What is the best response to the recent tragedies in Israel/Palestine? According to Jewish Voice For Peace’s courageous new statement “From Gaza to Jerusalem: Statement” we must redouble our support of the growing movement of Palestinians who are seeking justice through nonviolent means:
This is a movement that respects life, that is part and parcel of the nonviolent democratic people’s movements we have been inspired by throughout the Arab world, that welcomes the solidarity and support of Israeli and international believers in equality and universal human rights. This is a movement that fundamentally subverts the logic of armies, revenge and armed struggle.
And it’s a movement that needs our support more than ever. It’s just been reported that Bassem Tamimi, one of the leaders of the nonviolent Popular Struggle Committee in the Palestinian village of Nabi Saleh, was arrested today in his home by the IDF. According to reports, Bassem’s wife and 10 year old daughter were brutalized by soldiers during his arrest; he is expected to be indicted on charges of “incitement” and “organizing illegal demonstrations.”
I had the honor of meeting Bassem in Ramallah this past December (that’s him above center, with Iyad Morrar, leader of the Popular Committee in the village of Budrus). As I commented at the time, Palestinian leaders such as Bassem and Iyad are eminently deserving of our attention and support – especially since their struggles are largely ignored by the mainstream media.
As the JVP statement states, “(any) act of violence, especially one against civilians, marks a profound failure of human imagination and causes a deep and abiding trauma for all involved.”
Amen. I can think of no better antidote to the tragedy of violence than to champion the cause of Palestinian leaders such as Bassem Tamimi.