nonviolent resistance

  • The Jewish Mind in the Age of Obama


    “Our best protection is to communicate with the people we are most afraid of.”

    By Kobi Skolnick

    Before becoming a peace activist, I spent years as a settler in the hills of the West Bank, planting trees and cultivating the soil. Some of my family and friends still live there, and I remain deeply connected to them. For this reason, as the Obama administration’s new policies unfold, I am of two minds. I understand the settler perspective, but I have a second view that comes from years of experience working for peace.

    My two perspectives are reflected by millions of people in the world. After Obama’s speech on June fourth , one group rejoiced, but for others his words were a dark cloud. For the first group, their hearts were filled with excitement, but others felt the tight grip of fear and distress. Some looked at his words and saw …

  • Building Palestine from the Bottom Up by Shlomo Ben Ami

    Shlomo is right, that the only tangible successes in Palestine in recent years have been the local, mayor-based projects of safety and security. He also knows well that without the political, endgame progress, that these local successes are just ways to make the Palestinian open-air prison of the West Bank into a nicer showcase of Bantustans. It can only be the prelude to nation building if President Obama rhetorically crushes the last vestiges of neoconservative tactics, this time in Jerusalem, that insists on driving Palestinians out of any place to live in their ancient city. This cannot continue, because it must be a home for two peoples.

    The “bottom” that Shlomo points to, security and infrastructure projects, are not ‘bottom’ enough for me. The real ‘bottom’ of peacebuilding is the heart of these two peoples, the searing rage, anger, humiliation, fear and paranoia that must be responded to by …

  • Dissident Writer Michel Kilo Freed in Syria

    This is wonderful news. Michel is a proud Syrian patriot and a pioneer of nonviolent approaches to change in the Middle East. He deserves all the honors that can be bestowed on him for his courageous stances and his reputation as a man of great integrity and generosity. All he did was have the foresight to describe where Syria is going anyway in the age of Obama. I understand the nervousness of the regime in the age of Cheney and Rumsfeld, but our nonviolent citizens are the greatest assets of every civilization, not a danger. This is the lesson of reform that needs to come to every society in the Middle East, including the so-called democracies.

    Syrian writer and pro-democracy campaigner Michel Kilo has been released from prison after serving a three-year sentence…While he was in prison, Syria established diplomatic relations with Lebanon and exchanged ambassadors….He said he was in


    This is the Arabic version of my previous post. Translated by our new contributor Azziz Abu Sarah of Palestine, new Senior Research Associate at the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution which I direct.

    دكتور مارك جوبن

    لقد حان الوقت لحركه واسعة النطاق للنضال الفلسطيني على مبدأ اللاعنف لأن كل الطرق الاخرى فشلت. لدي امال بان حكومة اوباما ستكون الانجح في تقريب الحل بين الاطراف المتنازعة لكن في صميم قلبي شعرت دائما بأن هناك طريق واحد للسلام لم يعتمد حتى الان وهو طريق اللاعنف وعدم التعاون على اساس المحبة. طريق غاندي ومارتن لوثر كينج
    لقد اتخذ العديد من الفلسطينيين في اسرائيل وفلسطين هذا الطريق من خلال المظاهرات السلمية الاحتجاجات ومقاطعة المنتوجات ولكن لم تتمتع هذه الحركة بالدعم الكامل لان النجاح لحركة اللاعنف مرتبط باختياره كالطريق الوحيد للنظال.
    أنا لا أتحدث عن العدل أو انه من مسؤولية الفلسطينيين أن يمدوا ايديهم لليهود. في عالم عادل كان يتوجب على …

  • Nonviolent Noncooperation in Palestine and Israel: The Time Has Come for Arabs and Jews

    I just published this essay in the Common Ground News Service:

    Non-cooperation can bring a revolution to the Holy Land
    by Marc Gopin
    26 March 2009

    WASHINGTON, DC – It is time for a mass movement of nonviolent non-cooperation and resistance amongst Palestinians-because everything else has failed. I have hopes that the Obama Administration will be the best yet in moving the parties toward resolution, but in my heart I have always felt that there is one path to peace that has never been adopted, and that is the path of nonviolent non-cooperation – but with love – the way of Gandhi and Martin Luther King.

    This is something that a number of Palestinians within Israel and Palestine have tried through nonviolent marches, protests, and food boycotts, but it has never received full backing because it only works when it is adopted as the only means of resistance.

    This …

  • Resistance with Love: The Only Hope for Palestine

    Everything has failed in terms of Israeli and Palestinian relations for almost a hundred years. There will be more and more negotiations, and I have hopes that the Obama Administration will be the best yet in really moving the parties toward resolution. But in my heart I have always felt that there is one path to peace that has never been trod and fully adopted, that is the path of nonviolent noncooperation and resistance but with love, the way of Gandhi and King. I will develop this idea more in the coming months, but this is something that a number of Palestinians inside Israel and inside Palestine have tried, but it has never received the backing of the Palestinian National Movement. On the contrary it was suppressed because it only works when it is adopted completely as the only means of resistance.

    This is not about fairness or whether Palestinians …

  • Encountering Peace: Bibi or Tzipi, Bibi and Tzipi – what does it really matter?

    Gershon Baskin’s provocative title is absolutely right, it does not appear to matter anymore which coalition will rule Israel next. The fact is that Olmert had a bigger mandate than Livni or Netanyahu to pursue the peace process, freeze the settlements, and uphold all the commitments Israel made in Annapolis. And he failed at all of them, and instead unleashed a horrifying set of wars in Lebanon and Gaza that have left Palestinians utterly shell shocked. So why not add fuel to the fire with a Lieberman-inclusive government that traumatizes the rest of the Palestinian people who have resided in Israel since 1948, who never left the land, and who have been isolated by everyone ever since, despite their absolutely peaceful resistance to injustice? Despite the fact that by a vast majority of 75% the Arabs of Israel would support a democratic constitution for Israel that also kept it a …


    Ha’aretz obtained an official report of the Israeli government that reveals for the first time the full details of the Occupation’s illegality. Even major settlements that are not considered illegal outposts turn out to have significant sections that are built on stolen, private Palestinian lands, by the account of the Israeli military that authored the report. This means that tens of thousands of Israelis, many of them actually unaware, are living on private Palestinian lands all over the West Bank. The details will be vital to any future negotiations, should Israel even be capable at this point of reversing the damage that has been done. Many were fooled into believing that these lands were open, available, and public. Read the report and comment. The truth is very painful for everyone to face, but it is only by knowing the whole truth of the situation that third parties can be …