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Non-violent movement needed around the world

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Times have changed. The world has shrunk, and what happens to someone in
Papua New Guinea does matter. What I am trying to say is that non-violent
movements will definitely work. And it will work in Palestine. It doesn't
matter what the historical cause of the problem.

Do you really believe that had our freedom fighters resorted to violence, we
shall have gained independence? I don't think so. You see if you start
killing people, they become even more resolute. Israel is a democratic and a
civilized country; and had Arafat mounted a major non-violent freedom
movement, he would have succeeded. Israel is surrounded by enemies; they
(Israelis) have been tortured and killed throughout the ages. They have now
come together as one nation and people, and they will do anything to protect
that. But they are democratic and believe in the rule of law. And they would
(with the help from other countries) given up the occupied lands, had Arafat
carried a dove in his hat, instead of a hawk.

But the middle-east is such that no one there knows anything about
democracy, rule of law, or any civilized behaviour. If you have a
problematic neighbour, pull out your gun: that attitude is so unfortunate.
The trouble is most people over there see non-violent resistance as
weakness; and they want to show how "strong" and "brave" they can be.

I may not agree with Gandhi's idealism; but his non-violent means achieved
us Independence. Let no Indian ever forget that.

Coming to Northern Ireland: well, the Catholics want to unite the country;
and had they too gone the non-violent way, the partial-independence that
they now have (where both Dublin and London send representatives) would have
been got years ago. And don't forget, London allowed this only after most of
the IRA gave up violence. As long as there were terrorists running around,
London would never have listened.

Sure both the parties in Ireland are white; well both partied in
Palestine-Israel are Semitic (all children of Abraham). People will fight
over the smallest difference they have. But my point is this: it may be
slow, but non-violent means achieve lasting peace with no scars and
bitterness on either side.


-----Original Message-----
From: Rajiv K. Shukla [mailto:rajiv_shukla@yahoo.com]
Sent: Monday, February 25, 2002 10:50 AM
To: debate@indiapolicy.org
Subject: RE: Arundhati Roy on Juriprudence

Please help make the Manifesto better, or accept it, and propagate it!


--- NavinK@Gafri.com wrote:

> Mahatma Gandhi, more than 50 years ago, showed that
> non-violence works. And
> Rev. Martin Luther King showed that non-violence
> when applied to
> civil-liberties movement works. If the Palestinians
> leaders had taken this
> path, all problems would have been resolved long
> ago, with no hatred in
> anyone's heart.

Obviously you have too much faith in Mahatma's
methods. Be that as it may, I'd just like to remind
you that Palestinians lost their LAND to the Israelis.
Their movement is a tad bit more than 'civil
liberties' movement.  Moreover, Mahatma's methods work
if the opponent has some sympathy for your cause at
some level. The opponent has to agree, however
grudgingly, that you have the moral authority.
Israelis have shown they are incapable of doing that,
except for may be some fringe left wing intellectuals.
They have effectively and systematically dehumanised
the Palestinians for decades. Mahatma's methods do not
work with such an opponent.

>But no: Arafat took up the gun (and
> still carries one about
> his person),--and look what happened. The same is
> true for Northern Ireland;
> the same is true for all "freedom" struggles around
> the world.

Northen Ireland, today, is hardly the same. Here we
are talking about two white christian communities,
both having  equal rights to their land. The question
is whether it should ultimately be integrated with the
Republic of Ireland or should it remain separate and
be a part of the British Union. If we went back 500
years or more, then, of course, things would have been
different. Then they should have kicked out the
protestant people coming over from England and
Scotland and taking the land out of the hands of the
native Catholic people. But, today one cannot go back
centuries to make things right. They have to share
that piece of land and come to terms with each other.

> If Israel shoots unarmed Palestinians (protesting
> peacefully) asking for a
> homeland, the very next day the world would have
> crushed Israel into
> submission; but not now.

Israel has done just that for more than 50 years.
'World' a.k.a UN has passed plenty of resolutions
condemning that. Nothing has happened.

>Frankly many world leaders
> have lost all sympathy
> for Arafat and his mob.

Arafat has done Israel more favour than anybody else.
He has given Israel, the world and people, such as
you, the excuse to cry foul and belittle the entire
Palestinian people.

>You take up the gun, get
> ready for death;

Are you saying that the Indian armed revolutinaries,
who died fighting the British, deserved death? Are you
suggesting that the people who fought for the U.S war
of independence from the British empire deserved

- Rajiv

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