I recently sent my pen pal, Aladin, this link and asked him what he thought about Fatah’s recent move towards resisting Israel in the West Bank through non-violent measures.  First, here is his response:

“Hey Cameron thank you for sharing this topic with me, and to begin I want to talk a little bit about the motive of all the creatures existing on the planet, which is surviving. Surviving methods are different from one creature to another, from finding a suitable hole to stay in there peaceful and safe to attacking other creatures to survive. Human beings survival methods are quite strange from stealing, hacking, Massacres to hiding and attacking too but the big difference between all the rest of creatures and Human beings that Humans have the most precious gift from God to us. Some philosophers says that the Human is a wolf to his brother. Talking about our Israelians and Arab Muslim Palestinian brothers this Drama which did start since 1917. The biggest theft in the History, the land of Palestine kicking its population to replace it by Israelians.

Here ask yourself a question about what was the first choice of all colonized nations . The answer is too much easy: Fighting for the land and fighting for the freedom. The fighting also is one way of Survival. This fighting for example in Tunisia during theFrench colony we had people that did use fire and arms to fight and diplomats talking, negotiating with the enemy. In the end, both of those two methods did work.
Ways of non-violence are always faced by arm, marches peaceful protests.

Fatah is the non-violence keepers, Hamas is the oppostie to the non-violence, but let’s not forget that both of them were fighting each other using violence to prove their leadership in the area so if they do not believe in the non-violence between them how can they educate it to their people.
Israeli’s side also are thinking about non-violence. Sometimes we see in TV showing Israelian citizens protesting because they do refuse that their government kill Palestinians, demolish their houses, and cut their trees. And we are too much grateful for them.

But how do you think that Palestinians can react against all the violence raised by Israel government for me I do not care about Hamas or Fatah I do care about Palestinians. All the citizens there they are suffering and they are fed up with the struggles and military operations. Here it is a big question about the UN for me. There is no UN there is only G8 and AIPEC [AIPAC?]. They should take a decision and save the people in the West Bank. Israelians without any explications they are intruders in the Palestinians land, Palestinians are victims in the whole story. Also you cannot kick them [Israelis, I think he means] out of their new land.
– Dividing the land to two countries Palestine and Israel with geographical equality like Pakistan and India with the control of UN.
– Educate them and teaching them to learn together.
But reality shows us that Israel was always disrespecting international laws and agreements.
In the end we hope all that peace will settle down there.”

I personally think the most interesting part of his response is when he discusses the fact that Fatah and Hamas have used violence against each other in the past. Therefore, even though Fatah might be pushing forward with a non-violent approach, it isn’t necessarily able to proclaim its message from the highest moral ground. Can an organization with an international reputation for terrorism and a long history of violence rally a people behind the idea of non-violent resistance? Possibly. It would be interesting to see how they are trying to go about doing that.

I also thought it was significant that Aladin said that “there is no UN,” or at least no faith in the UN. It seems like a campaign of non-violent resistance would be the best way to garner international support for your struggle. After all, it’s hard not to have sympathy for an oppressed people meeting aggression with peace. Maybe that will encourage the UN and the broader international community to take notice and take action. And maybe then, people like Aladin will have a little more faith in the international community. I feel this is indicative of the need in the process to build trust between the players before any progress can be made. Maybe non-violence will be a step towards building that trust.