Ending Violent Resistance – Target the Oppressor, Not the Resistance

Published on Dissident Voice, by Kim Petersen, October 23, 2010.

First a given: there can be no resistance unless there is something to resist against. There can be no anti-occupation resistance if there is no occupation, and there can be no resistance against oppression if there is no oppression. It is a simple logic that eludes many people. That it eludes many people (and almost all of the corporate media) is demonstrable by noting the outcry whenever a resistance uses violence: Those evil, soulless terrorists harming other people — and they do it without reason. Well, there is a reason, although the corporate media refuses to divulge it. Occupation/ oppression is violent, and it gives rise to resistance. There would be no violence were it not for the violence of occupation and oppression. There is no chicken and egg here. It ls obvious that the sole target of vehemence should be the occupation/oppression that induces the resistance, for without the occupation/oppression and the violence that perpetuates it, there would be no violent resistance. Ergo, resistance (whether non-violent or violent) seeks to end violence by defeating an occupation/oppression … // 

… In Lebanon, the resistance movement Hezbollah did not rely on hope; Hezbollah violently resisted the Israeli occupation and defeated it.

Baroud states “a Palestinian Gandhi already exists, in numerous West Bank villages bordering the Israeli Apartheid Wall, which peacefully confront carnivorous Israeli bulldozers as they eat up Palestinian land.”

Of what use so far has this non-violent resistance been in ending the occupation/oppression of Palestinians? Moreover, why do some people assume that Satyagraha caused the British to leave the Indian subcontinent? The British empire was overextended, and a continued physical colonization of India was becoming very unprofitable to Britain.

Baroud does take some aim at non-violence. He says, “The problem with the non-violence bandwagon is that it is grossly misrepresentative of the reality on the ground. It also takes the focus away from the violence imparted by the Israeli occupation…”

He says near the end of the article: “Only the unique experience of the Palestinian people and their genuine struggle for freedom could yield what Palestinians as a collective deem appropriate for their own.” This is in solidarity with the Palestinian resistance.

Choosing the most effective form(s) of resistance is important to any resistance movement. External actors have little right to limit the tactics of a legitimate resistance movement. Any violence is provoked by the oppressor/occupier.

One wonders then why Baroud went so into depth on non-violence resistance without exploring or acknowledging the legitimacy of violent resistance, even though he granted that “the violence of the occupier has a tremendous role in creating” a violent resistance. A “role”? Without occupation/oppression, the conditions for a resistance would not exist.

That is a fact that requires no debate. (full text).

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