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Fatah official: Non-violence key to Palestinian struggle
Published Tuesday 27/09/2011 (updated) 28/09/2011 16:48
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A woman wearing a traditional Arab headdress, the keffiyeh, takes part
in a demonstration in favor of a Palestinian state outside the United Nations
(UN) headquarters in Caracas September 23, 2011. (Reuters/Jorge Silva)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- President Mahmoud Abbas' adviser said Tuesday that non-violent resistance was crucial to the Palestinian struggle against Israeli occupation and that violent confrontation was not an option.

Sabri Saydam told Ma'an that the Palestinians must take "the path of non-violent popular resistance to highlight Palestinian suffering" and avoid giving Israel any pretexts to export their "internal crisis."

Abbas made it clear in his address to the UN General Assembly on Friday that peaceful resistance would be the only means in the next stage of the Palestinian struggle against Israeli occupation, Saydam told Ma'an.

"Despite the fact that NATO has intervened militarily in other countries, the Palestinians have not asked NATO forces to intervene, but instead, they went to the UN whose resolutions were the basis which launched the peace process."

Palestinians must use the "weapons" of modern technology, Saydam said, highlighting the importance of social networking tools to organize resistance campaigns and boycotts against settlement products.

"We will organize demonstrations more civilized than those going on in Arab countries, and we will adopt qualitative projects to end occupation using modern technology. There will be peaceful protests inside Palestinian cities, rather than in areas adjacent to bordering areas."

Pressure must also be put on Israeli academic institutions by asking universities worldwide to sever their formal ties with Israeli institutions.

"There are numerous electronic websites which might disperse or weaken our efforts, and to avoid that we should introduce distinguished ideas like the UN flying chair campaign, and such campaigns should not be under the umbrella of any political faction," Saydam said, highlighting the power of ideas in the Palestinian struggle.

He added that the Palestinians would enhance their relations with international solidarity campaigns.

Abbas asked the United Nations on Friday to recognize a Palestinian state, in an impassioned plea for the international community to take on responsibility for ending the six-decade conflict.

The president's appeal to the council reflects a loss of faith after 20 years of failed peace talks sponsored by the United States, Israel's main ally, and alarm at relentless Israeli settlement expansion eating into Palestinian land.

A 1993 agreement signed by PLO leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin set out a plan for Palestinian self-rule, which was never fully implemented.

Palestinian uprisings erupted in 1987 and 2000, but failed to end Israeli occupation or bring statehood closer.

The European Union, Russia, the United Nations and the United States -- known as the "Quartet" -- have tried for months to draft "terms of reference" that might breathe life into peace talks that collapsed nearly a year ago.

Israel and the United States openly opposed the Palestinian UN bid for statehood, with the US vowing to use its veto.

On Monday, the UN Security Council began talks on the Palestinian bid for membership.

To pass, the Palestinians need the support of nine out of the 15 members of the Security Council. Six have already thrown their weight behind the bid, seven have not revealed their decision, while Colombia says it will abstain.

Israel has occupied Gaza and the West Bank including East Jerusalem since 1967, in violation of international law.
1 ) Tissa / Sri Lanka
27/09/2011 14:30
Those with weapons die from the weapons. This is a saying in Sri Lanka. Even though others might not believe this the best path to win freedom.Palestinians cannot take to weapons.Fifteen standing ovations for President Abbas at UN showed that olive branch can win freedom.

2 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
27/09/2011 18:23
No, I must say that the Israelite/Palestinian situation is NOT going to be settled by the "digital revolution." As widespread and useful as all the current (and future) digital technologies are with EVERYONE on the planet connected like glue and with ALL the organized boycotts, protests, demonstrations, parades, resistance efforts (peaceful or not), etc. that may come from them ... No, all that still--repeat: STILL-- won't make a difference. This situation is UNIQUE. Sorry, but no cigar.

3 ) MATT / USA
27/09/2011 18:48

4 ) Speaker / American forum
27/09/2011 19:08
I was invited to give a presentation at an American forum on Sunday September 25. After I finished my speech some supporters approached me saying that Arabic Spring won sympathy and support from American public because it was non violent. Unfortunately while Mr. Abbas was giving his speech at the UNGA, CNN and most American channels were showing Palestinian kids throwing rocks. We have to take into consideration that this is very sensitive and we have to be careful.

5 ) Carol Scheller / Switzerland
27/09/2011 19:33
Israeli economist Shir Hever says that "confronting Israel on non-military fronts with economic pressure such as boycott and sanctions ... and psychological pressure such as cultural boycott and demonstrations" are the key to successful non-violent actions. In "The Political Economy of Israel's Occupation," (p. 199) he argues that "Whe the Israeli authorities are unable to respond to pressure with military violence, they can rely only on propaganda," which will not stand a reality test.

6 ) Debs / UK
28/09/2011 00:34
The South Africans and Afro Americans won their freedom through peaceful means but they weren't dealing with Zionism. Israel is driven by this irrational ideology and will never retreat peacefully from occupied Palestine.

7 ) Ben Alofs / UK/Netherlands
28/09/2011 02:01
The non-violent resistance as described above is indeed the best and most effective way to defend and help the Palestinian people. Violent resistance gives Israel the opportunity to play a victim role. Boycots, divestment and sanctions of all kind need to be applied, not only to the colonists in occupied territory, but to the whole of Israel.
As Israel becomes more isolated like the apartheid regime of South Africa, the BDS approach will work. This is the way forward to justice for Palestine.

8 ) Outsider / EU
28/09/2011 10:33
Tissa, I agree. There is a time and place for armed struggle and there is a time for political struggle. It looks as though the political is becoming more important.

9 ) Ajibola Hasan / Nigeria
28/09/2011 11:53
Even, if Abass calls for NATO for intervention, it will never answer, cos it ZIONIST'S machine of propaganda. What of Violence act being put by IDF and JEW SETTLERS?

10 ) Ghassan / Palestine
28/09/2011 12:15
Sabri Saidam should know better, how can he come out with lines such as 'We will organize demonstrations more civilized than those going on in Arab countries'?? and im sure the threat of 'peaceful protests inside Palestinian cities, rather than in areas adjacent to bordering areas.'.. 'using modern technology' will have the Israelis shaking in their boots.

11 ) chil / usa
28/09/2011 14:51
first off the south africans are not free, they are still under oppression and exploitation, they just have some blacks helping in the exploitation now. the blacks in america arent free either, if u go compare both the blacks in s.a. and in america (i'm black) we were bettter off in 1940 than in 2011. if u dont get real freedom u will just be tricked and ideologically propagandized about the individualism practiced in capitalist countries. ask a woman if non violence will stop a rapist.

12 ) Nathanyel El Nabulsi / Palestine
30/09/2011 01:49
What a joke. And exactly how did the zionazi thiefs manage to steal Palestine and build a state on it in the first place? By non-violent demonstrations? Pathetic coward, speak the truth. The west only call for non-violence when it suits them but when it comes to their own interests, they turn to advanced violence and even go as far as to travel 10000s of miles to occupy other peoples countries in the name of peace so stop trying to impress those who view you as their slave. Respect yourself!
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