[tweetmeme] I am a firm believer that any Palestinian state will be the result of a powerful campaign of non-violence and that resistance through violence is only going to justify brutal Israeli policies aimed at maintaining peace in Israel. The Flotilla of aid ships that tried to breach the Israeli blockade of Gaza (one of those brutal policies) was certainly aimed at being a display of non-violent resistance and it generally had the desired effect: the world is now questioning the blockade. The actions of the activists defending the ship against the IDF certainly wasn’t non-violent – and Israel is more than happy to point this out (even though there are report varying reports of who shot first). If sticks can threaten the legitimacy and power of the Flotilla, imagine what a larger violent actions could do.
What must be avoided at all costs is a violent response by any party as it would only serve to undermine the cause of the Flotilla.
That said, I was disheartened to see an editorial in the Kuwaiti Al Qabas paper (via Nick Noe) wondering why Nasrallah and Hezbollah are not using their powerful missiles to defend the Palestinians – or at least retaliate for the Israeli attack. An attack by Hezbollah over the Flotilla would be a tragic strategic blunder in so many ways. It would take international attention away from the disproportional use of force on civilians by the IDF; it would completely undermine the peace process (if that process is still alive); and it would turn international anger away from Israel and onto Hezbollah. Oh right, and it would start a regional war.
From the editorial:
“When a disaster takes place, we find that Hassan Nasrallah and his likes do not defend the Palestinian people. Days ago, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah appeared with his threats against Israel saying that he will destroy the Israeli battle and commerce ships with his missiles…when a disaster occurs, we find that Nasrallah and his like do not defend the Palestinian people and do not dare to confront Israeli aggression and do not use the weapons and missiles that they pretend to own and that can hit the depth of Israel. These are empty words and a trade on the part of Hassan Nasrallah of the type “the elephant went into labor and gave birth to a mouse.”