Palestine's nonviolent hope
When the Israeli forces dragged Fadel off for taking water, his heartbroken five-year-old son Khaled could be heard screaming “baba, baba!” as his dad was torn away. This is daily life for Palestinians living under the brutal fist of martial law where their land and water has been stolen by settlers and they have no basic human rights. But after years of violence and hopelessness, a movement is growing in Palestine -- a nonviolent resistance seeking the same thing that all Israelis already have: freedom, dignity and a state of their own.
For years, the media has focused on Palestinian militants, and to this day, extremists on both sides are pushing peace further out of reach. But what’s lost in all that vitriol are the loving families like Fadel’s that just want a normal life. Now, those families are stepping forward, leading peaceful marches, organizing sit-ins, and working with Israeli activists to seek justice and freedom. In response, the Israeli military has thrown them in jail, beaten up organisers, and ripped children from their beds.
Days ago, I went to the West Bank to meet with these brave, peaceful people. When I proposed that our community could come to their aid, their eyes lit up. They need funds for lawyers when they are jailed on spurious charges, cameras to document abuses, training in media skills and nonviolent tactics, and campaigners to take this local protest global. These families are the real hope. Let’s each pledge to boost the peaceful movement over the extremist ones and give Khaled a future worthy of his father’s dreams. Avaaz will only process the pledges if we get enough to make a real difference.
- Alice Jay, Campaign Director