Non-Violence as a Military Tactic

In Mark Perry’s recent article in Foreign Policy, he wrote:

In Cairo, in June of 2009, President Obama linked the Palestinian quest for freedom to the American civil rights movement. “Palestinians must abandon violence,” he said. “Resistance through violence and killing is wrong and it does not succeed.” He was right. So why is it that now — when finally, Montgomery has come to Nabi Saleh — he chooses to remain silent?

This is an appeal to Obama specifically presenting the Palestinian cause as a civil rights movement. The obvious answer to Perry is that it is not a civil rights movement, but rather an attempt to use non-violence to achieve the military objectives that violence failed to achieve, namely the acquisition of lands. In other words, the only rights in question are rights to land.

Land issues should be solved in negotiations, not through violence or through non-violence. Non-violence is a tactic, not a goal. If the goals are the acquisition of territory or the elimination of the Jewish state, non-violence is in fact simply another tactic used to achieve these military goals. One can be a non-violent hater, a non-violent Jew hater, a non-violent advocate for the elimination of the Jewish state through non-violent means, a non-violent advocate for the expulsion of the Jews from the land.

We may argue about whether or not certain border fences should be where they are and whether certain lands will be Israel’s or part of a future Palestinian state, but the use of non-violence to achieve those goals rather than negotiations is only qualitatively different from using violence. In effect, one can execute a non-violent attack and attempts to harm Israelis by harming Israeli security are exactly such an attack. This is why non-violent protests that attempt to do harm to Israel’s security are met with a response as if Israel were under attack. They are attacks.

The only question that need be asked if one is wondering whether or not an action qualifies as an attack is “Does it affect the other side harmfully?” Attempts to dismantle security barriers that prevent harm from coming to residents on the other side are such attempts.

Addendum from Meryl: Mark Perry is lying about the protests being nonviolent.

A border guard was blinded by a “protester”. There were also broken leg, broken arm, injuries, injuries, and more injuries during the weekly Bilin “protests.” And here is a picture of the stones used to injure the soldiers.

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