Friday, August 29, 2014

A West Bank Freedom Summer?

In Haaretz, Peter Beinart is urging American Jews to stage a Freedom Summer in the West Bank in opposition to the settlement program.

Here is what he says: [Screw you Haaretz paywall]
"It’s time for American Jews who support Israel but oppose the occupation to commit to large-scale, direct action of our own. And the most important place to do so is in the West Bank. Palestinians in villages like Bil’in and Nabi Saleh have been protesting, unarmed, for years against the theft of their land. But their efforts receive little attention in American Jewish circles or in the American press. Few American Jews have any idea that under the military law that governs Palestinians in the West Bank, Israel routinely criminalizes freedom of speech and assembly. Or that peaceful protesters can be held in detention for years without trial.
But if thousands of American Jews joined those protests, American Jews would know. Protesters would return home with videos to show their synagogues; hawkish parents would be appalled by the treatment meted out to their children. And the American media, which covers Jews far more intensively than it covers Palestinians, would follow. The model would be Freedom Summer, Robert Moses’ campaign to bring white college students to help register voters in Mississippi in 1964, and thus draw the nation’s eyes to oppression that garnered little media attention when practiced only against blacks."

-- Direct, peaceful action #FTW!  Its sexy and it works.

-- American Jews need to be woken up to the fact that West Bank Arabs are being denied basic rights because of their religion/ethnicity. I like anything that threatens to do this.


-- I'm not going to march alongside BDSers or Hamasniks. No Common Cause with them, period.

-- There's zero chance that such a West Bank demonstration will remain peaceful. I don't know why it worked in the American South, during the Freedom Rides and Freedom Summer, because had I been a Southern black living under Jim Crow you damn well better believe I would have thrown stones - or worse. But for some reason when blacks marched and protested in the 60s they (when it mattered) responded to the worst provocations with love. The Arabs simply won't do that - which kills Beinart's idea in its crib.

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