security guard attacks protesters with live fire

    Israeli private security opens live fire on unarmed Israeli and Palestinians demonstrators. Army arrives and throws tear gas on the demonstrators. This morning, roughly 40 unarmed Palestinians among with four Israelis, held a demonstration at an illegal Israeli quarry built on the land of the villages of Ni'ilin and Budrus. As the demonstrators approached the quarry they could see an Israeli private security guard screaming at them from a small distance. Within seconds, the guard opened live fire on the protesters. He even took time to aim at individual protesters. The below video was shot by one of the activists on the scene. According to eyewitnesses, within…

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  • Taking on Thomas Friedman over unarmed resistance

    Thomas Friedman of the New York Times  published an opinion piece last week in which he argued that the Palestinians need to embrace unarmed resistance. I wrote a letter to the Times gently telling Mr. Friedman that the Palestinian have already begun to embrace unarmed resistance. The New York Times did not publish the letter. Reading Thomas Friedman's "Lesson from Tahrir Sqaure" last week, one passage jumped out of the pages and struck me. Friedman, the liberal Zionist New York Times columnist , wrote, If Palestinians peacefully march to Jerusalem by the thousands every Friday with a clear peace message, it would become a global…

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  • Disconnect: Int'l Human Rights Day in Tel Aviv versus the W. Bank

    Before the first heavy rains hit Israel yesterday, thousands people gathered in central Tel Aviv to mark international Human Rights Day. The occasion brought together various Israeli NGOs and thousands of concerned citizens in the spirit of presenting a face of Israel that supports human rights and progressive values. Placards were carried through the streets supporting gay rights, woman’s rights, African refugees rights and, also, coexistence between Jews and Arabs. Police lined the streets of the demonstration to ensure the safety of the protesters and keep confrontation with the right wing counter protesters at bay (one has to hand it…

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  • What Haaretz expose on High-Velocity Tear Gas Projectiles lacked

    Haaretz is reporting today something which has been known for weeks, the IDF has illegally reintroduced high-velocity tear gas canisters to their arsenal of weapons used to crush weekly Palestinian non-violent demonstrations in the West Bank. This is in violation of the IDF’s own directives that such tear gas canisters should not be used in West Bank demonstrations. Manufactured and sold to the Israeli military by Combined Systems Inc., a United States company based in Jamestown, Pennsylvania, the tear gas projectiles have been responsible for countless injuries, destruction of property and one death. According to the company’s subsidiary website, the projectiles are not…

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