Today’s JPost reports on a new ‘price tag’ event. Attackers sprayed graffiti and torched the Jab''a village mosque. Since those who support Jewish residency in Judea and Samaria or live among them are automatically held accountable for every illegal act by anyone of the 360,000 Jews living in Yesha, I must, at the outset, make it clear that I do not ally with such a policy, I think it criminal, illegal, immoral and very counter-productive. And I have made that clear over the years.



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There were reports that I have seen from within the Be-El community internal discussion forum deploring the infiltration of the protest camp-out from extremists from without. And that parents were not being properly involved in the supervision of what their children were doing. It would seem that the situation is complex and I would expect the media and pundits to relate to the issue no worse than Arab children are treated.


If, indeed, a compromise is in the works, we can hope that the tension and anger at the insensible act of destruction can be reduced.


But I will admit that I have been frustrated. Some 15 years ago I founded the Center for Non-Violent Direct Action to advance protest techniques that I myself engaged in and also taught many years ago. I admit, the general atmosphere in the country’s society makes it quite difficult. During the Disengagement, I was even in touch with Gene Sharp, doyen of nonviolent action.


In any case, I truly believe that heads of local, regional and municipal councils should consider sponsoring workshops and seminars to train activists and marshals. The simple principle is that physical violence directed against others at demonstrations or sit-ins and such, including the police, spectators and the media, even actions that can cause panic such as unexpected running or verbal taunting, are unacceptable. As any manual will inform, the strength of nonviolence comes from the willingness of the protestors to take personal risk without threatening other people.  The "enemy" is the system or the political decisions that cast people in oppressive roles.


As Dr. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote, among its basic elements that  nonviolence is a human way to fight, that it does not seek to defeat or humiliate the opponent, but to win understanding, it is the willingness to accept suffering without retaliation and the believer in nonviolence has a deep faith in the future. The Rabbi of Shiloh, Elchanan Bin-Nun, my Rabbi, has written many times, employing methods of violence against property or persons is a sure sign of despair and is a factor we cannot permit ourselves, as followers of the redemptive approach to Jewish nationalism.
Let us hope the police will do their utmost and apprehend those who are doing wrong and damaging our cause.


UPDATE




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