Kudos and Condemnation
Thank you to Neta Golan (“Peace Warrior in the West Bank”) for shedding light on the reality of the situation in the West Bank. Her immense courage in providing an interview with Tricycle on the nature of the Arab-Israeli crisis is to be commended. As an agency for understanding and for positive change in the world, her work is hugely heroic. Tricycledemonstrated tremendous moral courage, as well, in publishing this piece—particularly in a world where acknowledgment of, and responsibility for, the consequences of our actions is so conspicuously lacking in many of our political leaders.
Tricycle’s interview with Neta Golan is a perfect illustration of what is wrong with ideology and why it not compatible with Buddhism. In his book The Buddha Taught Nonviolence, Not Pacifism, Paul Fleischman has aptly demonstrated that nonviolence and pacifism are two different things. One should not have to explain to Golan why calling impressionable young human beings to serve as human shields is contrary to everything Buddhism teaches. We have witnessed too many times how idealistic human recruits can be too easily used to achieve cynical political goals.
Instead of advertising this kind of “sacrifice” to young Americans eager for adventure, the International Solidarity Movement could show real solidarity for all victims of violence by convincing young Palestinians that there is nothing glorious about suicide bombings and that violence is counterproductive. Instead of showing solidarity with a known murderer like Arafat by staying in his compound, they could have brought a message of nonviolence to him.
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