Friday, July 17, 2009

Everything I know about Nonviolence I learned in At-Tuwani

While I was cleaning out some files, I found a document I started a year ago. It's a list of the things I've learned about nonviolent resistance from the people of At-Tuwani and while it's very far from being comprehensive, I thought it might be interesting. I think that I had intended to the describe events and people that taught me these lessons and I could still do that if I get requests to do so. But I think this is pretty interesting as it is.

Drink your tea. The soldiers will probably still be there after you're finished. If they aren't, there was no need to go any way.

There’s always time to be polite.

When you thinks things are bad, ask a haji* and she’ll tell you that they could be worse.

Having a gun doesn't make you strong. It certainly doesn't make you brave.

If it's really important, have the women and children demonstrate. When all else fails, send in the hajis.

Nonviolence is risky.

Persistence is powerful.

The real victims of this occupation are people who give into paranoia and hate.

*Elderly woman (women)


brooke said...

ask a haji - they could be worse - that's my favorite. thanks for that.

Anonymous said...

Of course, Hajis only work in certain situations - at the seige of Palestinian camps in the Lebanese war, after the last wells were no longer under their control, the Palestinians sent out the old women to them, to get water. The Lebanese shot them down one at a time. Likewise, elderly Jewish women would not have been effective against Nazis, and I would hate to see this tried in Dafur. Your post speaks to the basic decency of the Israelis.

joy_in_palestine said...

I don't want to call any group of people indecent, wholesale, but I do want to clarify that I've seen old women from Tuwani beaten by soldiers. Settlers have shot then, stolen from them, pushed them, and injured them. Same can be said for the army. Sure, soldiers go after Palestinian men with special intensity, but elderly women do excellent nonviolent resistance because they are just plain bad-ass, more than any other reason.