Browsing the archives for the Israel tag.

Palestinians need a Gandhi

International Politics

Maybe it’s because of MLK day approaching, but I’ve had this persistent thought (surely I am not the first to think it) since the latest violence in Gaza that what the Palestinians need is a Ghandi, a Martin, or a Tutu.  I am very sympathetic with their plight, and I don’t think that the violence of the many jihadist groups justify the kind of massacre that is going on now in Gaza and has gone on periodically over as many years as I can remember.  But do they seriously believe that lobbing rockets into Sderot, or blowing up a cafe is going to accomplish anything but more massacres?  Israel has and always has had the upper hand.  They have a military second (or maybe first) only to that of the US, more financial support, are an actual sovereign nation, and have the US vote at the UN.  Palestinians will never, ever, win a physical battle with Israel.  And whatever they might believe, they will also never win enough international sympathy to pressure the Israeli government into credible peace negotiations.

There are very few instances in history when a weaker party has bested their goliath opponent, and only three that I can think of off the top of my head: India’s independence, South Africa’s abolition of apartheid, and the Civil Rights Act in the US.  These three have one thing in common — the employment of non-violent resistance.  That doesn’t mean, of course, that all resistance was non-violent.  In each case there was violence.  But a just resolution did not come from violent uprisings but through non-violent protest and resistance.  Hopefully there is a young man or woman in Palestine right now studying the lives and teachings of the great non-violent resisters throughout history.  Hopefully they will not be killed before they have a chance to lead a movement for peace.


Is the “Great Satan” missing a Great Opportunity with Iran?

International Politics, Politics

In the Axis of Evil, there is one evil that stands above the rest, a country whose president will cause protests and allows commentators to rant for days in advance of his visits.  Of course that country is Iran.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

President Ahmadinejad visited the UN last week and we were treated to all the usual fireworks.  Senator Clinton and Governor Palin jostled to attend a National Coalition to Stop Iran Now protest, President Ahmadinejad made more anti-Zionist remarks and generally heaped ridicule on the US and both Senators McCain and Obama vowed to prevent Iran from getting the bomb in last Friday’s debate.  More important though, are Obama’s and McCain’s positions on negotiating directly with Tehran.  Are we missing a rare opportunity to actually make some progress with a country that has been a thorn in our side for twenty five years?

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