Hard question to answer…. actually it is harder question to ask!!
Israel has made three ideas fundamentaly difficult to achieve: Use of Nonviolence, Peace and Coexistence.
In Palestine, we were taught how to be nice to people and how to respect human beings. I was taught every thing is possible and that we can make the impossible, possible. While I was child I heared of people talking about peace and coexistence with Israel. Many groups of people tried to achieve it, but I am convinced that Israel is the reason peace has not been accomplished. Israel has not acted like a willing partner in this struggle for peace.
Holy Land Trust organizes weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the Israeli Occupation and building of the apartheid wall over Palestinian land and farms. Since January 2007, Holy Land Trust has organized this event, but I can’t remember, even for one time, that Israel used a nonviolent way to stop us! The armed soldiers, it seems, are always ready to shoot, or use wooden sticks and tear gas.
I have participated in the nonviolence resistance since I started working with Holy Land Trust in March of 2007. I am very happy to see my People (the Palestinians) , with the help of some internationals and Israeli peacemakers, to join the nonviolent resistance against the occupation. The number of the participants are increasing, and the idea of resistance against the occupier in a nonviolent way is becoming steadily popular among the society. But the question still lurks: How are the Israeli soldiers supporting these actions? What is their opinion toward the Palestinian nonviolent resistance?
To answer this question I need to begin in 1948, when Israel occupied Palestine. Israel used military tactics to defeat all kinds of Palestinian action against the occupation. Since Palestine is not a armed country and does not have equal power with Israeli, Palestinians had very few ways to defeat the Israeli occupation and gain back their rights and lands. Personally, I have experienced the Israeli violence against Palestinians in the first Intifada when the Palestinians threw stones at Israeli soldiers. Many people were killed in this period, but now we live in a new period. In this new period Palestine is trying a new resistance against Israel, the nonviolent resistance.
Even non-violence does not stop Israel from using violent measures agaisnt our peaceful resistance. On Friday, January 25, 2007, I joined the weekly demonstration in Al-Khader village, on the western side of Bethlehem. Demonstrators called to end the Siege of Gaza and to create one land living in Peace. The event proceded when the Muslim population had their Friday prayer. After, we walked towards the Israeli segragation wall, calling, “End the Siege of Gaza” and “Free Palestine”. The Israeli soldiers prevented us to cross to the main road to protest, so we had to start moving back to leave. As we were leaving the tear gas started going off. one of the bombs landed right in front of me. I couldn’t breathe and I was running away while my eyes were shut due to the tear gas. I sat on the sidewalk, eyes bloodshot, for 15 minutes trying to breathe fresh air, I felt like I was dying.
Typicaly, this is the method Israel uses to stop us. Our calls for peace is something dangerous for Israel. I am going insane because I don’t understand what we should do to end the Israeli Palestinian Conflict. I feel defeated by them. While reflecting on the previous methods of resistance by Palestinians, I conclude; throwing stones did not work and suicide bombs defiently did not work. In this new time period we must use the nonviolence method, but even that seems aggressive to the Israeli occupiers. I feel they don’t want us to be peaceful, but I believe that if peace is going to prevail, nonviolence is the only way we can solve our problems.