Thursday, April 30, 2009

Liberate the oppressed and the oppressor

There's a great post over at South Jerusalem blog, by Gershom Gorenberg discussing the author's call for Palestinian non violent struggle. The whole essay is worth reading, but here is an excerpt that stands out - a response to those who think Israelis don't have the right to tell Palestinians how to fight:

There were others who asked whether I as an Israeli had any right to suggest that Palestinians risk their lives, and quite possibly lose them, in nonviolent struggle. Richard Silverstein, for instance, raised that question, in an astoundingly sour screed at his Tikkun Olam site attacking my “fantasy” of non-violence. “The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has coarsened both sides to the point that an Israeli would just as soon kill a Palestinian as look at him (and vice versa),” Silverstein wrote.

To which I have several responses: First, it seems to me that Silverstein, at great distance from real Israelis and Palestinians, is the one that has been deeply coarsened about both sides - as shown by the ease with which he assigns one mentality to all Israelis and all Palestinians. Besides that, I think that progressives are people who dare to imagine a better future and work for it, who “have a dream” - not people who mock such “fantasies.”

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