The most important aspect of violence is not the act itself but its consequences.

Dear Hamas: the bombing on Saturday makes it impossible for most of your friends to support your actions. The logic of “revenge justifies violence” only makes it each time more complicated to find a solution. Looking at the map of Israeli-occupied territories over the past few decades should make anyone question whether a violent solution is ever a real strategy for emancipation.

Hamas: are you putting oil on the fire just to keep the concept of « permanent wars » alive, and thereby justifying large military budgets, armed police forces, and so on?

Many of my friends are going to be unhappy with my stand for nonviolence, but I am still bewildered by their belief that violence will ultimately bring peace. Instead, look at what the lack of opposition to this current violent system and the inefficacy of the Left over the past 30 years has led us to, a space for the flowering of far-right wing ideology of all forms.

I’m from a generation that carried out a nonviolent campaign against an apartheid regime in South Africa and saw Nelson Mandela elected as the president of a country liberated from institutional discrimination. There are many other examples of nonviolent successes and the work that needs to be done to develop a long-term strategy for a nonviolent « revolution » (for a start, see #NoWar2023 Conference).

Hamas: if you are looking for true recognition of the Palestinian people and their right to live in peace as a democratic society, nonviolence should be your roadmap to the future. With this latest action, however, you are fighting the past instead of building the future.