Ever since the Israeli strike on the Gaza Freedom Movement’s Freedom Flotilla on Monday, I and the rest of us at Waging Nonviolence have been exploring ways of understanding what happened. My first essay, “Nonviolence and the Gaza Freedom Movement,” simply raises some questions that we might be asking as new information about the incident slowly trickles out. “Were the activists really acting nonviolently?” “How are the mission’s success and failure being measured?” “Whose suffering is the media considering grievable?” “What laws were violated, and why?” —and more. I’ve been glad to see that piece gaining some traction around the web; it has been picked up at Common Dreams, In These Times, and Sojourners.
Today, I added a further discussion of that first question and its consequences: “Gaza, the Mavi Marmara, and the Prospects of Fighting Back.” There, though the facts of the case are still far from clear, I address the reasons and ramifications of activists attempting to fight back against Israeli soldiers—particularly for the fledgling nonviolence movement in the Palestinian territories.
The future of the cause for justice in Palestine-Israel is very much riding on how the story of what happened that night in the Mediterranean is told. If there is to be a future, really, it means thinking through the problems in ways that get beyond the familiar intransigence.