Sunday, November 05, 2006

Do I support Terrorism?

Terrorism is a very subjective word. In the most obvious of cases, Palestinians and Israelis each consider the other side to be terrorists, while defending their own actions as "necessary" and "vital" to achieve their moral goals. The dictionary definition of terrorism is "the unlawful use of -- or threatened use of -- force or violence against individuals or property to coerce or intimidate governments or societies, often to achieve political, religious, or ideological objectives."
Let's jump back to last summer's disengagement. The nationalist camp, which I am a part of, was strongly against the disengagement, fighting with everything we had to stop it. Rallies, marches, handing out flyers at every corner, the nationalist camp was as proactive as they could be. But at every step, the leadership encouraged us not to cross the line into violence. There were those that did, but the movement as a whole was a non violent one. People sat in the roads blocking them, but they did not fight back as they were pulled away. The message was passed down again and again; while we disagree with the government, the cops and soldiers are our brothers and we are forbidden to hurt them. The end result of it was that the nationalist camp lost, and the disengagement happened.
Fast forward to today. The Gay Pride Parade is being scheduled for next Friday. Once again, I am part of the camp that strongly feels that the parade is an insult to our beliefs and our holy city. I can't put the two events on a scale and judge them, but each one in its own is a horrific event. This time, the protest camp, or at least the active protest camp, is charaidi. Their protests, which I have not attended but read about on the news, seem to be made up of blocking a road, burning trash in at, and throwing racks at anyone who dares come close. Due to these protests, the police have said they are unable to protect the parade, and asked for it be cancelled. So far the government has refused to cancel it, saying that they must allow freedom of expression. But they have suggested it be moved to smaller streets, or held in a park, or somehow made to be less offensive to the protestors. This is more concessions then we received in six months of protesting the disengagement.
So I stop and I ask myself, were we wrong by protesting non violently? If we had blocked roads, not with peaceful people but with burning cars, and if instead of marching we had stormed buildings, perhaps we could have accomplished something. We would be rightfully labelled terrorists, but we would have stopped the greater tragedy from ocurring.
I think it all comes down to, how strong do you believe in what you stand for.