Yesterday, I spelled out a lot of the reasons why I have very, very little sympathy for the plight of the Palestinians. In a nutshell: most of their problems are self-inflicted, and they never seem to take a single step towards helping themselves.
But I’m not a heartless human being. I dearly want to see the fighting end, a cessation of the endless bloodshed and carnage that gains no one anything. So with that in mind, I’m going to offer my own suggestion to the Palestinian people, a plan that while not guaranteed to succeed, is a hell of a lot more likely than the one they’ve been trying for decades without success.
This plan is no secret. It’s been around for decades, and has worked exceptionally well. Mahatma Gandhi used it successfully against the British. Blacks and other civil rights supporters used it to win their struggle. And Tom Clancy once even spelled it out for them in “The Sum Of All Fears.”
It comes from the simple notion of denying your opponent access to their strengths.
When one is struggling against oppression from a democracy, the best tactic is not to confront them by force, but rather to challenge their conscience. Democracies like England, the United States, and Israel take a great deal of pride in their respect for democracy, human rights, and fairness. They also tend to think of themselves as the good guys, the underdogs, the heroes, the victims.
With that in mind, one can see how violence and random carnage tends to reinforce the “good guy” mentality in the party you want to oppress. Israel can point to the latest suicide bomb, rocket attack, kidnapping, shooting, or other random incident and say “see what we have to face on a daily basis?”
But if the Palestinians ever started the path of passive resistance, the Israelis would be screwed.
Imagine what would happen if a couple dozen Palestinians simply sat down at a border crossing or in front of a convoy, linked arms, and simply refused to move. They would not raise their voices, not raise their arms, not threaten in the least — but just peacefully refused to comply.
It would paralyze Israel. They would have no idea of how to deal with this. They would try to provoke the Palestinians into reverting to their long-accustomed violence. They might try to remove them with minimal force. But one video of Israeli police abusing unresisting Palestinian protestors would bring back a LOT of unpleasant memories for Israel’s biggest supporters in the United States — it’s often overlooked, but a LOT of Jews gave a LOT of support (both in money and in volunteers) to the civil rights movement. Seeing the side they’ve been backing for years in Israel taking on the Bull Conner role would invoke an unprecedented level of revulsion. And while a few Palestinians might get injured or even killed in the process, eventually Israel would have no choice but to reach a settlement with the Palestinians — as long as they moderate their demands along with their tactics.
Now, I have no qualms whatsoever about revealing all this. It’s nothing new to anyone who’s given very much thought to the Israeli/Palestinian conflicts. But as has been said many times before, the Palestinians “have never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity.”
So, sadly, this will most likely never happen. The Palestinians will continue to attack and kill and maim the innocents, and whine and demand they be given what they can not take for themselves. Until, perhaps, they go too far (like they mave have in this case) and Israel finally has enough and wipes out enough of the terrorists and their leaders to convince the Palestinian people that violence just ain’t gonna work.