Monday, August 22, 2011

Pal. Female Uses Middle Finger

Yes, here in this violence-loaded piece:

“This is how you hold a rock,” said one of the shabab (youth). “No, not like that, like this. OK, you’re doing it wrong. No, look at my fingers! Imagine your thumb and forefinger as a pair of tweezers. Hold them up like this. The rock should fit comfortably.” He gave up on his theoretical talk, grabbed my fingers and molded them into the correct shape.

One kid tapped my arm. “Let the rock rest against your middle finger. That’s it, you got it.”

“Now stretch your arm out, away from your body,” the same shab continued. “No, not like a stick figure. Bend your elbow slightly. Move your arm backwards a little. When you throw, don’t let your shoulder move. The rock travels longer based on the follow through movement of your arm. OK, throw.” I threw. The rock felt lighter as it whizzed through the air. I yelled out in joy. “Did you see that!” My teachers nodded absentmindedly and threw their rocks. The distance covered was still longer than mine.

More crap: Israeli activist...loudly asserted that throwing rocks automatically cancelled out a “nonviolent protest.” Another activist was arguing with him, pointing out that the rocks were barely the source of bodily harm, but to me they both were missing the point completely.

One of the Tamimi men was leaning against the wall on a mattress, staring at the Israeli with scornful displeasure. “As long as the soldiers are here, as long as our land is being encroached upon, as long as their jeeps take over our village, and as long as they continue to fire tear gas, our shabab won’t stop throwing rocks,” he declared.

“Fine, but you can’t call it a nonviolent protest,” the Israeli countered. He looked warily around the room. “Look, I realize most of you don’t agree with me, but in my opinion a nonviolent protest shouldn’t engage in any tactics of violence, and to me throwing stones is an act of violence.”

“An act of violence!” the other activist almost sneered. “In response to what, the tear gas fired? The live ammunition sometimes used? The storming of houses and the subsequent arrests and beatings? You can’t equate the tactics of the Israeli army to rock-“

“I’m not equating them! Definitely I’m not! But to me, a nonviolent protest — ” “Listen,” I interjected. “This is the first mistake you’re making. Don’t say ‘nonviolent;’ the more correct term is ‘unarmed.’

The Israeli first-timer has obviously fallen victim to the western discourse that dictates what it regards as the appropriate way for Palestinians to resist the occupation. It seems more apparent that for the West, the term “nonviolent” protest would mean that one should retreat meekly in the face of aggression once chanting, singing and sticking flowers into the barrel ends of guns result in exacerbated aggression on the Israeli army’s part. There are all sorts of implications that come with that term, and it is important not to be ensnared by the western mindset. Definitions should come with context.

It's all a "symbolic gesture".


No comments: