Fadi Abu Sada Official Site


Nonviolence Resistance Shakes Israel’s Pillars of Oppression

By Fadi Abu Sada
They celebrated Palm Sunday, but did so in their own way. They were carriers of a message: Freedom of Movement and Worship; and acted in response to the restrictions of the Israeli occupation that deny such rights to Palestinians. They were all there: leaders and citizens, Muslims and Christians, professionals and lay people, and even journalists. This is the unity that we all seek. “We” being the people of Palestine, and the nonviolent resistance that we continuously talk about, the successes of which seem to have shaken the core of Israeli occupation.

The Israeli occupation forces arrested a group of nonviolent activists and charged them with on at least three accounts: entering a closed military area, engaging in an unlicensed demonstration, and incitement. Perhaps there will be other strange accusations added, simply because they wished to demonstration for not having the freedom of movement or the freedom of worship that is available to everyone around the world, except to us in Palestine.

Ahmad Al Azzeh, Marwan Fararjeh, Hassan Brejieh, Abbas Zaki, Tony Shahwan, Ibrahim Salah, Shadi Fawagreh, Mahmoud Zawahreh, and Fadi Hammad and many others were arrested on the northern checkpoint of Bethlehem for engaging in this nonviolence demonstration that demanded the occupier of freedom of movement and worship to all Palestinians to the same measure that is given to all Israelis; even the illegal Jewish settlers of the West Bank, who can pray anywhere while being protected by Israeli forces.

Last week, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas focused clearly in his speech at the Arab Summit on the importance of civil-based nonviolent resistance against the Israeli occupation as a right guaranteed by international law. Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, on several occasions, the last being recently at the “Christ at the Checkpoint” Conference in Bethlehem, has spoken on the importance of informing the global Christian community about the plight of the Palestinian people, the work of nonviolent resistance, and to challenge everyday hardships imposed on the Palestinians in the name of nonviolence.

The core pillars of Israel have been shaken due to nonviolent resistance, as the occupation has failed to suppress this form of resistance. The proof is declaring all areas where nonviolent protests take place in closed military zones such as Bil’in, Ni’lin and Ma’sara. Added to this is the deportation of international activists and restricting the movement of other advocates.  This is a reaction as opposed to a strategy, since the occupation does not, and cannot, know how to deal with this form of resistance which grows day by day.

To all doubters, we say that this is a success worthy of being recorded. The peak has been reached and we must all unite our effort to not let this momentum recede, but rather, we must all support this form of resistance and those who are engaging in it. We must even go further and call everyone to confront the occupation in this matter, to both protect it and defend it, because it is our path to independence.

Let us keep in our focus the experiences of individuals like Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Jr.; and especially the historic experience of the Palestinian community since the British Mandate, to find many more examples of nonviolent resistance and what people achieved for their nations.

Wishing you a Happy Easter;