POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY JONATHON FREEDLAND IN THE GUARDIAN
I don't know whether Mr Freedland is naive or dishonest.
He offers up the same dishonest idea that has long been pushed by the New York Times' Thomas Friedman, aluminium-siding salesman for the Pentagon.
Friedman has long preached the notion of the Palestinians copying Dr. King's non-violent movement in the American South.
But, except for the fact of an oppressed and abused people, there are virtually no parallels to the two situations.
First, in a number of Southern states, the blacks were actually the majority population (of course, this was true for Ghandi's campaign in British India too). Being a majority is a powerful tool.
Two, the Palestinians are splintered into many pieces both by geography and by the dark arts Israel has worked for fifty years.
As an example of the latter, we have the fact that Israel secretly supported Hamas for years to create an opposition to Arafat's party, something that is now a fact Israel turns around and claims is hopeless.
Three, American blacks ultimately had the federal courts and the Bill of Rights on their side.
There is no Bill of Rights in Israel. How do you create one for a state based on religious/ethnic identity? Impossible.
Four, American blacks received huge contributions of money and manpower from other parts of the United States.
This is literally impossible in Israel. The laws and abusive security apparatus make anyone's going there with the intention of assisting the people Israel regards as enemies liable to arrest, abuse, and deportation.
Sending money will earn you a place on America's Terror Lists and perhaps arrest.
Five, Israel controls almost everything - water, fuel, electricity, supplies of every description, air travel, imports, etc.
The South never came near to having such a chokehold on its black citizens.
Six, Israel has shown many times its willingness to be barbaric and ruthless in its efforts against those it regards as enemies.
Despite all the headlines of the time, Bull Connor's police dogs look pretty ineffectual compared to Israel’s recent slaughter and cluster-bombing in Lebanon.
How many times has Israel killed thirty or forty or fifty people in one week, many or most civilians? What about its previous bloody invasion of Lebanon, killing tens of thousands? Its attack on an American spy ship during the Six Day War, killing many of its crew? Its killing of prisoners on the desert in the same war? Its use of torture and illegal imprisonment?
Israel’s own founding was marked by a great deal of terrorism.
Passive resistance would never work for Palestinians. My God, the Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi only weeks ago said they should all be rounded up and put on the Sinai Desert for a state. A noted Israeli military historian has written a few years ago of Israel’s using a moving barrage of artillery to drive the Palestinians out of their land. And there have been many other prominent Israelis who’ve spoken this way.
There will only be peace when Israel begins treating Palestinians as humans and neighbors and when it gives up on the idea of Greater Israel and when it dismantles its garrison state.