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Israel Must Welcome Non-violent Resistance

by Paul Larudee

The accusers who denied me entry to Israel on the basis of secret evidence and who continue to persecute the International Solidarity Movement and Palestinian non-violent resistance may think of the us as troublemakers. We are. They think that such a role is at odds with peacemaking. It is not.

There is a big difference between causing trouble and causing harm, and it is in the nature of non-violent resistance to cause trouble in order to prevent harm, not to inflict it. Non-violent resistance is purposefully confrontational, but it applies the principles of respect, compassion and justice for all persons, Israeli and Palestinian, oppressor and oppressed.

Non-violent resistors like us act out of the conviction that our efforts may spare the tragedy and misery of the last 58 years of conflict from future generations of Palestinians and Israelis. I believe that the only viable resolution for the land of Palestine, including Israel, the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem, lies in integration, equality and sharing – not segregation, discrimination and conquest, with one people “here” and another “there”. It is only when the full rights of all persons are respected that the inhabitants of this beloved land will know peace and reconciliation.

Apologists for Israel are fond of lamenting the lack of a Palestinian Gandhi, apparently unaware that Gandhi was a confrontational troublemaker and that thousands of Palestinians participate in non-violent resistance actions planned and organized by Palestinian committees in home grown Palestinian grassroots movements. If Israel chooses to treat these movements and the Israelis and international citizens who join in solidarity with them as if they were a mortal danger to its existence, armed struggle and its tragic consequences will remain the only means of expressing Palestinian grievances.

Dr. Larudee was denied permission to enter Israel on the basis of secret evidence, not shown in court, that he was a “security risk”. He wrote a previous draft of this statement from a detention facility in Israel, with the intention of reading it in court.