[ Although Michael Moore called on the Palestinians to engage in massive nonviolent action to shame Israel before the world in his Stupid White Men (2002), Palestinian cynicism is understandable: As the International Herald Tribune’s Jonathan Cook points out,
for most of the 37 years of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, the Palestinians were nonviolent – and it did them little good. Israel simply entrenched the occupation, illegally moving hundreds of thousands of settlers on to Palestinian land…. The sad truth is that over the last four years, in the second intifada, the Palestinians have learned that there is no necessary correlation between the violence they inflict on Israelis and their own suffering at the hands of Israeli forces. Despite the current lull in attacks on Israelis, Palestinian deaths continue daily. (40 August 2004)
Israel’s violence against and dehumanization of the Palestinians has not so far generated an international uproar demanding peace. Nor have the deaths of a few international peace activists along with the Palestinians. What might prove effective is a mass of American and European peace activists, marching nonviolently, under fire from Israeli forces. –BL ]
Ramallah – The grandson of Mahatma Gandhi yesterday urged Palestinian refugees to march home from Jordan en masse, even if the Israelis “kill 200 people”, to shock the world into taking notice.
Arun Gandhi proposed to the Palestinian parliament a peaceful march of 50,000 refugees across the Jordan river, and said lawmakers should lead the way.
“Maybe the Israeli army would shoot and kill several. They may kill 100. They may kill 200 men, women and children. And that would shock the world,” he said in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
Mr Gandhi, on a trip to territory where Palestinians are seeking statehood, compared Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza to treatment of blacks under South Africa’s former apartheid regime, saying what was happening to Palestinians was “10 times worse”.
A Palestinian lawmaker, Azmi al-Shueibi, called Mr Gandhi’s idea “important and interesting”. But he said there were more pressing issues, such as stopping Israeli raids.
“I am willing to participate in such a march,” he said. “Arab countries around Palestine do not help us in executing such ideas. But I think we should adopt this idea in the future.”