11 July 2010

Gandhi, King and Palestine

Nicholas D. Krystof reckons the Palestinians would be much better off following Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.'s example, and just should just quit all that naughtiness about suicide-bombing and firing cheeky rockets at Sderot. Alas, he's a nowt but a dreamer, as we all know they're incapable of pulling it off:
But then a group of Palestinian youths began to throw rocks at Israeli troops. That’s the biggest challenge: many Palestinians define “nonviolence” to include stone-throwing.
See what I mean? They're never going to manage. Too temperamental, no self-restraint. Sad, really, as it means they'll all have to get blown up some more.

The straight fact is, The Palestinians will never, ever achieve this because The Palestinians aren't a person. All it takes is one bloke who doesn't believe in it, and the nonviolence goes out the window. Adopting nonviolence doesn't make other people's violence disappear, any more than being vegetarian is going to abolish meat. And let's not pretend it was any different with Krystof's examples. While King might have been all about the peaceful civil disobedience, Malcolm X was still around and well up for any means necessary. For all Gandhi and friends' refusals to fight back, Sir Michael O'Dwyer still wound up with a cap in his ass. Even when Mandela renounced violence, he couldn't renounce it on anyone else's behalf. Looking back at successful nonviolent movements, almost universally hailed in hindsight as deserving and justified, we don't blame the pacifists thronging behind Gandhi, King and Biko for the violence of militants who shared their cause. But, as always seems to be the case, Arabs, Muslims and Palestinians find themselves squashed into one homogeneous brown consciousness, with Mahmoud Abbas as the hive's bloated queen, serviced by randy Hamas drones and popping out rock-slinging, mouse-watching, self-exploding larvae by the hundred.

For both morality and effectiveness, I'm firmly behind nonviolent movements, but it's ridiculous to suggest there's such thing as nonviolent peoples. Krystof is not comparing like with like, and invoking King and Gandhi is both inaccurate and underhand. Look what happens only one paragraph after those hot-headed Arabs start chucking rocks:
Soon after, the Israeli forces fired volleys of tear gas at us, and then charged. The protesters fled, some throwing rocks backward as they ran. It’s a far cry from the heroism of Gandhi’s followers, who refused even to raise their arms to ward off blows as they were clubbed.
Expecting "The Palestinians", as a bloc, to totally renounce violence is blatantly unworkable, and the fact that "they" inevitably can't manage it then justifies whatever human rights violations and collective punishment nonviolent protesters and bystanders then suffer. Obviously Israel doesn't want to kill innocent people or violate basic freedom of assembly, but what choice does it have when troublemakers insist on ruining it for everyone else? Oh well, we did our best. Lock and load boys, and try to hide those erections.

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