e-book Nonviolent Resistance in the Second Intifada: Activism and Advocacy (Middle East Today)

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Upload PDF. Follow this author. New articles by this author. New citations to this author. Just before the war, Palestine saw a huge spike in new newspapers, and writers and editors such as Ruhi al-Khalidi, Najib Nassar, and Isa al-Isa regularly zeroed in on the threat of Zionism to Palestinian life.

Palestine’s Hidden History of Nonviolence

Diplomatic efforts to lobby the mandatory government ensued while concurrently peasants occasionally clashed with the European newcomers, but violence was largely localized and communal and took place amid larger, more peaceful, and political efforts to resist Zionist aims. As Jewish immigration into Palestine increased and the implementation of the Balfour Declaration became more apparent, Palestinians who feared marginalization or worse under a Jewish state continued to resist.

In the early s, numerous protests and demonstrations against the Zionist agenda were held, and the British mandatory government was swift to crack down. The iconic image of Palestinian notable Musa Kazim al-Husseini being beaten down during a protest in by mounted British soldiers comes to mind.

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His death in battle with British soldiers sparked the Arab rebellion that began in and lasted until The first phases of this revolt began with nonviolent resistance in the form of more strikes and protests, and the economy ground to a halt for six months when Palestinian leaders called for a work stoppage. This was put down harshly by the mandatory government, according to British historian Matthew Hughes, including the bombing of more than buildings in Jaffa on June 16, The repression of both violent and nonviolent Palestinian dissent significantly destroyed the capacity of Palestinian society, paving the way for the depopulation of Palestine and the establishment of the state of Israel a decade later.

During the Nakba, which is what Palestinians call the period of depopulation from to , nonviolent resistance became harder to see again, as armed conflict and violence dominated headlines. But one anecdote, which hits close to home, suggests that thinking about nonviolent resistance in the Palestinian context requires broadening our conventional understanding of the concept. As part of Operation Dani, Al-Lyd and the neighboring town of Ramla were depopulated of tens of thousands of Palestinians. At the time, the city was filled with at least 50, people, more than twice its usual population, because it had swelled with refugees from nearby villages.

Julie M. Norman

After the siege, my grandparents were among the 1, original inhabitants who remained. Unlike their neighbors, who were hiding in the Dahmash mosque where scores of refugees were massacred by Haganah troops, they managed to survive and walk out of their refuge into the destroyed ghost town they called home. We tend to think of nonviolent resistance as an active rather than passive concept.


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In reality, even though the majority of the native inhabitants were depopulated during the Nakba, thousands of Palestinians practiced nonviolent resistance by refusing to leave their homes when threatened. Today, through its occupation, Israel continues to make life unbearable for Palestinians, but millions resist the pressure by not leaving. This is particularly notable in occupied Jerusalem, where Palestinians are being pushed out of the city.

Nonviolent Resistance in the Second Intifada | SpringerLink

For those who have never lived in a system of violence like the Israeli occupation, it is hard to understand how simply not going anywhere constitutes resistance, but when the objective of your oppressor is to get you to leave your land, staying put is part of the daily struggle. In this sense, every Palestinian living under the Israeli occupation is a nonviolent resister. The first and second intifadas were very different. In the first intifada of the late s, Palestinians employed various nonviolent tactics, from mass demonstrations to strikes to protests.

The First Intifada: When Non-Violent Protests Turned Violent

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