Tuesday, April 09, 2013

On Violence in "Palestinian Resistance" or, Wendy Meet Amira

I have read this book review article, Violence, Nonviolence, and the Palestinian National Movement by Lena Meari, a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Palestine Studies at Columbia University. in the Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol 42, no. 1 (Autumn 2012), of Wendy Pearlman’s Occupied Voices: Stories of Everyday Life from the Second Intifada.  The book covers "the Palestinian national movement" over one hundred years, beginning with the Palestinian national struggle under British rule, and continues with the rise of the PLO, the first intifada, the Oslo peace process, and the second intifada.


  Photo: Ala Francis
we are informed

articulates the experiences of ordinary Palestinians, allowing their voices to reach larger audiences. Pearlman’s interest in the Palestinian struggle, whether it be violent or nonviolent, emerged from a question frequently asked by her American audiences: “Why do Palestinians carry out violence against Israelis?”

In an interview, we learn this about what Pearlman learned:

Pearlman adds that through her Palestinian activism, she’s learned that “in a debate setting, it takes 30 seconds to create a lie, to spin a lie, and then five minutes to disprove it. So in a debate setting, lies win. I feel like that’s something you see in the media. It’s very easy, it takes one sentence, one line, to launch the completely unfair, maybe utterly fabricated, accusation that Palestinian textbooks teach hate — Palestinian mothers send their children out to die.”

She elaborates there that while she is

“a young Jewish woman from the American Midwest...I grew up in a non-religious, secular but Jewish household. I never felt any sort of affiliation with Israel growing up. I came to this issue as a student of political science studying the Middle East,” .

“I would love to never mention the whole Jewish thing in the whole book...I would absolutely love … to never have that introduction where I talk about being Jewish, to not open the first two pages saying that I went to Sunday school...It’s a packaging, marketing thing, and you really feel like you’re selling yourself...I feel like a can of Coca Cola or something — ‘New and Improved, Jew from Nebraska!...if you want people to listen to Palestinian voices, this is the game you have to play.”

In any case, the book, we are informed, deals with

Why do some self-determination movements use violent protest and others nonviolent protest, and why would a movement employ different protest strategies at different points in time? 

To try to answer that

She develops the “organizational mediation theory of protest,” which concerns the movement’s level of cohesion or fragmentation, arguing that “a movement must be cohesive to use nonviolent protest, and fragmented movements are more likely than cohesive ones to use violent protest” (p. 11). 

So, whose fault is that?

Internal rivals, Pearlman contends, compete against each other by radicalizing protest against the movement’s external adversary (p. 14)...Pearlman insists that it is the “organizational structure of the Palestinian struggle as a movement, not the collective consciousness of Palestinians as a people, that has mediated forms of protest” (p. 21).

But the reviewer knows "better":

...the author’s attention [was turned] to the nature of the organizational structure of the Palestinian resistance movement, not to the effects of all forms of violence constitutive of the Zionist settler-colonial project. Pearlman does not deny the latter violence, but would claim that the effect of colonial violence “is not automatic, but mediated by the national movement’s organizational structure” (p. 45). Pearlman’s over-emphasis on the internal organizational structure of the Palestinian resistance movement distracts her from capturing the dynamics of revolutionary violence necessary for decolonization which “implies the urgent need to thoroughly challenge the colonial situation."...A social class whose interests are contingent on the international community and the colonist’s recognition will employ diplomatic means of struggle that serve this end. Likewise, a social class whose material conditions are crushed under colonial rule compose the radical force in resistance movements, absorbing the colonial violence, and thus radiating revolutionary violence.

So, we Jews are responsible for the level of violence the Arabs employ against us.

The "Pal. victimhood" justifies terror.

And what does this lead to?  I would say a more evil violence, one of ultimate extinction, as expressed in the matter of 

as explained by Ahmad Samih Khalidi

...the official PA/PLO position is that how Israel defines itself is not a Palestinian concern, and that the Palestinians cannot accede to this demand on two basic grounds: first, because defining Israel as a Jewish state prejudices the political and civic rights of Israel’s Arab citizens, who comprise 20 percent of the population and whose second-class status would be consolidated by dint of recognizing the “Jewishness” of the state, and second, because to acknowledge Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people would compromise the Palestinian refugees’ right of return, as there would be no moral or political grounds for them to return to a universally recognized Jewish state.

By claiming that the Arabs have no where to go or be, then the conclusion is that Jews should have no where to go or be.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In scandinavia people think jews have a very strange face, especially the nose is very bad-looking,kinda scythe-like they say, . They call it " Ful nasa". the word "ful" is pronounced like the english word "fuel". i kind of feel sorry for them, but maybe its the testosterone.. i´ve heard it increases the tissues inside the nose, especially bone mass.
It´s intresting to note that the hebrew work "nasa" can mean both "to marry" and "to lift" and "to desire" among many other verbs..