Nicholas Kristoff has found the answer to traditional Palestinian suicide bombers, hijackers, and hostage takers: A non-violent movement led by Palestinian women.
But for now, Kristoff finds it’s still a dream, because it depends on what the meaning of “non-violence” is.
Describing one protest, seeking the removal of a security barrier on the West Bank the Israelis erected to keep out suicide bombers, Kristoff observed:
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.
Soon after, the Israeli forces fired volleys of tear gas at us, and then charged. The protesters fled, some throwing rocks backward as they ran. It’s a far cry from the heroism of Gandhi’s followers, who refused even to raise their arms to ward off blows as they were clubbed.
Apparently stone-throwing was not limited to protests involving Israeli solders.
Kristoff says “we were stoned by Palestinian children in East Jerusalem” but gives no details. I wonder if Max Blumenthal got it on tape, as the vicious Kristoff family attacked Palestinian children who had no choice but to resist with stones.
This is an improvement, though. Before the security barrier was constructed, Kristoff and his family would not have been able to eat in a restaurant, or ride a bus, or attend a Bar Mitzvah ceremony in Israel without fear of an imminent explosion.
I’ve cited the statistics before. From 452 Israelis killed in 2002, terror attacks within Israel are down almost to nothing as a result of the security barrier and Israeli military actions in the West Bank and along the Gaza border.
If a true non-violent Palestinian movement arises, it will be only because the alternative no longer is available.