It may be trivial for some but in this dramatic and confusing moment of military escalation and propaganda I believe it is important to reiterate a simple concept:
Nothing can be solved with violence!
This is not just my statement but a voice that is rising in the background of numerous comments that we see around, comments of more or less “authoritative” people according to common feeling, people who often due to their courage in saying things do not have that much space in the media.
When faced with a conflict, stopping at the juncture of things is a fatal mistake: nonviolence analyzes historical processes and the dynamics of events. When, starting from the First World March for Peace and Nonviolence, we included the withdrawal from the occupied territories among our demands, we were certainly thinking of Palestine, the territory occupied for the longest time and with growing contempt for the UN Resolutions, but we were also thinking of all the similar situations of territorial violence where the current realpolitik is preferred to the feelings of the people, and we know that every violence unleashes chains of other violence that can only be stopped with decisive and long nonviolent action: this is because all human actions have immediate and mediated consequences and because, as Silo says in Humanizing the Earth “contradictory and unitive acts accumulate in you.”
In the case of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict it derives from the claim to resolve a terrible violence with another violence and from the subsequent actions perpetrated to maintain this state of violence: the current deaths, however many they are and will be, are the price that the people pay to the senselessness of governments and international organizations established with the hope of resolving international conflicts; solutions, experiences of peaceful coexistence, associations that work together have already existed for years. These experiences, in addition to needing to be better known, should be a model, transformed into law, and a reference point.
Likewise, we will have to explain, once again, to our friends and comrades that violence does not allow for justifications and exceptions. We can discuss and delve deeper into the right of reply, often invoked as a justification for sending weapons to Ukraine: “They are attacked, they must defend themselves”. The right of reply is punctual and tactical: it is punctual because it ends in the action and it is tactical because even if I am part of a group that is authorized to use violence for a social purpose (the police force, for example) I must exercise that force in the least violent way possible and only for as long as necessary. The education of law enforcement in nonviolence, as Peppe Sini often reminds us, must be a priority for nonviolent people. And we know how far the police forces and armies are from this vision.
But if you don’t want to make it an ideal question, you can always remind all those who think that an armed struggle can solve the problems that the monopoly of the means of producing weapons is in the hands of the actors and builders of this violent system who turn on or off the taps of technology with respect to their market needs, certainly not to the needs of the people. If we don’t want to recognize the ideal principle, let’s at least recognize the practical question: how long can we resist with weapons against the best armed and organized army in the world? And, above all, at what cost to our loved ones?
Finally, I would like to launch a proposal for a different analysis of the current facts: there is a general process of destructuring of systems, beliefs, habits, and certainties that is increasingly manifesting itself across the planet; we could see which elements of this destructuring are at play in the current moment and we would probably discover that it is precisely the values that support violence that are profoundly in crisis and that, on the verge of collapsing, give back blows like a dragon hit by the hero’s arrows, just before falling to the ground.
I also carry out this analysis with the aim of comforting those who see in this human tragedy the annihilation of the Human Being who instead usually awakens his best qualities precisely in moments of crisis and nonsense.
So let’s roll up the sleeves of noble workers because it is a good time to build a new world with a new foundation.