Thursday, April 14, 2016

Demolition, Violence and the Fair Cry for Justice

Residents of al-Walaje survey the destruction following the demolition of three homes 
in the village overnight on Tuesday, April 12, 2016.
Though the process of our hosting "Justice for Palestine" has been intensely challenging, and controversial even among friends, this is why we're determined to go ahead: 
"Hundreds of people have lost their homes and entire communities are in danger of expulsion. Settler groups such as Regavim, along with people such as MK Moti Yogev (Jewish Home) have been putting pressure on the authorities to carry out the demolitions, whose entire purpose is to expel Palestinians from Area C of the West Bank, under full Israeli civil and military control. The Jewish Home party’s formal plan is to annex Area C to Israel, leaving the rest of the Palestinians imprisoned in Areas A and B." (972 Magazine in Israel)
The people of these villages deserve every opportunity to act nonviolently in their own defense, every opportunity to encourage collaboration in the west, every opportunity to cry out for an end to destruction, death and terror.  The people of Palestine and their allies in Israel have every right to demand an end to these expulsions and annexations--which only perpetuate conflict, displacement and violence.  How can we, of any faith, of any spiritual conviction, turn away in good conscience? 

The heart of the conflict, as it now exists in the Holy Land, is occupation.  It's not a Jewish practice, any more than the hardliners who bomb abortion clinics in the USA are involved in a Christian practice.  Occupation is an imperial project, an expansion project, and an irrefutable rejection of human rights for the occupied.  That's not a religious practice, a Jewish practice or a spiritual practice: it's an unlawful practice. 

I fully support brave practitioners of robust nonviolence--who daringly believe that nonviolence (organized, principled and broadly practiced) can challenge the logic and practice of occupation.  For the sake of all these peoples, all these families, on all sides of the conflict...let's hope so.