Refusing to be Enemies

02.06.2011 - Montreal - Anne Farrell

Kaufman demonstrate that the combat of the marginalization of the nonviolent movement and the overcoming impediments of the organizations are the solution toward an effective nonviolent movement.

*”Refusing to be Enemies”* presents the voices of over 100 practitioners and theorists of nonviolence, the vast majority either Palestinian or Israeli, as they reflect on their own involvement in nonviolent strategies and tactics employed by Palestinian and Israeli organizations, both joint and separated initiatives.

For Jonathan Kuttab, a contributing writer of and a law activist, the language of nonviolence began for the first time during the First Intifada. It was the time of stone throwing, which is according to Kuttad, «more symbolic than an effective method of creating injury to the other side.» For the first time groups of people are using the language of nonviolence, but quickly their leader Moubarak Awad is deported. Although many of his ideas and his literature was translated into Arabic. On the second Intifada Palestinian people, including Palestinian military armed groups realized that armed resistance is both ineffective against the superior Israeli and counterproductive. Kuttad give us an example used by some nonviolent Palestinian groups and organizations to convinces peoples and armed resistance movement : «If you have somebody who is a sumo wrestler, who is much heavier and more powerful than you, then to try to wrestle him would be stupid. If you have to challenge him, challenge him to chess game, maybe, or to a ping-pong tournament, where at least you may stand a chance, where his tremendously powerful (physique) is not to his advantage, but maybe to your advantage».

According to Ghassan Andoni, a Palestinian activist and contributing writer, the nonviolence movement in Palestine is growing but his expansion will depends on many factors, including how Zionist Israel wants to be, how unbiased the media can be, how massive and powerful the anti-occupation movement in Israel will develop in the near future and how civil-based resistance in Palestine can be, and the degree to which lost Palestinian rights are restored. Andoni is co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), founder of the International Middle East Media Centre and director of the Palestinian Center for Rapprochement between Peoples (PCR). For Andoni the only way to refuse to be enemies is when both side can arrive at a joint definition of what justice means in the context of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

*”Refusing to be Enemies”* is now available in book stores and the Internet. The main author Maxine Kaufman-Lacusta lived in Jerusalem for seven years and has written widely on Palestinian and Israeli nonviolent activism. Maxine Kaufman-Lacusta is a Quaker-Jewish activist living with our family in Canada.

ITHACA press, [](

Categories: Culture and Media, North America, Opinions


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