After years of the United States, Israel and the Palestinian Authority making it clear to the Palestinian people that diplomacy will not secure the realization of Palestinian rights–especially given the massive power imbalance–the use of armed resistance to Israeli apartheid is growing among Palestinians.
People have asked, “where is the Palestinian Mandela?” Well, when South African Apartheid President P.W. Botha offered Mandela his freedom if he would renounce violence, he replied, “Let him renounce violence. I cannot sell my birthright, nor am I prepared to sell the birthright of the people to be free.”
The same holds for the Palestinians.
The use of violence is a tragedy, in all cases. But it is even more tragic to allow it only to an oppressor while forbidding it to the oppressed.
It is crucial that advocates for Palestinian rights be prepared to confront the question of violence and not shy away from it nor accept the idea that only Israel may employ violence, which has been de facto the stance of far too many over the years. I look at all of this in my latest piece at Mondoweiss.