Many of us feminists thought to do what Nicholas Kristof suggests in “Waiting for Gandhi”, to encourage women to come to the border between Israel and the Palestinians. Perhaps this is an idea whose time has come. I quote from his NY Times column below. — Lilly
…. Bilin is one of several West Bank villages experimenting with [non-violent] methods [another is Budrus]….
Most of the marchers were Palestinians, but some were also Israeli Jews and foreigners who support the Palestinian cause. … At first the mood was festive and peaceful….
But then a group of Palestinian youths began to throw rocks at Israeli troops. That’s the biggest challenge: many Palestinians define “nonviolence” to include stone-throwing.
…. But imagine if Palestinians stopped the rock-throwing and put female pacifists in the lead. What if 1,000 women sat down peacefully on a road to block access to an illegal Jewish settlement built on Palestinian farmland? What if the women allowed themselves to be tear-gassed, beaten and arrested without a single rock being thrown? Those images would be on televisions around the world — particularly if hundreds more women marched in to replace those hauled away.
Kristof names Ayed Morrar as a possible Palestinian Gandhi or Martin Luther King:
[Morrar says that] Israel has a right to protect itself by building a fence — but on its own land, not on the West Bank.
Most Palestinian demonstrations are overwhelmingly male, but in Budrus women played a central role. They were led by Mr. Morrar’s quite amazing daughter, Iltezam Morrar. Then 15, she once blocked an Israeli bulldozer by diving in front of it (the bulldozer retreated, and she was unhurt).
Israeli security forces knew how to deal with bombers but were flummoxed by peaceful Palestinian women. Even when beaten and fired on with rubber bullets, the women persevered. Finally, Israel gave up. It rerouted the security fence to bypass nearly all of Budrus.
The saga is chronicled in this year’s must-see documentary “Budrus,” a riveting window into what might be possible if Palestinians adopted civil disobedience on a huge scale. In a sign of interest in nonviolent strategies, the documentary is scheduled to play in dozens of West Bank villages in the coming months, as well as at international film festivals. …