[tweetmeme] My favorite line? “Why is it beneath the United States to come out and say something about this person who is a practitioner of nonviolence?” Of course, this is a legitimate question. Why does the US treat Israel differently than, say Iran or China. All three of these countries are actively trying to silence nonviolent resistance and opposition and the US only criticizes the first two. While Lee deserves applause for his persistence and dedication to the issue (a dedication that could be damaging for his career), the silence of the US government is truly shameful.
I turn to Yousef Munayyer to put more articulately the hypocrisies in the American silence on the issue. How can the US condemn violent resistance, encourage nonviolent resistance and still stand silent when those who take up nonviolent resistance are shot, beaten, imprisoned and silenced?
When an Iranian protester, Neda, was shot and killed last year, the world knew her name – so did President Obama. But most would be hard-pressed to name one of the many non-violent protestors in Palestine who have been arrested, beaten, shot or even bulldozed to death.
The international community has an obligation to Palestinian nonviolent activists. Leaders cannot simply call on Palestinians to abandon violence in the face of Israeli occupation and remain silent when the non-violent activists are politically repressed. This only reinforces the ideas that the use of force reigns supreme, and that Palestinians have no choice but to accept hardships at the hands of their Israeli lords.
Sadly, the same leaders who call on Palestinians to abandon violence have been silent in the face of Israeli repression. By condemning violent Palestinian resistance while remaining silent in the face of Israeli crackdowns and political arrests, they are simply endorsing violence against civilians by one side instead of the other.