Monday, May 16, 2011

Palestinian Youth Movement(s) Rising

Oh, there they are! Turns out that they were not just a hunger striking one-off group intoxicated by the successes of  the revolutions of Egypt and Tunisia, but are in fact building a movement complete with seminars that will educate and teach members and activists the true effectiveness of non-violent resistance. Why don't they have a name though? The Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM) isn't something that is too mind-boggling to come up with. Anyhoo, we are thrilled. One year from now and this movement will have caused some significant positive changes. Well, at least we hope they do.

We knew about the demonstration that was going to take place at Qalandiya but we didn't see the point of going since the usual outcome is always getting tear gassed, and we didn't see how that will help in anything. We believe in effective useful means you see. As it turns out, the rock throwing yesterday started only after the IOF began firing tear gas canisters, and it was mostly from adolescents. Imagine instead, sticking flowers in the guns of those scaredy-pants soldiers. How disarming will that be! Trust us, we are not turning on the sarcasm full wattage here. We honestly want to see these creative non-violent resistance tactics succeed.

Kieron Monks reports that the superficial PA-sponsored festivities around the Manara square were  meant to divert from the main effort taking place at Qalandiya. We didn't see any "sea of yellow flags" in Ramallah though.
Fadi Quran, one of the youth movement's senior figures, defined success by progress. "In the long run, this will be useful for building unity of purpose," he said. "You can see there is more trust between the people, we have the numbers and the connections."

Before the event, the movement had convened seminars to educate youths on strategies of non-violent resistance, as well as providing advice on how to cope with police brutality. The efforts will intensify toward future actions, but the traditional resistance of burning tires and throwing stones will not change overnight.

"We need to give the world a picture of non-violent Palestinian resistance," Quran said.

Maybe then the world can acknowledge Palestinian self-determination. It is so heartening to see Israeli activists taking part in the Nabi Saleh protests. Joseph Dana does a pretty fantastic job documenting what goes on every Friday there. Speaking of which, we hereby introduce you to Zochrot, a little Israeli organization dedicated to the remembrance of the Nakba. The video "highlights the basic psychology of the Israeli public who use the Holocaust to justify their colonization, dispossession, and subjugation of he Palestinians." This kind of free democratic nation houses wax-like scary eye make-up self-acknowledged racists. That is just so weird. The logic here is so clear cut: My family suffered unimaginably during the Holocaust and I have a right to live in this country. Fuck the Palestinians, they didn't have to lose three brothers at the hands of the Nazis!

Mainstream non-violent resistance and a very profound education for both sides. Israelis, Palestinians have a right to live in this country. Palestinians, Israelis are victims of their own governments and theocratic lunatics. There needs to be more independent thinking and critical awareness from the Israeli public, because this is not an equal conflict. There are the oppressors, and there are the oppressed. And as Desmond Tutu once said, "If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality."

To round off, Fadi Quran says,
"...we're going to continue training in nonviolence, and we're going to continue marching in nonviolence until it is very clear in the international media who is violating human rights."
Sign us up already!

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