Finkelstein, Gandhi: Violence against Disproportionate Aggression is Not Violence

In his latest lecture, Dr. Norman Finkelstein, (PhD political science., Princeton; son of Nazi death camp survivors and descendant of Nazi death camp victims) explains that, under international law, people have a right to use armed force to achieve self-determination.

However, when one combines all of what US-based human rights organizations, such as Amnesty International, say about Gazan resistance to Israeli occupation and aggression, it is discovered that, according to these groups, Gaza:

1) Cannot use any of the weapons available to it that can reach Israel, because the weapons are so primitive that they cannot target civilian or military objects, as they have no guidance systems, and are thus inherently indiscriminate.

2) Cannot stage armed defense from populated areas, though 95% of Gaza is densely populated, and is one of the most densely populated areas in the world.

Thus, Finkelestein explains, those who wish to resist Israeli terror are relegated to standing in an empty field and being executed.  Amnesty literally says, Finkelstein continues, that there is an empty patch of land in Gaza where the fighters must stand.

So, the options human rights organizations give Gazans are:

1) Die slowly from poisoning, as Israel’s illegal, seven-year, ongoing siege has rendered 95% of Gaza’s water unfit for human consumption.  (60% of Gazans are children, and 80% are refugees from Israel’s 1948 ethnic cleansing of Palestine.)

2) To stand in an empty patch of land, with no weapons, and be executed from the sky by Israeli bombers.

I.e, Gazans, according to the US-based human rights groups, have only the right to be executed by Israel, and have a choice between a slow or quick execution.

Mahatma Gandhi Mustache

However, Finkelstein, who has written a book called What Gandhi Says, points out that Gandhi said that if someone is being raped and the victim fights back against the attacker, it is technically violence, but Gandhi does not consider it violence.

Gandhi gave the further example of the Nazi invasion of Poland: the Poles used their comparatively meager resources – a few tanks and artillery – to resist the overwhelming Nazi army, and Gandhi says that while this resistance was violence, he does not consider it violence.

Speaking in 1938 specifically of Palestine, Gandhi said:

And now a word to the Jews in Palestine. I have no doubt that they are going about it in the wrong way. The Palestine of the Biblical conception is not a geographical tract. It is in their hearts. But if they must look to the Palestine of geography as their national home, it is wrong to enter it under the shadow of the British gun.

They can settle in Palestine only by the goodwill of the Arabs … [and] nothing can be said against the Arab resistance in the face of overwhelming odds.

Gandhi’s words resonate not only for Palestine (where the ratio of Palestinian to Israeli children killed in the latest massacre was 537 to 1), but for places like Baltimore and Ferguson, and countries like the US, where certain groups have been struggling for generations against brutal, disproportionate force.

Also see: The Hateful Likud [Israeli ruling organization] Charter Calls for the Destruction of Any Palestine State

Reporter and his UK-based colleague @_DirtyTruths.

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