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PA daily columnist opposes violent resistance, but only because it is ineffective
Al-Hayat Al-Jadida - Mar. 14, 2011
Muwaffaq Matar in his column, from article "A Question along the Way:"
“Netanyahu is gambling with Jewish children”
“The Israeli media rushed to accuse a Palestinian of responsibility for what happened in a settlement, although the Israeli army cast doubt on the version of its government and the version of the settlers. However, what is astonishing is that some Palestinian and Arab media have adopted the Israeli story without [even] minimal solid proof…
Netanyahu has not forgotten that his government’s army and security forces are responsible for the security of the settler areas, and the PA has no authority there in any form. Nevertheless, he went so far as to hold responsible the PA, its President and its media institutions, with the excuse of incitement. However, will Netanyahu succeed in misleading Israeli public opinion and turning attention away from the government’s failures in all areas, especially in the area of security and the fight against organized crime within Israel, which is number two in the world? Perhaps Netanyahu will evade confrontation with Israeli society in a desperate attempt to convince it of the story according to which Palestinians are responsible for the event. For after all, the settlement of Itamar is under the control of the Israeli army and the settlers, and the Israeli government and its army bear responsibility [for its security]. Period, end of story. There is no room for argument. The stabbing of a baby to death is a crime against humanity which only a lunatic loaded with racist teachings could carry out. The murderer of a baby in the settlement of Itamar is not a patriot, and he has no connection with the moral values in our people’s struggle, because the means of the Palestinian people in resistance against the occupation and settlement express its cultural character. Concerning the murder of the baby in the settlement of Itamar, we place a million question marks over the operation and over the results which the perpetrator sought. Why does the Israeli police not search the files of old, similar cases? Perhaps it would find the hiding criminal – perhaps in a nearby settlement!
We know that the soldiers of the occupation are murderers, and that the settlers are criminals who violate humanitarian and international law, carrying out crimes against humanity. At the same time, we also know that we will allow no one to push us down this slippery slope. The most important thing, from our point of view, is that the sum of moral values, which set down how we view life and death, reward and punishment, peace and war, should not collapse…
We dare not return to armed activity. We believe that it is no longer appropriate in our situation and in our reality, since the non-violent popular resistance is more effective. We aim for alertness and caution – not only regarding the danger of falling into a trap where our resistance becomes terrorism and crime, in light of the rise in official and popular worldwide support for our non-violent and legitimate struggle, but out of concern for ourselves and at ourselves, because justice is with us so long as human values guide every movement in our lives. Just as our aspiration for freedom, liberty and independence is a right, [so] we take care to purify our path and our means from the desire for revenge or submission to the Satan of murder for the sake of murder.”
Note: The killing was of Udi and Ruth Fogel and three of their children - Yoav, 11, Elad, 4, and three-month old baby Hadas – who were murdered in the Israeli town of Itamar on March 11, 2011. Two Palestinian residents, Hakim Mazen Awad, 18, and Amjad Mahmad Awad, 19, of the neighboring Arab village of Awarta were arrested and confessed to the killings, providing detailed descriptions of their premeditated terror attack, and expressing no remorse.
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