Let us hope that the Palestinians will expand the use of ‘civil disobedience’ — defined by Martin Luther King, Jr. as a public, non-violent, illegal act targeted at protesting specific injustices.  This instrumentality is an essential tool for protest — even in well functioning democracies that have run off track and — particularly with abuses of minorities by dominant groups such as those currently manifested by the Israelis and Palestinians.

Gandhi used this tactic to great effect in liberating India from British rule by goading British troops into over reactive firing into protesting crowds, thus bringing down on British heads the opprobrium due to oppressors.  The recent group responses to threatened Israeli attacks look to be following the same line — and they worked!  Civil disobedience was also a highly effective tool used in sophisticated ways by Jews in the Soviet Union to achieve their aims, including the right to emigrate.

Let us hope the Palestinians will begin to use civil disobedience as an alternative to the non-productive rocket and bomb attacks which only invite tit-for-tat retaliation and a moral standoff.  Ed Kent



JERUSALEM, Nov. 19 — Israel called off an airstrike against the house of a suspected Palestinian militant in Gaza late Saturday, after the inhabitants ignored a telephoned warning and neighbors flocked to the house to prevent the bombing, the military said.

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent  718-951-5324 (voice mail only) [blind copies]

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