As I read the myriad of reactions to the Gaza Freedom Flotilla tragedy last Sunday, I’m struck by one recurring theme: the sense of astonishment that these activists responded to the Israeli Navy with violence.
In other words, they didn’t act according to the script. They didn’t behave like proper practitioners of civil disobedience. The implication: if they had responded like the non-violent activists they were purported to be, this whole tragedy could well have been avoided.
There’s only problem with this calculus: non-violent Palestinian protests have actually been ongoing throughout the Occupied Territories for years – and the Israeli military has been responding to them with much the same kind of brutality that was used against the passengers of the Mavi Marmara.
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